1. Adjust the temperature to different conditions
On average, it should be between 1 °C and 4 °C. Lower the temperature when there is a lot of food in the refrigerator or the room is hot. And boost when the content is low to save electricity. Keep the temperature in the freezer stable (-18 °C). If your refrigerator provides defrosting, do it once a year.
2. Clean up regularly
Eliminate all smudges immediately. Wipe the handles of the refrigerator once a day, and the door every week. Once every few days, sort through the products on all the shelves. Try to use those that are about to expire as soon as possible.
Once every three months, clean the refrigerator from the inside. To do this, first take out all the shelves and drawers and wash them with hot water. Do not use bleach and similar cleaning products, it is better to take ordinary soap or gel for washing dishes. Then wash the walls of the refrigerator. If there are old stains, use a toothbrush and a thick mixture of soda and water. After wet cleaning, wipe everything dry.
Once a year, do a general cleaning. Remove the plug of the refrigerator from the outlet, push it away and remove the accumulated debris under it. Wipe off the dust on the back wall. If you can, remove the protective grille and wipe the fan and condenser from dust. After such cleaning, the cooling system will work more efficiently.
3. Know what needs to be kept in the refrigerator and what doesn't
Do not store in the refrigerator:
- Most fruits and some vegetables, especially those that are not yet ripe. Store them at room temperature away from sunlight. This applies to tomatoes and cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic, pumpkin, beets and other root vegetables, including ginger.
- Open tin cans, primarily with fruits and tomatoes. If they stand in such a container for a long time, they have a metallic taste. Therefore, it is better to transfer the contents to glass or plastic dishes.
- Hot food. Wait until it cools down completely so as not to overload the refrigerator compressor.
- Expired products. It's okay if one day has passed after the deadline, but if the product has been standing for a week, do not risk your health.
- Open jars of jam, mustard, syrups. It is enough to put them in the closet, where the sun's rays do not fall. But just in case, check the instructions on the package.
Should be stored in the refrigerator:
- Berries and ripe fruits.
- Vegetables (except those listed above).
- Dairy products and eggs.
- Meat and fish.
- All open products whose packaging indicates that they need to be stored at low temperatures. Including open bottles of wine.
- Leftovers of ready meals (as soon as they have cooled down), salads, snacks.
- Large jars of peanut butter if you're not going to use it quickly. In the cold, it will not be stratified.
4. Distribute the products on the shelves
- The upper shelf — everything that does not need to be cooked: sausage, sauces, salads, snacks, leftovers, as well as canned food from tin cans that you have transferred to other dishes.
- The middle shelf — dairy products and eggs. The refrigerator door is not the right place for them: it is more often exposed to warm air, and this reduces the shelf life of products.
- Bottom shelf — meat and fish.
- Vegetable compartments — naturally, fruits and vegetables, just keep them separate from each other. Some fruits (apples, pears, bananas) emit ethylene gas, from which vegetables lying nearby can deteriorate faster. In the same compartment, remove the leafy greens, having previously washed and dried them with a paper towel. But herbs (except basil) are better put in a jar with water and keep away from the cold back wall.
- Door — juices, dressings and other products with the longest shelf life.
5. Organize storage
To make the most of the refrigerator space, place containers of food one on top of the other. Place the high ones back, and the low ones forward so that everything is in plain sight. Stick labels with the date when you cooked the dish or opened the package.
6. Get rid of unpleasant odors
Put strong-smelling foods in containers with a tight lid. Just in case, keep a plate of soda on the bottom shelf, it will absorb all odors. Change it every three months. Do not throw away used soda, it can be used to clean the sink or bathtub. About other ways to eliminate odors in the refrigerator with the help of improvised means, Lifehacker told in a separate article .
7. If you share a refrigerator with someone, enter the rules of use
Arrange the products symmetrically. For example, if you use the refrigerator together, divide it in the middle and occupy each side. One zone can be left shared — for example, a door. You can wrap special products in an opaque bag so that it becomes obvious that it is not for general use.