This morning I had the honour of appearing on The Today Show, speaking on a very unpleasant topic: trying to recover and repair flood damaged furniture. Many homes and offices around Queensland are now facing this very dilemma – do I throw it out or can it be salvaged?
I demonstrated cleaning and safety techniques on a particularly funky fridge – and I don’t mean it was cute or trendy. It was probably one of the most unpleasant tasks I have ever had to do – and I had to do it on live morning television!
Here are some tips I recommended on the show if you are thinking of reclaiming your refrigerator from being thrown out onto the street.
- Do not attempt to turn on the fridge unless thoroughly inspected by an electrician or fridge mechanic first. They will check all wiring, compressors and gas levels.
- Look after your health – make sure you are kitted up with gloves, long sleeve clothes, face masks, covered shoes and even goggles – bacteria can get you from many angles!
- Have plenty of garbage bags ready for any food that was left in the fridge – you will want it disposed of very quickly and effectively as the stench is very nasty.
- Exterior: Wash the mud off the outside of the refrigerator, paying particular attention to the seals around the door (use a toothbrush) with warm, soapy water; rinse and wipe dry.
- Scuffs and stains can be removed by rubbing with non-abrasive tooth-paste, grease spills will come off with a little lemon juice and water.
- Interior: Remove all removable parts and wash these in hot soapy water (dishwashing detergent is fine but make sure antibacterial for germs in the mud).
- Rinse in warm water and let dry (air drying is best).
- Using a soft sponge, wipe down all surfaces with a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar (this helps with smell). Or use commercial cleaning product recommended for food storage use.
- Again, pay particular attention to door seals, the door racks and other compartments where bacteria could be hiding.
- Rinse with a sponge or dishcloth and clean warm water.
- Dry all surfaces with a clean towel or cloth.
- Use vanilla essence on a soft cloth to wipe out fridge when dry to help with odours and store an open packet of bicarbonate soda for continued odour control.
- Fill up the fridge once again with fresh tasty food!