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Cleaning out the Fridge… a 20-minute task?

March 30, 2011

Let me get one thing straight before I begin: I love the magazine Real Simple. I heart that dang mag. It’s a beautiful creation that arrives in my mailbox each month (thanks, Mama Stu, Momma and Misty for getting me many years of the subscription).

I take what Real Simple instructs to heart. If they say you can use earrings for corkboard tacks, I believe them and then I find my old earrings and dress up a pin-up board. And it looks beautiful.

So, when the magazine in this month’s “Spring Cleaning” issue told me I could speed-clean the refrigerator in 20 minutes, I thought, “Heck yeah I can!”

They lie!

Here’s where they take you…
Minutes 1 to 2: Unplug the refrigerator. Slide a coil brush underneath the unit’s kick plate (the rectangular panel just above the floor) to remove dust.
Ok, I can’t even reach the plug and didn’t even think about using a brush to clean under the kick plate. +2 for Kate
Minutes 3 to 7: Empty the contents. Toss anything past its prime into a trash bag. Recycle glass and plastic containers.
It only took RS 4 minutes to do this!?! I don’t think so. They don’t have very old Tupperware of spaghetti sauce or expired salad dressing. Unless I’m a single lady, I can’t imagine it only taking 4 minutes to get all things out, including door items, which can be a pickle if you love… pickles. -6 for Kate
Minutes 8 to 10: Remove the drawers and place them in the sink. Scrub the drawers with a sponge, warm water, and liquid dish soap. Leave them out to air-dry.
This is the most absurd section of the whole article. First of all, why would you not take out the shelves? They are the worst part. Unless you have wire shelves, it would take a normal person almost 20 minutes to do what Real Simple would say takes two. No way, Jose. At this point, I was past the 20 minutes that it promised, so I decided to actually work at getting that spilled Mr. Pibb stain out of the shelf, rather than just wipe it down. Thankfully, there was a very interesting interview on the radio with Lyle Lovett. -26 for Kate
Minutes 11 to 15: Douse the interior with a multisurface spray. Wipe down the walls, then each shelf. (Don’t forget the shelf seams and the rubber door seal.) Use an old toothbrush and a spritz of cleaner to dislodge grime from crevices.
Five minutes for this is a bit stretching it. Those bread crumbs are not from sliders. They are rock solid between those shelves, and a few measly minutes just didn’t cut it. -5 for Kate
Minutes 16 to 17: Plug in the refrigerator. Return the drawers. Put the food back in, wiping down jars and bottles.
I am dumbfounded that this takes 2 minutes. Seriously? Unless you had everything right next to you, this is not a small job. Plus, what a perfect opportunity to reorganize your refrigerator door shelves into sweets, condiments and pickles! -9 for Kate
Minute 18: Attach the baking-soda pod’s suction cups to an interior wall.
Ha! I didn’t buy one of these! +1 for Kate
Minutes 19 to 20: Clean the exterior.
As most folks over 5’11” can attest, the top of my refrigerator was disgusting. Thankfully, I’m 5’9″ or that situation would have been remedied a long time ago. Otherwise, it took more than 2 minutes to clean the exterior. -7 for Kate
As you can see, I at least followed (some) instructions. I appreciate Real Simple empowering me to clean my refrigerator efficiently… I might not have done it. But, they may be stretching it. I challenge you to disagree with me! In all seriousness, though, this was the best project I did all weekend.
One Comment leave one →
  1. Kim permalink
    March 30, 2011 9:24 pm

    You should seriously consider submitting this to Real Simple to print. :)

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