It’s National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

November 15 is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. While this date may not inspire the same whimsy as National Donut Day or International Talk Like a Pirate Day, it’s worth marking on your calendar. After all, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you’ll need to make room for all the extra food you’ll be storing. In addition, taking this special time for a fridge clean out means less work after the holiday.

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How to Clean Your Refrigerator

Save the date this year and learn how to clean the refrigerator to make Thanksgiving Day — and the clean-up afterwards — easier.

How to Clean the Refrigerator

A detailed fridge cleaning can take a couple of hours, so you’ll need to set time aside to tackle the task. Since National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day falls on a Tuesday, you may want to slate your celebration for the weekend before or after.

Best Way to Clean our Refrigerator:

  1. Clear the items out of your fridge from the top shelf and set them on the counter as you clean.
  2. Remove the top shelf and wash it in your sink. Dishwashing liquid and warm water make an excellent refrigerator cleaning solution.
  3. Rinse the soapy water from your shelf and dry it thoroughly before replacing it in the fridge.
  4. Wipe down jars and bottles with a damp microfiber cloth before setting them back on their shelves. Tip: Check expiration dates as you go and toss out anything that’s past its prime.
  5. Repeat these first four steps for all of your shelves and for your crisper and deli bins.
  6. Use a microfiber cloth dipped in dish soap and water to wipe down the parts of your fridge that can’t be taken out for cleaning, such as the smaller shelves inside the door and the gasket. Tip: Don’t oversaturate your cloth or the soapy water will drip down the inside of the refrigerator.
  7. Take a fresh microfiber cloth that’s been dampened with dish soap and water and wipe down the refrigerator doors and handles.

Keeping Your Fridge Clean

As you may see, a detailed fridge cleaning is time consuming. That’s why most people only take on this chore a few times a year. However, you want to keep your refrigerator as pristine as possible year round. The following tips show you the best way to clean the refrigerator in between thorough scrubbings.

  1. Take care of spills as soon as they happen.
  2. Check expiration dates weekly and throw out any food that’s gone bad.
  3. Empty out food storage containers filled with leftovers after three to four days.
  4. Wipe down handles — on both the doors and drawers — every day.
  5. Clean the outside once a week.

There’s no doubt that cleaning your refrigerator takes some time on the front end. However, it’s well worth it when you have less mess to deal with after the last Thanksgiving leftovers leave your fridge.