The refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in the house. It is in fact essential for storing food for a long time. Often, however, it is used poorly, putting everything inside a bit as it comes, without paying attention to the right locations, or filling it too much. It is also important to clean it periodically and take care of its maintenance to obtain maximum performance from our appliance.

How to use refrigerator

So let’s find out what are the tricks to make the best use of the refrigerator. The right temperature, what to store and for how long, how to place the food and other tips that will also allow us to save on the consumption of the appliance, as well as avoid unnecessary waste.

How to use refrigerator

Most people don’t know how to use their refrigerator properly, which can lead to wasted energy and food spoilage. Did you know that the average family wastes over $600 a year on food that goes bad? That’s because most people don’t know how to use their fridge correctly.

The refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in any home. It is used to store food and drinks, and it keeps them cold or frozen. Knowing how to use your refrigerator properly can help you save money on your energy bill and keep your food fresh. Here are some tips on how to use your fridge correctly.

Periodic cleaning and maintenance

For the refrigerator to function at its best, it is important to carry out periodic cleaning, as well as basic maintenance. Clean the fridge with water and baking soda or water and vinegar, to eliminate bad smells, also thoroughly cleaning all the shelves and drawers where the fruit is usually contained.

Clean it at least a couple of times a year, and do the same with the freezer which must be cleaned and defrosted periodically following the instructions in the manual to do everything correctly. Never use pointed objects to remove the ice as they could damage the appliance and compromise its proper functioning.

Check the temperature and place each food on the right shelf

The fridge has an ideal temperature ranging from 4-degree Celsius to 6-degree Celsius, while that of the freezer must be between -15-degree Celsius and -18-degree Celsius. Then remember that each area of ​​the fridge has different temperatures, so it is important to know where to place the different foods.

In the door are stored cheeses, butter and drinks; on the upper shelves you can arrange eggs, dairy products, cold cuts, sweets, leftover foods and open condiments, where the temperature is around 5-degree Celsius.

On the low shelves  put meat and fish, in that area the temperature is in fact lower, close to 0-degree Celsius. In the drawers instead, fruit and vegetables will be placed at a temperature of 2-degree Celsius. Always remember to keep food in airtight containers or covered with cling film to avoid contamination and the passage of odors between different foods. Our blog on how to adjust refrigerator temperature control will tell you everything you need to know about temperature control.

What to keep and what not to keep in the fridge

Not all food items should be kept in the fridge. Do you know which ones to put and which ones to not? The foods to keep in the fridge are: eggs, milk, jam, open sauces, vegetables and almost all fruit, as well as leftover food and raw meat and fish.

Then there are foods that must be stored at room temperature  such as mozzarella, unripe tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, courgettes, as well as potatoes, garlic, onion and oil. The latter must be stored in dry and dark places, so like coffee, which must be kept in an airtight container.

Other foods to store at room temperature include honey, basil, avocados, and bananas, especially when they aren’t ripe yet. Mustard and ketchup can also be stored out of the fridge, unlike what you think.

Do not keep food in the fridge longer than necessary and meet the shelf life guideline

Once the food has been placed in the fridge, do not keep it more than necessary. Milk, for example, once opened, must be consumed within 2 days. Aged cheese can be stored for up to a week wrapped in cling film. Fruits must be placed in transparent bags. Salad can be kept for no more than 3 days, meat and ham should be kept in the fridge for a maximum of 2 days, while fish only 1 day.

Also pay attention to the expiration dates. Place the products that do not have a short shelf life further back, arranging those to be consumed earlier, with the expiry date in sight, or those already open, so as not to throw away the food, or at least try.

Then remember the difference between “consume by” and “consume preferably by”. In the first case it is necessary to respect the expiry date indicated on the product. However, in the second case the foods can be consumed even a few days after the expiry date , as they still maintain their organoleptic properties intact.

Follow simple rules for proper food storage

There are some simple rules to follow to preserve food in the right way. Only cold foods should be placed in the fridge. If you have to keep a freshly prepared food, let it cool first and then place it in the fridge well covered. It is also important not to overfill the fridge. Placing too many things next to each other does not allow the correct air circulation. 

