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Cranky Swamp Yankee

Life & Events > A Bachelor's Guide to Refrigerator Cleaning

A Bachelor's Guide to Refrigerator Cleaning


I was
feeling really ambitious and energetic this weekend. So I spent about six hours
Saturday cleaning out my fridge.

(I know. I
know. I can hear you laughing.)

I don’t do
it as much as I should, I know. But I just don't have time to spend on such
trivial matters with other things such as drinking and watching “24” and
sleeping and all.

So give me a

The only
reason I did it was because my Honey is coming in next week from Minneapolis, and
I really didn't want to introduce her to undiscovered species of bacteria and
mold and have her run screaming from the house clutching her stomach and
covering her mouth. (Women can be such wimps when it comes to things like

I’m sure
that such up-close biology wouldn’t impress her, even if I promised to name a
new genus of bugged-eyed, microscopic rancid-cheese-eater after her.

So, I got
out the jackhammer and the industrial-strength Lysol, brought the garbage

in the
kitchen, rolled up my shirtsleeves, and went to work.

When up
against a massive, daunting task, I have been taught to chunk it down and
attack the problem step by step. So, my plan was to go through the fridge in
three steps.


Step 1.
Throw out anything that is ten years past the expiration date. No matter how
good it looks or how good it smells.  Ditch
it. No ifs, ands or buts. I promised myself that I would be firm on this.


Step 2.
Science projects in the fridge are probably not good for you.

Hair growing
on anything in there is not a good thing. No matter how soft, fluffy or spongy
the fur feels, it will probably kill you if you ingest it. Any liquid that is
standing up all by itself without a container around is probably not fit for
human consumption. Anything that was originally a solid but now is a liquid,
and anything that was formerly a liquid but is now a solid is to be chucked.

I found
Fritos Chip Dip containers way in the back of the second shelf. The product inside
of them was more than likely not green and purple when it was first purchased,
and the odor emanating from them originally more than likely would not clean
out my sinuses and melt my eyeballs onto my cheeks. (Hey! A lot can happen in three years!) So they got

I think I
may have discovered the remains of Jimmy Hoffa all wrapped up in Reynolds Wrap
on the third shelf. I’m not sure because, as I unwrapped the package for closer
examination, it flopped to the floor, and Fritz ate it before I could stop him.
(And, because he exhibited no signs of intestinal distress afterwards, I
deduced that the stuff was probably still good.)

The green
stuff in the top drawer was either very new cheese or very old meat, (with a
nod to Neil Simon), but, because I didn't remember putting it there, I'm heaved

The chicken
that came over with Columbus also met a similar demise.


Step 3.
After all the major dump runs have taken place, clean the walls and shelves

of the

This is
where the jackhammer comes into play. Five-year-old, exposed cheddar turns into
tungsten steel and adheres to white plastic like ugly on my first wife. Spilled
yogurt that has sat there since the Apollo moon missions encases itself in a
coating that rivals the hardness of tooth enamel, and it gloms itself onto refrigerated
metal racks with a death grip.


By the time
I was finished with the cleaning, I think I gained eight cubic feet of space

inside the

When the
task was completed, I stepped back to admire my work and was amazed at how
bright and sparkly everything was!

Glass shelves you can actually see through!

Who'd a
thunk it?!

It literally
took me all morning to clean the refrigerator. But, when it was done, I felt
good about myself and pleased with the knowledge that it didn't need to be done
again for another five years.

posted on Oct 23, 2013 7:24 AM ()


Ron just defrosted the freezer this past weekend. I was quite proud of him.
comment by kristilyn3 on Nov 13, 2013 7:06 AM ()
When can you come and do mine?
comment by catdancer on Nov 6, 2013 10:06 AM ()
Proud of you -- I remember when I didn't have a self-defrosting fridge -- that cleaning it out was a nightmare. Hope you have a lovely time with your date.
comment by tealstar on Oct 28, 2013 7:06 AM ()
I have one of those self cleaning fridges. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
comment by nittineedles on Oct 26, 2013 10:44 PM ()
reply by kristilyn3 on Nov 13, 2013 7:07 AM ()
I'll be using steam to clean under the crisper drawers..... when i get around to it..... as soon as I get around the running the self-cleaning feature on the oven ..... Why is it that there are always more important things to do?
comment by jjoohhnn on Oct 23, 2013 5:00 PM ()

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