Sunday, January 1, 2017

31 Days of Green Deep Cleaning Your House: Day 1 - Refrigerator

Usually we associate deep cleaning your house with Spring Cleaning, but there's something about the New Year that makes me want to clean and organize my house.  Because of my and my children's allergies, and because of the cost, I've tried really hard to keep my cleaning as clean as possible.  I often make my own mixes for cleaning. You can see my laundry detergent recipe HERE.
In November, I started to switch my household over to Norwex Clothes, which for the most part can clean 90% of your house with only water!  This I love!  Water is free (mostly) and the clothes pick up 99% of the bacteria, as well as have a special BacLock feature that prevents the bacteria from spreading.
So, for the month of January, each day, I am going to feature one area of your house that can be deep cleaned.  I'm going to be giving time saving tips as well as how-to instructions for doing this deep cleaning the best and greenest.

This first week, we are going to clean the kitchen.  To start the kitchen off, I'm starting with the refrigerator.  I don't know about you, but this tends to be the last on my list for cleaning.  Mostly, because the really dirty part is behind closed doors. 

In addition to the refrigerator today, try to empty out and wash down one cupboard.  This doesn't have to be long and tedious, but cleaning all the cupboards on one day seems too overwhelming to me. 

Here's how I clean out a cupboard:
  1. Empty off top shelf.
  2. Wipe down that shelf (careful not to spill dirt into bottom dishes.)
  3. Put the dishes back on that shelf.
  4. Continue on to the remainder shelves, from top to bottom.

Back to the refrigerator! This is what you will need to clean today:
  1. Scrubby Corner Cloth - You could use the regular Envirocloth, but that little scrubby corner was extremely helpful for getting the dried up food stains off!
  2. Descaler - You only need this if you have an water tray on the front of your refrigerator that has lime stains from the water on it.  This is the ONLY chemical that we will be using other than water.  It contains Glucuronic Acid, orange peels and Sodium Gluconate.  This is so much better for the environment than the toxic alternatives!
  3. Vacuum that reverses the air (blows the air), if possible.

Tips to Clean the Refrigerator:
  • Clean from the top to bottom.  Then if crumbs, or food drops to those shelves underneath, it won't get what I've already cleaned dirty.
  • I clean one shelf at a time. Clear it off, wash it down with a wet (water only) Scrubby Corner Cloth
  • Often, to save time, I'll move everything to one side, wash the shelf, then move it to the other and finish the shelf.  (See above photo)
Before using the Window Cloth

After using the Window Cloth
  •  After washing it down, I use the Window Cloth to polish the cloth.  This makes the shelf really shiny, and less susceptible to fogging up, at least for awhile!  If you look at the two pictures above of the same shelf before and after using the Window Cloth.

  • I leave the shelves in the refrigerator while cleaning, unless something has spilled down the sides that just don't come off with a wipe down. That scrubby corner really works on all the cracks and sugary spills!
  • Take out the drawers to wipe down with the Scrubby Corner Cloth.  I only run these under water if, it's a smaller drawer and fits into my sink.
  • Don't forget to wash that gasket around the door, as well as the door where the gasket meets.  This will give your refrigerator a nice tight seal, and air won't leak in or out!
Spray Descaler on and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

Check out the lime ring in the bottom of the ice dispenser!

After Descaler - it's not entirely gone, but much improved!  This is from years of build-up, so it should be better the next couple of times I clean it!

  • Clean out the freezer too!  This is much easier in my freezer, because most of the shelves are racks, and the crumbs fall thru, leaving the mess in those 2 bottom drawers and the bottom shelf.

  • Wipe down and declutter the front of your refrigerator.  This makes it look like a clean appliance!
Finally, don't forget about the back and underneath your refrigerator!
For the floor and the wall, I used The Superior Mop System to wash it all down.  Yes, I used a mop to wash the wall! It was so awesome and fast!

Whew!  There you have it!  My tips for cleaning the refrigerator out (as well as one cupboard!)  I don't dwell on this job.  Overall, it took me only about 30 minutes to clean inside and out, as well as get rid of some bad food!  Usually, I do this cleaning 2-3 times a year, and wipe down individual shelves here and there, as they look bad.  I love a clean refrigerator, how about you? Join me tomorrow for the next day's Green Deep Cleaning inspiration and tips!