The Kitchen Cure: The Refrigerator

I love a good challenge, and if it involves cooking or fitness, I am all in.

When I saw that one of my favorite websites, The Kitchn, was having a 2-week “kitchn cure” you know I was intrigued.

Each weekday for two weeks, the Kitchn folks email you with a project, and let me just say, these are not for the feint of heart, or those short on time. The goal is to get your kitchen into the best shape it can possibly be in, to entice you to use it more.

I don’t need much help to inspire me get me cooking, and I thought I was pretty clean and organized.  I take apart the stove each week, scrub down the counters and try to stay current on spills. We all know I am fanatic about freshness, so there isn’t a lot of old expired condiments or science projects growing in the fridge. I smugly thought this would be “easy, peasy lemon squeezy,” and boy was I wrong.

My first email arrived Monday, requesting that I purge the contents of the refrigerator and freezer, scrub it down, and replace everything in an organized manner. Right away, I knew this wasn’t going to be an after work, after dinner, after tomorrow’s blog post is written kind of project. I decided to take it on over the weekend, and plow through 5 days worth in (hopefully) one.
I only bought the food we were going to consume during the week, so that the contents of my refrigerator were lean. I let B eat all the remaining Trader Joe’s specials for dinner to make sure there was little left in the freezer.

I think it's (gasp) mold! Eww!

I think it’s (gasp) mold! Eww!

After a Pilates class as a warm up, I set about scrubbing the refrigerator. What you are about to see is not for the weak. While I can proudly attest to the fact that there were not sticky, gooey or caked on spots, there was, (gasp) mold growing in the corners. Full disclosure: I knew this was a problem and had cleaned it before, but this time, I was determined to do more than just wipe it off.

I have been trying to be greener in the kitchen, and many of my Kitchen Tips Tuesday posts have been about baking soda and vinegar type stuff for cleaning.  That’s all well and good, but for this job, it was time for something a bit stronger. Something toxic enough to kill this brownish green goo, once and for all. It was time for chemical warfare!

I removed all of the drawers and shelves, and sprayed everything down with Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover with bleach. Short of a nuclear holocaust, that is probably the most toxic thing around, and most likely to get the job done.

I placed all the innards into the bathtub, removed the curtain, and sprayed away. I let it all sit for a while and attacked the refrigerator itself. I wiped it down, and got into every nook and cranny using rags, Q-tips and toothpicks. Yes, I mean EVERY cranny. Then I wiped it again with a little baking soda and water to remove as much of the chemicals as possible, and then carefully dried it.

Goo be gone!

Goo be gone!

I took a brush and scrubbed down all of the shelves and drawers and used Q-tips to get around the little wheels and crevices. I sprayed them with the shower, and dried them as well. Everything is back in place now, and it looks great! The chemical smell has abated, and will let it continue to air out for the rest of the day before placing the food back in it. There is just one little problem…I seem to have an extra part that won’t fit back in. Fellow Sub Zero owners: Does anyone know where the plain white plastic shelf goes?

Clean as a whistle! Do I have to put food in it now?

Clean as a whistle! Do I have to put food in it now?

The oven has been festering in oven cleaner for a few hours…guess what’s next?

If you want to do your own “kitchn cure” you can follow along on their website, or join us here.

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