The holiday season does a number on the fridge. With countless appetizers, sides, mains, and desserts to prepare, things can get a little crazy as half-eaten leftovers, gifted treats and excess ingredients clutter the fridge and freezer. And if your freezer is anything like ours at home, it also contains produce, leftovers and mystery Tupperware containers that have been there for at least a year…maybe more? (No judgment here)
BUT! A proper freezer clean is not nearly as intimidating or overwhelming as you might think. With a few simple steps, you can get that freezer in tip-top shape in under an hour!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Dish Towel
- Mild Dish Soap
- Hot water & vinegar
- Spray bottle
These simple steps will get you through the whole cleaning process in no time, and you’ll come out on the other end feeling more ready than ever for 2020!
Turn off or unplug your freezer
Bringing up the temperature will make things all-around easier. If too difficult to unplug, or you’d prefer not to, adjust the temperature dial and use a warm, damp cloth to help soften and clean away frosty spill areas and other marks.
Take everything out and keep it chilled in a cooler or in the sink with some ice.
Empty ice trays and soak
The non-edible components, starting with the ice trays can be pulled out. Place in a large bowl and soak with warm, soapy water.
Take out detachable drawers and shelves
Do the same with any shelving or drawers. Make sure they come up to room temperature to avoid cracking the plastic or glass.
Prep your cleaning solution
Mix up a simple cleaner made with equal parts hot water and vinegar. Transfer to a spray bottle and liberally spray the inside of your freezer. Don’t have vinegar on hand? 1 quart of water to 2 tbs of baking soda is a great alternative.
Using a dishtowel, wipe down the interior. Use more cleaning solution as needed and a sponge when necessary. For difficult, frosty stains, try covering for a few minutes with a towel soaked in the cleaning solution before cleaning further. Don’t forget to wipe down the door and its surrounding seal. An old toothbrush may be handy for stubborn stains or difficult to reach areas around the door.
Dry the inside
After a good cleaning, take a clean dish towel and dry the interior.
Replace shelves, drawers and ice trays
Once everything is dry, return the necessary parts to their places.
Power on, organize and replace food
Turn the power back on and take a moment to sort out and make sense of everything you’ve pulled from it. Throw away any items that have freezer burn, or are unrecognizable. As a great way to keep things organized, we recommend keeping similar items together in freezer-friendly baskets or bins. We use an open box of baking soda can also help keep that freezer burn smell away.
Celebrate & maintain
Take a moment to revel in your clean, organized freezer! As you confidently move forward into a bold, new year, don’t forget to check in on your freezer’s status every few weeks. Mini-cleans are a helpful practice to keep things flowing and avoid what can become a mentally overwhelming task. And if you end up in a similar place in a few months, just know a restorative turn around is much easier than you think, especially now you have the knowledge to make it happen!
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