Do not open the door often as each opening lets hot air into the fridge, forcing the appliance to work excessively. Open it as little as possible and for a short time. Always place food in closed containers and get rid of the outer wrappers after purchase. Also remember not to place the best 5 star refrigerator in India too close to the wall and never keep it outdoors or in unprotected spaces, as it can be dangerous to leave it out in the elements. This article on what food items do you preserve in a refrigerator will shed some light on the principles of food preservation.

Do and don’ts in using a refrigerator

  • The containers in which the food is stored must always be kept detached from the back wall of the fridge, since it is a cold and humid area where water condenses.
  • Be very careful not to fill every space in the refrigerator: it is necessary for the air to circulate without any obstacles to ensure an adequate temperature in every point.
  • Cooked foods should never be placed in the refrigerator while still hot or too hot, as they would contribute to raising the temperature inside the best frost free refrigerator in India.
  • Keep raw foods separate from cooked ones.
  • Open cured meats and cheeses must be protected by foil sheets or plastic wrap. Aged cheeses, such as parmesan, can be stored in the fridge wrapped in bread bags.
  • Do not store food and drinks (soft drinks, tuna, etc.) in tin containers as, over time, they become substances that are harmful to health.
  • Close well or protect packages of milk, yogurt, creams, dairy products in general with plastic wrap or aluminum foil as these products can absorb refrigerator odors.
  • Vegetables and fruit must be cleaned roughly and kept dry (it is advisable to put a few sheets of absorbent paper on the bottom of the drawer).
  • Leftover food should be transferred to covered ceramic or glass containers. They should not be stored in pots.
  • Divide the large quantities into small portions that can be used for various meals, without having to defrost all the product (for example the meat sauce).
  • Label the packages with the name of the stored product and the date, so you can have control over the food and its duration in the fridge.
  • Pack the product appropriately – with foil or in aluminum trays, in plastic containers, in bags, etc.
  • Do not place foods to be frozen next to already frozen products.
  • Periodically defrost and wash the freezer, using warm water and baking soda.
  • Open the freezer door as little as possible.
  • After defrosting a product, cook it shortly, since the cold chain must not be interrupted, otherwise this would lead to a further loss of nutritional principles.
  • Never refreeze a thawed product.

Placing the refrigerator in the kitchen

The right positioning is important for the performance and good functioning of the appliance:

  • Choose a space in the kitchen that is ventilated, not humid and away from stoves, dishwashers and other heat sources such as sunlight.
  • Install the refrigerator on a flat and rigid floor (in case of a slope you can fix it by screwing or unscrewing the rear feet if necessary).
  • Make sure to respect a distance of at least 5 centimeters between the sides and adjacent furniture and about 10 centimeters between the top of the appliance and any overhead cabinets.
  • Do not lean it against the wall (leave 10 centimeters free and mount the special spacers often included in the installation kit ) and make sure that the rear ventilation grilles are not obstructed and full of dust, since the compressor and condenser emit heat and need a good air circulation to work without obstacles and reduce electricity consumption.

Refrigerator maintenance and care

Any appliance that runs 24/7 needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly, and your refrigerator is no exception. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that you can take to keep your fridge in tip-top shape.

  • First, make sure to clean the condenser coils on the back of the fridge at least once a year. Dust and dirt build up on the coils can cause the fridge to work harder than necessary, which can shorten its lifespan.
  • Second, keep the gasket around the door clean and free of debris. A dirty gasket can prevent the door from sealing properly, leading to excessive cool air loss and higher energy bills.
  • Finally, don’t forget to change the water filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions; a clogged filter can reduce water flow and ice production.

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your refrigerator runs efficiently for years to come.

Conclusion

The modern refrigerator is a complex appliance, and there are a few things to keep in mind when using one. First, be sure to properly clean and maintain your fridge, as this will help to keep it running smoothly. Second, know how to adjust the temperature settings, as this can help to prolong the life of your food. Finally, be sure to keep an eye on the expiration dates of your food, as eating expired items can lead to food poisoning. By following these simple tips, you can get the most out of your refrigerator and keep your food fresh and safe.