Before the invention of refrigerator, there were other methods of storing and preserving of food items,such methods includes;smoking, burying in the ground, curing, canning, sealing, dry salting and pickling. Most of these methods where not reliable as they could not preserve fresh food longer, but thank God we dont need to go through such stressful methods anymore as our refrigerators are useful to keep food at the proper temperature. Our food items need proper maintenance to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microbes that get foods spoil and in turn poison man.
The fridge is what helps us to keep these foods longer and fresher without the foods getting rotten. The fridge is not just a cupboard for locking food in but an important device that helps to keep our foods safe and secured .This device needs proper care and maintenance to enable it last longer and serve it purpose, it should be regularly service just the way we do to our auto-mobiles and other appliances.
Refrigerator is one of the most useful and needed appliances with different compartment in our homes for keeping foods and drinks cool. It is used for storing of vegetables, fruits and life vaccines and also helps one to keep foods fresh over a longer time pending when one will use them. It has a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump and other useful parts attached to it.
Table of Contents
Uses of a refrigerator
- It is used for freezing of perishable goods
- It is used to keep water and drinks cold
- It helps to keep food longer and fresh
- Fridge helps to turn water into ice block
- It helps to preserve vaccines life
Different compartments of a refrigerator
A refrigerator contains the following parts:
1. The heat pump– helps to carry heat from the internal environment to the external environment to enable the inside of the fridge to be cold to the ambient temperature of the room.
2. The freezer or the Evaporator– this is a device inside the refrigerator in form of aluminium or copper coils, it collects the heat from the substance in the fridge to enable them get chill and also regulates a temperature below the freezing point of water.
3. A condenser– its a device or thin radiator that expels unwanted heat absorbed from the substance at a low temperature to the atmosphere.
4. A coolant or a refrigerant– this is a chemical that circulates the pipe to exchange between a cool liquid and a hot gas.
5. Thermo-fuse this device is directly on the evaporator refrigerator.
6. Fridge timer– is next to the compressor or bottom of the fridge door.
7. Expansion valve– this device enables the gas passing through it to cool dramatically.
8. The compressor- is often refers to as the heart of the fridge, it has ability to transmit heat from low temperature space to high temperature.
Steps on how to clean a refrigerator
Since a refrigerator is a reservoir for storing basically cooked and raw foods like meat, milk, cabbages, carrots, soup, stew, oranges ,eggs, butter, ketchup, and even drinks, etc. These foods often get frosty or decayed after staying for so long, sometimes they even get spilled when putting or removing them from the refrigerator. However, bacteria love to take advantage of such spillages which can in turn pose a serious problem on ones health. Since the foods are eaten by man, the refrigerator needs to be kept clean and tidy at all time by following these easy steps.
- First and foremost, remember to off your fridge from the socket to avoid electric shock
- Remove all food items and drop them on the counter. This makes it easier to see through every corner of the fridge when it is empty and also know that those foods items would begin to dissolve the liquids in them before you finish cleaning the fridge except you are fast enough; you can keep them in the sink where the water can drain.
3. Remove every food rackor shelveaway from the fridge to enable you clean every corners of the fridge properly without obstructions.
4. Get a bowl of warm water mixed with a dish washing liquid soap and soak a hand towel in the water.
5. Start by cleaning every corner of the refrigerator from up to down and from shelving spaces to the outside and never use strong chemicals like bleach or detergent to clean your refrigerator as this can ruin the integrity of your fridge and it is dangerous if in contact with food items.
6. Pull the refrigerator forward if necessary to locate the coils, using a coil brush or broom, carefully clean up the excess dust and cobwebs from the coils.
7. The fan blades is what circulates excess heat, if it is blocked, the coils wouldnt release heat as it suppose. Use a damp towel to remove dust and dirt from the fan blade before shifting it back to it main position.
8. Used baking soda to remove stubborn stains and build-ups and also to absorb unwanted smell from the refrigerator. Use apple cider vinegar to remove stains like rust and dried spillage from the stainless steel surfaces.
9. Throw the water away and add clean water into the bowl without soap this time around, mop inside out of the refrigerator with damp towel.
10. Before bringing back the foods items, wash all the removable shelve or racks that were removed from the fridge with a sponge, wipe off excess water from them and put them back in their right positions.
11. Check for rotten food items, expiry dates and throw them into the trash bin, wipe off jars, bottles plates with the towel before reintroducing them into the refrigerator.
12. Instead of using polythene bags to store items with dripping substances or liquid, you can use plastic bowls with tight lids to store them before bringing them into the fridge.
13. Mop the surrounding areas and plug the refrigerator into the electric power and switch it on.
How to maintain a good odour in a refrigerator
- Always remove decayed food items as soon as it is noticed- this will help the refrigerator not to get contaminated with bad smell
- Clean up every spillage such as blood from meat, palm oil from soups, vegetable oil from sauces, butter, or milk spilt as these will form a build-up in the refrigerator if left for a long time.
