Non-abrasive toothpaste helps to cleanse and brighten refrigerators without the scratching properties of most household cleansers. Apply liberally with a sponge or rag and scrub until stains disappear. Rinse with a clean rag and warm water.
Heat a small bowl of vinegar on the stove top or in the microwave and place inside refrigerator for five minutes. The steam and acid will loosen stuck-on foods and allow you to more easily remove them. (You can cut a lemon in half, add to 1 cup water, and heat, as well.)
Baking soda has been an odor cure-all for centuries. To rid your fridge of offensive odors, add a cup of baking soda to a bowl or plate and place inside refrigerator for 24-hours. Remove and properly dispose of baking soda when done. You can also add an entire box of baking soda to the back of refrigerator to help cut down on odor contamination and keep your refrigerator smelling fresh year round.
Activated charcoal is another great odor absorber--and one of the most effective! Place a dish or bowl of charcoal inside the refrigerator , and allow it to soak up odors for several hours to a few days. Charcoal works well on sour odors. Remove dish when finished and dispose of charcoal.
Fill a plate with freshly ground coffee and place on an empty shelf inside the refrigerator to remove offensive odors. Leave plate in place for several days. This works well on strong odors.
Once a week or immediately before going grocery shopping, take inventory of the contents of your refrigerator. Remove outdated foods promptly.
Always store leftovers, opened packages of meats and cheeses, perishable items, and strong foods in separate airtight containers. Foods which remain uncovered absorb odors from other foods and also contaminate other items, like fruits and vegetables.
WASH THE MEAT DRAWER
The meat drawer is the coldest part of your refrigerator and the most ideal place to store and thaw meats. Always use the drawer to avoid cross contamination of bacteria and foodborne illness. Also, clean the drawer when necessary. When meat juices have spilled over into the drawer, remove drawer and wash thoroughly with hot water and dish soap.
CLEAN UP IMMEDIATELY
Clean spills up immediately! Use hot water and dish soap to wipe spilled food items from drawers, racks, and refrigerator walls and shelves. Uncleaned surfaces lead to bacteria, mold, mildew, odor, and possible food borne illness.