Friday, August 17, 2007

A Clean Fridge Is A Happy Fridge

I need to go buy some groceries today.

However, my refrigerator was a nightmare. I could not, in good conscience, buy fresh food and subject it to those kinds of living conditions.

I had reached that point when the filth is up to your eyeballs and you can stand it no longer so you just have to jump in, hold your nose and get it done. There was yeast spilled along the back wall, sticking to it like wet sand, chocolate pudding hardened like plaster, requiring a knife to chisel it away, cilantro that had passed away and decomposed in the crisper, leaving behind a lacey, green skeleton and a large puddle of something stickey and brown in the bottom.

I don't want to know what that was.

I removed all the shelves and soaped them down in the kitchen sink. I wiped down the inside walls and used my Magic Eraser on the door. Forty-five minutes later, the fridge sparkled. In fact, I kept going back to it, opening the door and admiring my handiwork.

Never mind that the milk jug was sweating from all the warm air coming in. A clean fridge is a beautiful thing to behold.

So now, I head to the store to buy cherry tomatoes that can be pushed to the very back and forgotten and grape juice can be spilled inside. But I am wondering, does anyone out there have a good system for keeping the fridge shiny and happy? Do you clean it weekly or do you have little elves that live inside and do it for you?

I'm hoping for the elf thing, but I should probably be a bit more realistic.

I mean, the elves probably cost too much.


Shannon said...

Oh, I HATE cleaning the fridge. You'd think we'd learn to quickly clean up anything that spills in there instead of letting it sit and sit and gunk up...but no.

Kelli said...

We've had lived with two kids and a science experiment for a fridge for way too long.

Now- we do a weekly inventory and clean up before I go grocery shopping. It's cut down on the 'pull out all the drawers and hose them down on the patio', which I honestly can say I will not miss.

Mine are older, but what we have demanded, er, suggested are :

- WIpe up your spills at ONCE. Duh.

- Put leftovers in clean containers, in the FRONT of the shelf. I bought a 40pc set off an end cap at WalMart for 10 bucks.

- We homeschool, and the hubby works from home as well, so lunch requires everyone eat at least one things from leftovers. That way, they don't go bad in the land of the forgotten. Now, leftovers are rotated out every three days and nothing goes bad.

- Once a month, we drag the fridge outside (but just removing the shelves and stuff would work) and we scrub that puppt to death. For us, we bestow this honor on the child who completed the least amount of chores, on time, the prior month. If that isn't incentive ... I don't know what is.
Should the kids ever do their chores on time for the whole month (*snort*) then dad and I will do the fridge. I don't see that in my near future.

I know some of this doesn't apply since your kidlets are younger, but maybe you can spin some of it to work for you.

If not, maybe I can send you my two for awhile to help :)

Liz said...

Kelli said, "Once a month, we drag the fridge outside... and we scrub that puppy to death."

She was kidding, right! :D

I never move my fridge unless something breaks on it or there is a dead mouse under it!!!!

Ladybug said...

I hope she was kidding! LOL We ( and when I say we I really mean I) clean the spills as soon as I see them and try to clean it out once a week.

Heather said...

Looking inside my fridge right now is a health hazard. We've been out of town and I'm too chicken to open the bottom drawers and see what's down there. Usually, I do a look through once a week and throw out stuff that needs to be thrown out. But, you know how it is with vacation, I feel like I'm still recovering :)

Gwendolyn said...

Well, for starters, I use my children in an old fashion way. We don't have a farm, so they usually get stuck with lots of other chores. My mom used to tease that she didn't need a dishwasher because she "raised two". I tend to lean towards that way of thinking.

Secondly, I use a steamer when it gets bad.

Third, my husband will eventual declare a leftover night and go through every item in the fridge asking "Is this good? What about this? How long has this been in here?"

janiners said...

so glad I don't have a fridge of my own to clean out at the moment! nah, nah. :-) I think all of these suggestions are great. I'm still holding out with you for the little inexpensive elves, myself.

C D said...

don't buy food. I mean real food. just buy frozen... *ha ha ha*

That's what I think when I don't want to cook, clean or do anything house-worky (which is ALL the time).

Or, whenever you put something new in the fridge, you take something out (like I should take out the cucumbers that have been mushing up for two weeks)... or... once a day open the fridge with a kinda soapy dishcloth and wipe down a shelf (doesn't that sound like Flylady??).

My dh says the fruit bowl is the "banana browner" because that is all it seems to be used for (hrmph); and the crisper drawers are "Food Mushers" because that is what happens to all food that is put in them.

alas, he is right. *sigh*

Amy said...

So funny! I recently cleaned the fridge after only God knows how long, and had to keep opening the door to marvel my work, too.