Spring Cleaning: Your Refrigerator and Pantry







Here are my “before” shots. Besides using green cleaners for this job, my additional green twist was to really look at the labels of all the food I had. I wanted to decide whether this was something I wanted to buy again or did I need to look for an alternative.

To start, I gathered my arsenal of cleaning equipment:

  • Spray bottle of straight vinegar
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Shaker of baking soda
  • Spray bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Compost bucket
  • Trash can (Yes, some things still needed to be tossed.)
  1. Empty each and every shelf. I did this one at a time.
  2. Clean the inside of the frig with the all-purpose cleaner. I started out using the straight vinegar, but switch to the diluted version in the all-purpose. The vinegar smelled lingered a lot longer in here – maybe because of the lack of air flow.
  3. For the bottom drawers and door holders, I sprayed them with straight vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide and let them sit to really disinfect them.
  4. Obviously, the science projects were tossed and labels were inspected.
  5. Replace the baking soda
  6. Thanks to Reduce Footprints for reminding me to clean the coils in the back of the fridge to increase efficiency.
The Results

I gained a few empty jars and squeeze bottles to reuse. I LOVE reusing glass jars especially salsa jars. They are the perfect 1 cup size for leftovers, onions, or lemons, and have a nice wide opening.
I have WAY too many condiments. Some got tossed (found a few that were way past expired). I will be buying less in the future.
I need an alternative to Hershey’s Strawberry Syrup. Way too much sugar and RED 40 (for the dangers, click here). Yeah, the bright red was the dead giveaway!
Moved like things together and put taller items in the back.
I have more than enough food to last us a few more days. Woo Hoo! Don’t need to go grocery shopping tomorrow.
The method is similar to the frig.
The Results

Found several expired cans of food – tossed – peas from 2008 and soup from 2007!

I have LOTS of beans, but I couldn’t see them because they were all shoved into a basket on the top shelf. This is where my stash of glass jars and my label maker came in very handy. All the beans were put in clear glass jars and labeled.

Reorganized to put like things together and moved a few items to better places to give more space.
As much as I love pudding, I need to either make my own or find something else. Again, too much sugar and RED 40 in some.
Tag, you’re it! Does your frig or pantry need cleaning out? What did you find?

More from the Series:
Previous: Introducing: Spring Cleaning Series
Next: Spring Cleaning Series: Bathrooms


6 Responses to Spring Cleaning: Your Refrigerator and Pantry

  1. What A Card March 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Oh my, do I ever need to do this! Think I know the next job on my job list! (I’m too embarrassed to take before/after pics, though 🙂

  2. I guess I have to put these tasks on my to do list along with all my closets, windows, drawers, cabinets, woodwork and gardening. Oh wait…we could get a foot of snow on Friday. I suppose I can put off the gardening. Thanks for the inspiration! I will also not be submitting before shots. 🙂

  3. The Greening Of Westford March 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    LOL No need to post photos! Good luck and check back for other parts of the house!

  4. groovygreenlivin.com March 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    You are my inspiration! I so need to do this. We have condiments from 1980 (could be true!). There are definitely alternatives to all your red dye 40 products. I like your fridge!

  5. The Greening Of Westford March 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    @Groovygreenlivin Yeah the condiments! Yuck! So did you clean out? Any suggestions for the Strawberry milk?

  6. prolix August 9, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    Great explanation, thanks for the posting!
    Very good! I think that you have done a great job! FANTASTIC!!!!
    Refrigeration Equipment

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