Around the House: Make Your Refrigerator Sparkle for Pesach
By Yehudit Garmaise
A few fun hacks can transform one of the most dreaded jobs of Pesach preparation into one that increases your peace of mind in the days before Yom Tov.
Make a little list of foods you see you are going to need for your family to survive until erev Pesach, as you clean out your refrigerator.
Empty your fridge: one shelf and drawer at a time. Throw away any food that is past its due date and any leftovers that no one will eat within one day.
Take an empty spray bottle (or a surface cleaner that only has a little liquid left in it) and fill it with 2 T. baking soda or white vinegar and hot water, or 1 T. dish soap and the rest hot water. Shake your spray bottle and get a fresh sponge that has a side that can be used to scrub.
Take out each shelf one and removable frame: one at a time. Squirt some dish detergent over them, and use your sponge and hot water to scrub them.
Wipe down the interior walls, ceiling, and floor of your refrigerator before putting each shelf back.
Fill up each empty drawer and side bins with hot water and a little dish detergent, one at a time, in your kitchen sink. Let each drawer and bin soak for five or so minutes to loosen off any encrusted food and crumbs. Then use your sponge to scrub, and use the kitchen sink faucet to rinse each drawer until it is clean.
Continue the process: one shelf and drawer at a time, making sure to throw away everything that is outdated.
To clean your freezer: you may need to defrost it first to make sure all the frost and ice melts so you can completely scrub it down.
Make a paste with Comet and a little water to use with an old toothbrush to scrub off “hard-to-reach” and “trouble spots” in corners.
Spray a disinfectant cleaner like Lysol or Mrs. Meyers on all of your refrigerator’s surfaces and wipe them down to ensure you remove all germs, bacteria, and chametz, after scrubbing each surface.
Clean the outside of the refrigerator and freezer and the handles: Remove everything taped and magnetized to the outside of your refrigerator. Use your spray bottle and sponge to scrub the entire outside of the refrigerator and freezer, before using new tape and cleaning the magnets to only put back up what is necessary.
Don’t forget top of your refrigerator, which is likely very dusty and could be storing hidden chametz. Use a Dustbuster to vacuum up the dust before scrubbing the surface with your spray bottle and sponge.
Pull your refrigerator away from the wall: with the help of someone strong. Please don’t do this alone, as people can hurt themselves. Vacuum, sweep, and clean the floor where the fridge usually sits.
Start lining with foil or plastic, when you are ready, and have a kosher and freilachen Yom Tov that sparkles!