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Have you ever opened your fridge and asked yourself, “Who would have put a dead animal in here?” If that pasta salad has been on the top shelf since Easter, or your milk may or may not have turned into cottage cheese, it’s probably time to give your refrigerator a good clean. Even if your fridge doesn’t smell like a tomb, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and an organized fridge will help you prepare for the firestorm of leftovers that’s about to arrive.
Still need convincing? No problem: Today is Clean Out Your Fridge Day!
Now that you’re all out of excuses, here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning out your fridge so that you can make way for those delicious leftovers from turkey day and keep those nasty smells at bay.
1. Purge anything from your fridge that’s past its prime. Start from the top and work your way to the bottom, tossing anything that’s rotten, expired or questionable.
2. Remove the shelves and drawers of your refrigerator and place them in the sink. Wait until they reach room temperature (so they don’t crack) and wash them thoroughly with a mixture of equal parts baking soda and hot water. Don’t use dish soap! Your food will pick up the soapy scent it leaves behind.
3. Use the same baking soda mixture to scrub the walls of your refrigerator. For hard to remove spots, let the solution sit on the walls for a few minutes before you begin scrubbing. Then, wipe up the cleaning solution with a cloth or paper towel.
4. Combat smells by placing an opened box of baking soda in your fridge. (The baking soda neutralizes strong odors.)
5. Reassess what you keep in your fridge. Storing certain foods in a cool environment can actually do more harm than good. For specifics, read: Fridge or Counter, Where Should Fresh Foods Go?