The Lazy Person Guide to Cleaning out your Fridge

The Lazy Person Guide to Cleaning out your Fridge
Carly Jacobs

hate cleaning out the fridge because we have a teeny tiny not-very-even-temperatured fridge. If we put veggies too close to the back, they freeze. Too close to the front and they go floppy and weird. I’d love to replace it but it’s the perfect size for our fridge hole and it’s got an excellent energy rating, so it’ll be sticking around for a while. I just need to watch my food pretty carefully because I absolutely hate food waste. I come from a farming family and wasting food is blasphemy for a Smaggle. If I clean out the fridge, it’s inevitable that I will have to throw something away and that makes me go down a serious shame spiral so I tend to avoid it as much as possible. Unfortunately, it’s a thing that has to be done so when I’m really not feeling it, I just do the lazy person version. Here’s how you can clean out your fridge without it taking all afternoon…

Refrigerator opened with food. Fridge Open and Closed with foods

Pick your moment

I tend to save fridge clean outs for when I get back from holiday because my fridge is either empty or contains a few rogue, withered vegetables that managed to escape my frugal grasp. Both situations provide excellent fridge cleaning mojo.

Throw away as much as you can

That half bottle of 97% Fat Free French dressing that expired in 2007? Ditch it. The half block of Philly cheese you found in the vegetable crisper that you don’t remember opening? In the bin. In fact if there are any jars that you can’t remember when you opened them barring things likes jams, preserves and pickles you should probably ditch them. Things like salsa, dip and creamy sauces just won’t last long once they’re opened so chuck them away. Leave all other items on the kitchen bench – most fridge items will be fine on the bench for a few minutes provided it’s not a 35 degree day. Not chicken though because SALMONELLA. As you’re doing this, have a think about what you’re throwing away and why it remained uneaten for so long. Then make a promise to yourself to never buy that product again. I’ve recently started vetoing recipe that call for small amounts of obscure ingredients so I don’t end up with three almost full but expired jars of curry paste in the fridge. If it’s not an item I intend to use regularly, I won’t buy it. It’s okay to throw things away, just make sure you consume more consciously in the future.

Cut corners

Instead of hand washing all the shelves, just chuck them in the dishwasher. Dishwashers get hot enough to melt all the fridge scum that takes ages to scrub off by hand and you can have a cup of tea while you wait. Win. NOTE: If you’re waiting for the dishwasher to finish, it’s best to pop your fridge items back in the fridge sans shelves. I don’t want you getting ecoli on me now.

Do a 15 minute wipe down

Sometimes when I’m cleaning I go to the dark side and get a bit obsessive, spending 45 minutes scrubbing a miniscule patch of rust with a toothbrush. To avoid falling down the cleaning rabbit hole, simply set a timer for fifteen minutes and do the best you can. Use a sponge and fridge-friendly cleaner (I like to use eco products in the fridge because putting chemicals where I store my food creeps me out a bit) to wipe down the inside of your fridge or just some hot soapy water. Just remember that done is better than perfect. Give the fridge a quick wipe with vanilla essence to give it a sweet smell.

Spruce up the outside

Take down old restaurant menus, your kid’s drawings from two years ago and thank you cards from weddings that you can’t remember. Give the outside surface and door handles a wipe down and pop your favourite things back on the fridge with magnets.


Now bask in the glory of having a clean fridge because there’s nothing in this world that will make you quite so smug.

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What does your fridge look like right now? Is it French-mineral-water-commercial-ready? Or does it look like animals go to die in there?


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1 Comment

  1. Author
    Smaggle 4 years ago

    Yes, but you’ll sleep so soundly my love.

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