Go Beyond Baking Soda for a Cleaner Fridge

guy in gas mask cleaning refrigerator

“It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and I’m wearing Milk Bone shorts.” ~Kelly Allen

With all the hustle and bustle, our holidays were about as Zen as a common household refrigerator. (Is the light always on or is it just me? Similar to asking, “Am I conscious now?” or “Is my own inner mental light on or not?”)

When it comes to refrigerators, for the record, men eat far more fruits and vegetables if they’re stored on the same shelf as the beer…at Christmas time or otherwise. Similarly, storing fruits and vegetables at eye-level reminds everyone to mindfully eat them. But for some reason the crisper drawers are at the base of the fridge and we somehow always forget about the stuff we’ve stashed there. Cleaning out the crisper is a sad reminder of how good food turns into puddles of goo beneath other goodies — and unless you compost, that goo ain’t green!

Our new dog, a rescued 18 month-old Cairn terrier called Emerson (named after the author Ralph Waldo Emerson or the 80s band Emerson, Lake & Palmer — your choice) is always sitting at the base of our opened refrigerator right in front of the crisper drawer. I’m convinced that lato was right when he joked, “Your dog is a true philosopher.” That being said, Emerson’s either contemplating his own mental light, wondering how he might joyfully clean the slimy mess that’s growing in our over-crowed crisper or — most probably – coveting the entire mess.

So if your refrigerator is a disaster hung over from this holiday season, remember that many people still swear by baking soda to keep it smelling fresh. Just tear the top off a new box and let it do its thing. After a month, if you can find it among everything else you forgot was in there, replace the old baking soda with a fresh one and use the old box in a cleaning project so that nothing goes to waste (e.g. just pour it down the kitchen drain to freshen the pipes or add some white vinegar to unclog them).

If you want to follow the most recent advice from some scientists who have looked at the issue, go for something even more powerful than baking soda, such as activated charcoal, which is more absorptive.

To remove that inevitable puddle of holiday goo, your crisper drawer will shine like new when cleaned with borax. Apply to a soft cloth or a dampened sponge and use as you would any commercial kitchen cleanser. Once cleaned, rinse with clean water.

So whether your inner mental light is on or not, think like a dog and get rid of that post-holiday mess! And because we just celebrated Emerson’s first Christmas with my partner Richard and me, to him I dedicate this ditty:

“Oh Crisper Drawer”

(Sung to the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree”)

O Crisper Drawer, O Crisper Drawer,

Your contents seem delightful.

O Crisper Drawer, O Crisper Drawer,

I’m just a dog; not spiteful.

The meats and cheeses make me sad.

I don’t have fingers only pads.

But when the fridge is firmly closed,

Without some help it’s only nosed.

O Crisper Drawer, O Crisper Drawer,

The compact bulb shines brightly.

O Crisper Drawer, O Crisper Drawer,

The salsa lid’s on tightly.

I could be cheerful, gay and bright,

There’s only splendor in the sight,

Of t-bone steaks upon the floor.

For Christmas dogs think more is more.

O Crisper Drawer, O Crisper Drawer,

Much pleasure you can give me.

O Crisper Drawer, O Crisper Drawer,

My endless barking is my plea.

The hidden pleasures that wait for dogs,

Olives, pickles and eggnogs.

Afforded me my greatest glee,

Replace my food with softened Brie.

O Crisper Drawer, O Crisper Drawer,

How richly God has filled you.

O Crisper Drawer, O Crisper Drawer,

I have this aching bugaboo.

It’s DNA that draws me there,

And fuels my sickened food affair.

I might be healed before next year.

But this Noel feed me brats and beer.

P.S. While we don’t encourage rash pet-purchasing for the holidays, we highly encourage and applaud all of the (mostly) volunteer rescue networks that each canine breed seems to have developed. These tireless rescuers, vets, foster-parents, nursemaids, interviewers, etc., have devoted a great deal of their lives to saving abused and abandoned dogs. Cairns being our favorite breed (ala Toto), we hope you’ll visit Col. Potter’s Cairn Rescue Network, and even if you don’t adopt, you can at least ooh and ahh at all the cuteness.

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