A clean refrigerator can save you both time and money, both of which I always seem to be short on. Think about it — you can more easily see what you have on hand, what needs used up soon and what you need to purchase, which in turn leads to fewer trips to the grocery store.

Plus putting away groceries in a clean refrigerator is a dream. It’s so easy to organize everything neatly!

1. Empty leftovers and run the dishes through the dishwasher
I started by pulling out the questionable leftovers, disposing of them and running a load of dirty dishes in the dishwasher. I love these clear glass refrigerator containers for so many reasons. They stack up and organize neatly, and I can see what’s inside each one at a glance.

As an aside, I recently noticed that my dishes were not as sparkling clean as I would like them to be, so I switched to Cascade Complete ActionPacs to see if it would make a difference. And did it ever! It wasn’t uncommon for me to have to run some items a second time with my old detergent, but that’s not an issue now. And the hard water spots that plagued my glasses are gone.

2. Empty out the contents of your refrigerator
Next I pulled everything out and set it on the counter, checking expiration dates as I went and tossing anything that was past its prime. Surprisingly, there wasn’t that much to get rid of — I mostly just needed to organize everything better.

Note that if your food is going to be sitting out for an extended time, you might want to put perishables in a cooler while you’re cleaning. I knew I could get it cleaned out, wiped down, and everything put away in under an hour, so I didn’t bother with it. Plus we keep our raw meat in our garage refrigerator.

3. Wipe the refrigerator down from top to bottom
Now it was time to wipe the inside of the refrigerator out. I used a mild multipurpose cleaner and Bounty Advanced Paper Towels for this step. Why paper towels? Because I didn’t want to have to keep stopping to rinse out a rag, and Bounty Advanced Paper Towels are thick and sturdy enough to reuse on multiple areas, so there wasn’t much waste.

Common sense tip: Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom, brushing the crumbs and dirt down as you go. No sense in getting already cleaned surfaces dirty!

4. Remove the shelves and drawers to scrub them thoroughly
Back in the thick of spring soccer season, one of my kids put a half gallon of chocolate milk away on a shelf on its side. Can you see where this is going? Of course it leaked, and they tried to clean it up. But it wasn’t until I emptied out the contents of the fridge that I could survey the full effects of that not-so-brilliant move.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to the rescue! Seriously, these things are a lifesaver when it comes to grimy messes in the kitchen. They made quick work of scrubbing the shelves and drawers, and I also used them to clean the seals on the doors. Seriously, how do they get so dirty and disgusting???

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