Tips for National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

As you make more frequent trips to the grocery store to stock up on all the fixings for your Thanksgiving dinner, your refrigerator becomes fuller and fuller. Then your new bounty pushes your leftovers (which let’s face it, are meat surprise by now) farther to the back of the fridge. And before you know it, the holiday is over, and your fridge is overflowing with leftover turkey and casseroles.

Sound familiar? We thought so, which is why the timing couldn’t be better for National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Set your refrigerator up for success this holiday season with these tips.

Refrigerator Cleaning

  1. Empty the contents of your refrigerator, checking for expiration dates as you go. Throw away or compost any expired foods, and place the rest in a cooler while you work. Can’t find an expiration date? When in doubt, throw it out!
  2. Unplug the refrigerator so you don’t waste energy as you work. Use a gentle cleaner to wipe down shelves, doors and drawers. Warm, soapy water usually does the trick. GE recommends 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of water.
  3. Rinse away any residue with warm water. Then, dry the refrigerator with a gentle cloth.

Refrigerator Organizing

Now it’s time to put all the food back in the refrigerator. If you don’t organize your refrigerator contents often, take this opportunity to put everything back in a way that makes sense. Low-humidity drawers are ideal for fruit, while higher humidity works best for vegetables. Store meats in the back.

Keep leftovers front and center of the refrigerator so you remember to eat them before they spoil. You might even consider labeling leftovers with the date in which they were prepared. Be honest with yourself. If you aren’t going to eat the leftover lasagna, get rid of it.

stack of food leftovers

Wipe down condiment bottles to remove spills and drips before returning them to the refrigerator.

Plastic bins provide a clever way to organize fridge contents and cut down on clutter. Or invest in a Lazy Susan to prevent losing bottles and jars in the back of your fridge.

Once your refrigerator is cleaned and organized, you’re one step ahead in your holiday prep. Isn’t that cool?

Photo credit: GE Appliances

What are your best tips for a clean and organized refrigerator? Share them in the comments below!



How To Move a Refrigerator

We have fielded many calls inquiring if it’s OK to put a refrigerator on its side when moving it. Certainly, the manufacturers don’t recommend it. But sometimes it’s necessary, right?

So, when you can’t transport your fridge upright, GE suggests laying your top-freezer refrigerator or bottom-freezer refrigerator on the side opposite the hinges, so the door will remain closed. If you have a side-by-side fridge, place it freezer-side down (that door is less likely to come open).

Black Stainless Steel Samsung Refrigerator

When you bring the fridge inside its new home, keep it unplugged and upright for the same amount of time it spent on its side. If the refrigerator spent more than a day on its side, let it stand for 24 hours before plugging it in.

Also, GE suggests wheeling the refrigerator on its side when using a dolly to avoid damage to the front or rear of the unit.

And please, remove all the racks and cover your beautiful Warners’ Stellian refrigerator with a moving blanket. We love appliances too much so see you damage them on accident.

What’s the Ideal Refrigerator Temperature?

Your refrigerator likely comes set at the factory-recommended temperature, probably a “mid-setting,” but what is that?

If you set the temperature too low, your food will freeze. Set it too high, however, and your food will spoil quicker due to increased bacterial growth.

The recommended temperature for your refrigerator ranges from 35 degrees to 38 degrees.

Testing Refrigerator Temperature

But the best test for your refrigerator’s temperature is a beverage. If you don’t like the temperature of your beverage, adjust the fridge. If you think your refrigerator is too cold, increase the temperature by 1 degree and allow 24 hours for the compartment to adjust. Obviously, do the opposite if you think your refrigerator is too warm.

To ensure proper temperatures, air has to be able to flow between the refrigerator and freezer sections.

As shown in the super sweet illustration, cool air from the refrigerator enters through the bottom of the freezer section and moves upward. Most of the air then flows through the freezer section vents and recirculates under the freezer floor. The rest of the air enters the refrigerator section through the top vent and flows down the back of the refrigerator compartment.

Make sure the air vents aren’t blocked by some errant food thing. Otherwise, it might block the flow of air to the refrigerator, which in turn causes temperature and moisture problems and melty ice cream, etc.

Also (word to the wise), if your refrigerator can’t exhaust properly, it can’t cool properly. So, vacuum the condenser every three months!

What’s your ideal refrigerator temperature? Let us know in the comments.

How To Change a Refrigerator Water Filter

Think of the children, won’t you? Replace your refrigerator’s water filter.

If your refrigerator dispenses water, chances are it uses a filter.

Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filter every six months to nine months, but certainly your fridge won’t blow up if you don’t. You might just drink some stanky water or notice a “decreased flow.” Or your ice maker won’t function as well.

Or you could just replace your filter when your status indicator light (or “change filter” light, as many customers call it) tells you to. Usually, this light lives on the temperature control panel. If you don’t have a change filter light, replace the filter based on the time frame recommendations outlined in the Use & Care manual you tucked away for safekeeping because you’re a responsible appliance owner.

Mostly, just use good sense, as the life of the filter depends on your usage and the quality of the water. If you notice a change in your water, replace your filter more frequently.

How To Replace Refrigerator Water Filter

For the filters like the one picture above left, rotate the cap counterclockwise until it’s vertical, and pull the cap and filter cartridge out through the base grille. Push the new filter cartridge into the base grille until it stops with the cap in the vertical position. Rotate the cartridge cap clockwise to a horizontal position.

For the filters like those on the above right, press the eject button and pull the cap straight out. Don’t twist the cap or it will detach from the filter. Push the new filter into the opening in the base grille. The button will pop out when the filter is in place, but give the cap a tug to make sure.

Maytag water filter

This kind of filter, found in the upper right corner inside the refrigerator, is pretty easy to replace. Just turn the filter counterclockwise until it come out, drain it into the sink and trash it. Next, remove the seal from the new filter, insert the filter into the filter head and turn it clockwise until it stops. Easy.

After Replacing Water Filter

Once you replace the filter, make sure you flush air from the water system, otherwise you’re going to have a drippy dispenser in your kitchen driving you absolutely nuts.

Hold a container to the water dispenser lever for 5 seconds, and then release it for 5 seconds. Repeat until water comes out. Continue holding and releasing the dispenser lever (5 seconds on, 5 seconds off) until a total of 4 gallons has been dispensed. You might get a little spurting as the air clears out, so beware.

Can’t get to the store for a new filter? You can still remove and use the water dispenser in bypass mode. You just won’t have filtered water.