Refrigerator Cleaning: Common Myths Debunked

You may have encountered some advice about your refrigerator that you believed to be true. Unfortunately, some pieces of advice are conflicting, and others are based on misconceptions and disinformation.

You’ve heard the myths before: using baking soda to deodorize your fridge, the need to cool down hot food before storing – these are common refrigerator cleaning myths that don’t hold up to cold hard facts.

As your cleaning partner, Effly is here to debunk some common refrigerator-related myths and set the record straight.

Refrigerator Cleaning

5 Refrigerator Myths Debunked

  • The fridge dial

Myth: The dial found inside your refrigerator tells you the exact temperature in your refrigerator

Truth: The dial inside your fridge does not tell you the precise temperature. There are a few factors that affect the internal temperature of your fridge. You need a refrigerator thermometer to measure the temperature accurately.

Ideally, the temperature should be between 3 to 4°C. Anything above this range will nurture the growth of bacteria that will affect the food inside.

  • Thawing on the countertop

Myth: It is best to leave your frozen goods on the countertop and wait for them to thaw.

Truth: If you leave your frozen goods on the countertop to defrost them quickly, you invite bacteria to the table. Instead, it is advisable to thaw the frozen food in the refrigerator. Then, move the food from the freezer to the main fridge, or use a microwave.

Reminder: use the food as soon as it is thawed.

  • Storing hot food

Myth: Let hot food cool down before storing them in the fridge.

Truth: This misconception leads to more bacteria thriving on the food and the faster it is to spoil. Instead of leaving the food in the open, transfer the leftovers into containers and place them in the fridge. The same is true if the food is newly cooked; have it sit in the container for at least two hours before storing it.

  • Baking soda to deodorize your fridgeBaking soda to deodorize your fridge

Myth: Baking soda removes any unpleasant smell from your refrigerator.

Truth: Activated charcoal works better than baking soda. Although the latter may still be used to absorb smelly odors to some extent, the former does a better job. In addition, because activated charcoals have millions of micro pockets and pores, they can catch smells and lock them in due to their huge surface area.

  • The lifetime of leftover food

Myth: Your leftovers can be preserved for a week or more.

Truth: The maximum time for storing most leftovers is less than a week. If you have no recollection of the date you stored your takeaway, it’s best to throw it away. If you think that food that does not smell sour or spoiled is still good for consumption, think again. Remember that some bacteria could still thrive in cold temperatures and grow in your food, causing illness.

  • Power is out

Myth: As long as you do not open the fridge or freezer when the power goes out, the food and other items inside your refrigerator are safe from spoilage.

Truth: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are certain precautionary methods that you should take to guarantee food safety during a blackout. Refrigerated or frozen food may no longer be safe after a power outage.

Keeping the refrigerator doors closed may help. However, it can only sustain food in your fridge for 4 hours, 48 hours in a full freezer, and 24 hours in a half-full freezer. Therefore, if you have a cooler and ice available and a power outage lasts more than 4 hours, it is recommended that you transfer perishable goods to the cooler.

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