- Vegetables when brought from the farm or market usually come with a lot of dirt, sand and debris, always remove this dirt and rinse your vegetables before putting them in the vegetable basket.
- To remove bad odour faster, dab a cotton wool into vanilla extract, lemon extract, tea tree oil or essence of lavender and drop in a bowl and keep inside the refrigerator.
- Charcoal helps to absorb odour for at least one to two months, get a charcoal and place it In a deep bowl and drop it under the fridge.
- Check for leakages. Make sure that no parts fall or crack as this will lead to leakage.
- Keep a small jar with an open lid, pour baking soda into it and allow it to sit in the fridge, this helps to eliminate excess odour.
- You may use foil paper on the shelves in the fridge, this prevents shelves from getting soiled or rusted. You can pull them out once they are dirty or stained and replace with another one.
- Your refrigerator should be set at an appropriate temperature.
How to organize items in the refrigerator
A well organised refrigerator helps one to find items easily without waste of time
- Items like soups, stew, and sauces should be kept in plates with tight lids and placed in one section of the deep freezer, it make it accessible when needed.
- Putting eggs and milk in the door will help to decrease their shelf life because the door helps to keep the temperature.
- If using a long standing fridge, Putting items like, snacks, milk, juices, soft drinks, butter and mayonnaise at one side of the door is best as the door helps to maintain its temperature a little better.
- Meat and fish should be in one place if possible at the bottom of the freezer if using a deep freezer while the veggies should be in the baskets.
- Vegetables and fruits should never be kept close to the freezer as they will soak water and breakdown. Vegetable and fruits retain their essence and freshness at a lower temperature. Always put them below in the shelves or in the fruit racks.
- It is not a good idea to stack things like bottle, glasses, plates and bread on top of the fridge. You can keep things like paper towels and cook books here.
How to keep cockroaches away from your refrigerator
Insects like ants, spiders and cockroaches usually fine it interesting to hide in the cracks or in the broken corners of the fridge. These are certain things you have to do to keep them away from your refrigerator.
Am not sure if there is any house that has no cockroaches no matter how clean a house may be, these insects will always find their way into the cracks and corners of the house.
It is a common thing to see cockroaches flying around your kitchen and fridge corners which can be very irritating and harmful. Since they can spray microorganisms everywhere in your home, it is not wise allowing them to be there for long.
- Always wipe every food jar before putting them into the fridge as this will prevent the cockroaches from coming to suck from the food remains.
- Cockroaches are usually attracted to places that are moist, humid, and dark. Clean both in and out of the refrigerator monthly. This would prevent the cockroaches since they are easily attracted by bad odour and food residue.
- Keep foods items like dry fish, crayfish, local spices, flour cereals, and pasta in covered containers because they attract cockroaches.
- Try to empty your trash bin every night and always disinfect the trash bin from to time to time and close the lid properly.
- Always wash dirty dishes from the sink before going to bed and make sure your sink is clean. Never leave food crumbs on the counter and seal all the leakages and holes around the house, pipes, bathrooms, fridge and the kitchen sink to prevent cockroaches laying their eggs in such corners.
- Sweep and mop your entire house regularly. Take out food storage and empty cupboards outside and clean them properly before bringing them back. Make sure the, counter, stove top and the oven are wiped after usage.
- Mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda and drop or sprinkle under the fridge because the sugar attracts them while the baking powder kills them.
- Use store- bought traps as this will attract cockroaches. Place the traps where they usually hide.
- Cockroaches gain entrance to the fridge when there is a gap between the fridge door and the base. Replace the foam that seals the base and the door if it is weak.
- Old foods should be removed to avoid cockroaches and ants gaining entrance to the fridge.
- Get some grinded coffee and fill glass jars with water, measure the coffee inside the jars and place the jars where the cockroaches normally hide.
- Get some white camphor balls or insect powder, drop as many as you can in the surroundings and under the exterior and never inside of the fridge. The smell will drive the cockroaches and ants away and never allow grains of sugar and milk to stay in the fridge for long as this will invite ants.
Simple DIY to carry out on your refrigerator
- Check the door seal. If the door seal is loosed, it allows the fridge to work harder than expected. Always place your fridge on a levelled floor to enable the door to close properly.
- Empty ice bins at least monthly to prevent odour and solid blocks in the bottom of the bins.
- Clean the coils and fan. When the coils are covered with dust and pet hair, they stress the compressor and waste energy. Use a brush attachment or damp cloth to gently to clean the dust off.
- Set the fridge at the right temperature between 37- 40oC Fahrenheit and the freezer at 0oC.
- Never jam pack your refrigerator such that there isnt any air flow around the fridge, this can slow down the cooling efficiency.
Dr. Brown is the founder of Jotscroll, he is a Medical Doctor, Entrepreneur, and author. Dr. Razi Brown holds a medical degree from the University of San Diego. He has invested in many startups and is currently working on his fifth book to be published in the upcoming year.