About Me

Hello. I started this blog to write about what I do in my chosen profession : a housewife. Some day I might cook or bake something interesting and enlist my 2 year old to help, on another day I make something from scratch instead of buying it from the store and sometimes I craft with my daughter. Once in a while, we travel or have a fun day outside. I am also doing what I can to recycle and reduce waste. I am still learning all of this and documenting my journey through this blog

Fridge cleaning challenge

When Nupur posted the fridge cleaning challenge on her blog, I knew I couldn't ignore my fridge anymore. I had been ignoring it for almost a year now and it was extremely dirty. Yes, I am lazy like that when it comes to cleaning.

A couple of days after the challenge was posted, I decided today is the day. I could have done it in parts over a few days but that never works out for me. I clean a part of the fridge one day and then forget about the rest on other days.

My fridge was pretty empty because these days I am trying to reduce the number of grocery shopping trips. This forces me to find ways to use the stuff lying around in the fridge and pantry. This way, we get to eat different from the usual roti-sabzi routine and of course, save money and reduce waste. This was one of the days when grocery shopping was inevitable. That is a good time to clean the fridge as there is less stuff to remove and replace in the fridge.

I started with the dirtiest parts first : the bottom-most shelf and the vegetable and fruit drawer bins. And worked my way up. That is the opposite of the recommended top-down approach. But those things were so dirty, I just went for them first.

I have equal parts of vinegar and dish liquid in a spray bottle and it is my go to cleaner. This is almost magical for bathtubs. Just spray it on liberally and wipe down after a couple of hours. The bath tub looks brand new and the best part : no scrubbing required.

Coming back to fridge cleaning, I took the huge bottom shelf and fruit and vegetable trays to the bathtub, used a kitchen sponge sprayed with my magic cleaner and washed them. While they were drying, I used the same cleaner inside the fridge, wiping down with a wet cloth a couple of times and then wiping it dry with a clean towel. I liked it for the fridge because it does not have any harmful chemicals and also disinfects with the vinegar without leaving the fridge smelling funky.
Once the shelf was dry, I arranged it back in the fridge, emptied the shelf above it and repeated the whole process till the fridge was clean.

Lets look at the "before" and "after" pictures.

Main compartment
fridge cleaning
Before
After
Fridge Door
Before
After
Freezer compartment
freezer cleaning
Before
After
Freezer door
Before
After
The before and after pictures might not look very different but let me assure you the fridge is sparkling clean now.

Since the fridge was relatively empty, the only organising I had to do was in the bottom shelf and the door.
I use plastic trays from food packaging or take out and arrange the condiments on it. This helps group them and contain spills.
The tray at the back contains chutneys, hot sauce, mustard, pickled jalapenos, chipotle in adobo. These are not used a lot so they sit in the back. The front tray contains jams, peanut butter and butter. I somehow ended up with 4 types of jam in my fridge right now.

For the door, I used food packaging boxes to group spices. Rightmost box is for maharashtrian spices : 2 types of goda masala and kanda lasun masala. The middle box is for sambar, khichadi and pulao masalas. The last one is for all other types of spices. Also wedged there are pickles and papads.
Grouping things together makes it easier to find stuff and know exactly where to put it back. So the fridge stays organised longer.

Let me get to the survey posted for the challenge before the post gets too long to endure.

Fridge survey :
  • The most unusual item in my fridge : Probably the truckload of spices.
  • Three items I always have in my fridge : milk, homemade yogurt and hopefully ginger (I get nervous if I run out of ginger to add to my tea)
  • Oldest item in my fridge : 3 year old jar of pickled peppers. (I threw out the quarter full jar during this cleaning session)
  • Items that needed to be used and how I used them : A couple of roasted corn on the cob. I made quesadillas.
Freezer survey :
  • The most unusual item in my freezer : Bread starter that I got when I attended a bread baking class.
  • Three items I always have in my freezer : Frozen rotis, frozen peas, at least one type of nut.
  • Oldest item in my freezer : Might be the pistachios.
  • Items that needed to be used and how I used them : Nothing really was going bad but I ended up with lot of icecream in my freezer this summer and used the last bit of frozen yogurt and frozen mango pulp to make a mango milkshake.