3 Tips to Well Maintain Your Refrigerator
You won’t need to call the refrigerator guy all too often if you know how to maintain it correctly. Proper maintenance of your refrigerator is essential to avoid any creation, proliferation, and contamination of bacteria such as salmonella or listeria in food.
This post will give you 3 essential tips for proper hygiene of your device:
1. How to successfully maintain the refrigerator
To ensure the proper functioning of your refrigerator and prevent energy from running out, remember to defrost your device regularly.
1.1 Defrost your device regularly
Although it is often overlooked, 3 millimeters of ice accumulated inside the freezer or refrigerator increase the appliance’s energy consumption by about 30%! It is, therefore, necessary to defrost regularly, roughly every 3 months. Allow about an hour to defrost 6 millimeters of ice and about 24 hours for greater thickness.
Attention! Never use hot water or hot air for defrosting, as this will damage the cold circuit. Do not try to drop the ice with an object that could damage the walls of your refrigerator; instead, use a plastic squeegee carefully. To speed up defrosting, you can also use a cloth soaked in hot water.
1.2 Let Your Device Breathe!
Please leave at least 5 centimeters between the refrigerator and the wall against it. It will help your appliance’s motors and compressors breathe better, which will prevent the overconsumption of energy in the refrigerator cooling system!
2. Interior and exterior maintenance of the refrigerator
Cleaning the refrigerator can be done once a month or every two weeks if you are careful with your food. It is important to clean both the inside and outside of the unit.
2.1 Clean inside…
Start by emptying your refrigerator of all its food. The ideal time to clean the fridge is to wait until it is almost empty (weekends, for example, or before grocery shopping) so that as little food as possible is affected by temperature changes during cleaning.
Remove the shelves one by one and clean them. Then go to the walls of the refrigerator.
For joints, use a new toothbrush. Be sure to wipe off the removable parts before replacing them.
Good to know: do not use household products or bleach!
Household products can be toxic if they are poorly rinsed and give off an odor that will appear when cooking food. On the other hand, bleach will only strengthen the resistance of bacteria already well hardened by the cold. Therefore, prefer a mixture of warm water with vinegar to clean your device (make a mixture of 50% vinegar and 50% water). Use a sponge and dry the cleaned surfaces directly without rinsing beforehand.
2.2 … and Outside!
Read your refrigerator instructions carefully: you may be advised to buy a product designed to clean the outside of your refrigerator as it is coated with a specific layer to preserve it. Otherwise, choose soapy water and wipe with a soft cloth.
2.3 Clean the back grille regularly
Remember to vacuum the grid at the back of your appliance to remove dust from the condenser.
A grid full of dust will automatically double the refrigerator’s energy consumption! On the other hand, regular cleaning helps it cool down and thus evacuate heat.
3. Maintenance starts with good storage
Store your food in different packaging. Cover deli meats and pastries with aluminum foil, chicken, and cheese put under the stretch paper. If you have a leftover dish, it is best to transfer it to a closed plastic container. As for fruits and vegetables, remember to wash, rinse, and dry them before putting them in a plastic bag and storing them in the vegetable box at the bottom of the refrigerator provided for this purpose. Finally, close the bottles (water, soda, alcohol, or fruit juice) and the mayonnaise or mustard jars tightly.
3.1 Discard expired food
Expired food can be a nest for bacteria! Therefore, remember to regularly sort your food to discard those past the expiry date.
3.2 Remove food from its packaging
Yogurts, for example, are often sold in cardboard packages. Remember to remove this cardboard packaging, which carries bacteria that can spread to other foods. The same applies to raw meat and fish: the ideal solution is to take them out of their original packaging and place them in a plastic container closed by a lid or cover them with stretch film. For vacuum-packed foods, on the other hand, please leave them in their original packaging.
3.3 Spacing Food
Ensure that your food doesn’t end up “stuck together” in your refrigerator. Leave space in between for aeration and, therefore, less risk of transmitting bacteria from one container to the other.
3.4 Think about the right temperature
In refrigerators with stirred or ventilated cold, the temperature inside the appliance must be between 0°C and 4°C. If it is warmer, the device becomes a nest of dangerous bacteria like salmonella or listeria that can spread on food. In a static air refrigerator, remember to store food properly in its place to ensure its best preservation. For the freezer, the temperature must be between -18°C and -30°C. Also, check the tightness of your refrigerator and freezer doors to avoid external heat that could enter food in the refrigerator and freezer.
3.5 Avoid putting hot or warm dishes in it
Please wait until your prepared meals have cooled down in the ambient air (no more than two hours) before storing them with their covers placed correctly in your refrigerator. Keeping them while they are still hot or warm would encourage the creation and proliferation of bacteria inside your device.
3.6 Stop the nasty smells!
Finally, to avoid a bad smell in your refrigerator put a lemon wedge or a glass of uncovered milk in it…
Hope the above helps you maintain your fridge so that you don’t have to worry about calling the refrigerator guy too often! Remember to jot down your comments in the section below for more tips.