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Over time, deserted left-overs can become disgusting, unrecognizable and downright unhealthy. And I'm speaking from experience here. It's no wonder no one wants to clean out the refrigerator.

But that's what happens when routine cleaning is not done. My once consistent routine went out the window awhile ago and was replaced with an emergency cleaning strategy, to which I' m sure many can relate to.  When you find yourself warning the family what NOT to eat from the refrigerator or tagging with a 'don't eat' post-it, a cleaning is definitely overdue.

Refrigerator cleaning is certainly not anyone's idea of a fun time and volunteers aren't exactly running to the front lines either, but it's a chore that shouldn't be put off until the hazard team has to be called in. But what signals a refrigerator cleaning? Odors, unrecognizable items or does lack of space prompt a sorting, discarding and reorganizing? And if you can't remember when you ate that main course, your left-overs have crossed the line.

But are refrigerator cleaning and capacity related? How often do you clean your refrigerator and would a larger model alter your cleaning schedule? I've thought of increasing capacity, would that just allow more left-overs to be stored, delaying the cleaning? Learn more about the importance of refrigerator cleaning and share your thoughts with readers in Refrigerator Cleaning & Capacity.

If your fridge is more than 10 to 15 years old, you may want to consider an upgrade to save on energy. Sometimes a refrigerator can show visible signs of inefficiency, such as icicles in the freezer, produce that freezes, or mold on the rubber gasket. That definitely signals you need to upgrade and you'll quickly get your money back in way of energy savings.

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