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Clean Green and Cool

By Marilyn Campton

It’s ridiculous how quickly things can get messy around the house without regular cleaning and sorting. The most obvious culprits might be toys and clothes, but how often do you open the fridge door and groan at the sight of those containers of half-eaten leftovers, soggy vegetables and almost-empty juice bottles?

Scrubbing down and sorting out the fridge might not be the most exciting job in the world, but it’s definitely important – for health reasons, if nothing else.

Here are some suggestions for keeping the task easy, orderly and environmentally friendly:

  • As everything is coming out of the fridge anyway, switch the power off before you start
  • Rather than grabbing haphazardly at anything that grabs your eye, pick a shelf and start with it, sorting each item into either an esky (for things you’re keeping) or the garbage/compost bin (for everything past its expiration date)
  • If you’re throwing away items in jars or containers, empty and rinse them, ready to be recycled
  • Take the shelves out (if possible) so they can be cleaned properly in the sink. White vinegar works a treat for cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces, though dishwashing liquid will get the job done
  • With everything out of the fridge, set about wiping or scrubbing down the interior – including the door.
  • A home-made mixture of hot water, vinegar and a few drops of essential oil (lemon myrtle or lavender work well) will kill bacteria, remove grease, residue and stains, and make your fridge smell fresh once again. Resist the urge to use eucalyptus or ti-tree oil, as the strong scents can permeate food in the enclosed environment. Vanilla essence can be wiped over the interior surfaces to neutralise odours.
  • Replace the shelves and food and turn the fridge back on.
  • To keep your fridge smelling fresh long after the clean, place an open box of baking soda at the back to absorb odours. The same box will find a second life when it’s time to get rid of it, as baking soda works wonders cleaning sinks or drains when chased with boiling water.

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