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How to Effectively Clean Out Your Fridge

Sep 4, 2007
The refrigerator is an important center of the household and as such, you would think that people would remember to keep these food centers cleaned more often than they tend to. Even though it is fairly cool inside, mold can still grow very well in these cool temperatures, as anyone who has opened a jar of spoiled grape jelly can surely tell you.

Whether it is a jar of grape jelly or a casserole left in the fridge for a bit too long, mold can grow on anything in your refrigerator that it can get onto. This includes, well, just about everything that is not completely sealed up, such as home-canned goods that have not had their seals broken. Mold spores are everywhere and in the air we breathe, unless the air is purified, such as in a hospital or laboratory clean room, so it is fairly hard to keep mold completely off of something we do not want it on, but it can be done.

It just takes a little effort. Cleaning out your refrigerator and knowing what to do with moldy food (some of it can be saved, believe it or not) is essential to keeping a healthy kitchen.

Take everything out of your refrigerator and put it either on your kitchen table or on the counters for you to deal with later. You will go through these items after you are finished cleaning out the inside of your refrigerator.

Remove all drawers, shelves, and racks so that you can wash them in the sink in whatever household chemical you have chosen for this task. Whether it is anti-bacterial soap, bleach, or even better, a chemical made specifically to kill mold, use plenty of it, but do not mix chemicals, especially bleach. If you do use bleach, do your best not to get it on your hands. Wear rubber gloves.

Wash the inside of the refrigerator with a sponge or a rag thoroughly. To get some things that might be stuck to the wall of the fridge or stuck to a shelf off, let some warm water and some of the chemical you have chosen soak on it a few minutes. After you are done with the inside of the refrigerator, wash the parts that you removed, dry them, and replace them.

As for the food you took out, put back everything that is not contaminated with mold. Anything with a high moisture content that is contaminated like sour cream or jelly must be thrown away. Blocks of cheese or dense items like hard salami can have the molded parts cut out and thrown away. Cut 1 inch around and one inch under the molded part(s), remove, and discard. The rest is usable.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
water damage restoration companies and
Dallas Residential Water Damage Restoration Contractors
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