Homeowners often overlook household appliances when it comes to seasonal cleaning. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, now is the time to clean your refrigerator. Make room for holiday leftovers and prevent pests from enjoying your bounty! Here are some simple steps for a thorough clean inside and out:
- Toss out anything past their prime, such as over ripened fruits, vegetables and grain-based foods. Signs of rot can attract fruit flies, gnats, mold, mites and earwigs.
- Inspect cracks and crevices inside the refrigerator for food splashes and fallen crumbs. Grime can build up in these places because they are the hardest to reach and to keep clean.
- Remove sticky food residue by wiping down interior walls, shelves and drawers. Use a mixture of warm water and baking soda (1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 quart of water). If time permits, remove food from your freezer and turn it off to allow it to defrost before wiping it down with cleaner.
- While the freezer is defrosting, pull out the entire unit and clean the floor, walls and surrounding areas. Check under and around the exterior area for any food that might have slipped out of sight. You may be surprised at how much residue can build up unnoticed. Don’t let this become a perfect buffet for pests such as cockroaches, scorpions, ants and rodents. Also, be sure to double check for dampness and leaks, as this can be an accessible water source for pest survival.
- Try to limit the amount of time food and produce is kept out of your refrigerator. Remember that cooked foods should also always be kept in airtight containers with lids to keep pests from enjoying their own feast!
Holidays can be fun but also stressful, so try to relax and enjoy them. This easy guide will help prepare your home for a houseful of guests, not a houseful of pests.