How to clean out disgusting leftover food containers from the fridge -or- Ridiculous Procrastination

What you will need:

  • disgusting leftover food containers from cleaning out the fridge
  • determination/bravery
  • sink/dishwasher and soap
  • garbage disposal/ trash can/compost bin

Helpful and recommended:

  • the ability to breathe through your mouth instead of your nose
  • rubber gloves and scrub brush
  • nice smelling candle
  • open windows/doors
  • baking soda and/or lemon peels

The Steps

1. Prep work: Learn how to waste food.

2. Clean out the refrigerator and put all of the disgusting containers on the counter by the sink.

The reusable containers are mostly in the back in this picture and hold old (some very very old) leftover food.

3. Plan to clean them out. Sometime soon. If you really like them to be extra mega-mold-disgusting, procrastinate:

  • Try to wait until both the sink and the dishwasher are empty on a trash collection day, during nap time for little ones, when you are well rested and the laundry is done.
  • Secretly hope that someone else will clean out the containers for you.
  • If you have understanding friends coming over, just leave the containers there.
  • If you are having a family birthday party for your son, put the containers in a trash bag and hide them on the back deck.

I am not kidding.

4. When you are finished procrastinating, (For example, when a new babysitter is coming over on a nice warm day and you are afraid she will find the trash bag of disgusting moldy food containers on the deck) get out your supplies and your determination.

It does not matter if your candle is from the wrong season, just use it!

Can you feel the determination and bravery represented here?

5. Work quickly!  Breathing through only your mouth(to avoid the dreaded odors entering your nose), dump/wash/scrape the stinky moldy food into the disposal/trash/compost container.

6. Wash the containers well with soap and water, and/or run through the dishwasher. (Maybe even twice if there is a lingering odor. It happens.)

7. Wash the sink well, clean the disposal with baking soda and/or put lemon peels down it. Take out the trash or compost container.

8. Continue nice smelling candle and open windows/doors until necessary.

9. You did it! Good for you! Don’t let this happen again! DO NOT repeat!


11 Comments on “How to clean out disgusting leftover food containers from the fridge -or- Ridiculous Procrastination”

  1. CleanupQueen says:

    My advice in order to avoid this happening….
    Store a box of baking soda in the back of the fridge.
    The day before you go shopping, completely empty the fridge, and clean properly.
    Make a list of what’s in there, to avoid unnecessary duplicate purchases.
    Think before you prepare too much food. (you know you will only end up throwing it all out as waste)
    Remember that there are people throughout the world who live on less than a meal a day.

    • Thanks CleanupQueen! We are getting there. We are actually pretty good at eating leftovers for lunches and sometimes dinner. The problem is when things get pushed to the back or are just hiding behind something else. So I think cleaning out the refrigerator once a week and taking inventory will be the key to solving a lot of this!

  2. Messy Wife says:

    I really like your picture of bravery.

    And I have to laugh at your #3, very me. Oh, can I add:
    – Ask yourself repeatedly, “should I just throw them away and pretend that I never had those containers?” And rotate these answers “But I need to use those containers””It would be expensive to buy them again””It is not good for the environment””I will wash them, it is not that hard”

    But most importantly: YES, YOU DID IT! Hooray for you!

  3. Abigail says:

    Ha! I love it!!!

  4. Yay for you! I’m so glad you tackled it.

    And now think how many containers are at your disposal (although you probably shouldn’t try to fill them all!).

    • Now I need to declutter and organize all of my containers!

      • WilliamB says:

        Have as few different shapes or types as you can manage, preferably rectilinear ones with lids that don’t stick out over the edge of the container. If different shapes can use the same lid, even better. I use Tellfresh from the Container Store bu – as with anything involving the Container Store – while it is a great solution, it’s likely not an inexpensive one.

        Good luck, I’m enjoying reading about your odyssey. What’s next?

        Hmmm, an idea occurs. If you liked being told what to work on next, how about asking your readership for direction?

  5. Kimberly says:

    You always make me laugh!
    (With you, of course….) 😉

  6. Farm Girl says:

    I’ve had practice breathing through my nose – when cleaning gutters in the barn. It clears nasal passages very well. Kudos for your bravery in sharing your journey. I’m off to check the back of my ice box (olde time name for refrigerator)for anything with fuzz.

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