The refrigerator is the one appliance you'll be hard-pressed to find a house without.
But have you ever noticed how incredibly gross the fridge can get? Especially for an appliance where we store food? You know, the stuff we put INTO our bodies?
We're looking past the expired food to the fridge itself. Here's what you need to clean -- right now!
1. The Handle. In a study at the University of Virginia completed two years ago, the two germiest spots in the house were your remote control and the refrigerator door handle. Swabs of the door pull found cold germs at least 40 percent of the time. Get thee some disinfectant!
2. The Condenser Coil. Letting the dust build up on your refrigerator coils (usually below or behind the fridge) can make this appliance burn as much as 20 percent more energy in a year. Grab the vacuum, and your wallet will thank you.
3. The Shelves. When you place your gallon of milk and your dozen eggs in the fridge, you're also transferring germs from your grocery store directly into your home. This is especially disgusting if you tend to throw something on the shelf for a quick cool then remove it to eat without a rinse.
4. The Door Seal. A study out of the University of Arizona found the seal tested positive for mold 83 percent of the time. All it takes is opening the door to spread mold spores.
5. The Rear. If your condenser coils aren't behind the fridge, you still need to pull that baby out and get to work on the mountains of dust, which are drawn in by the fans and are now riling up your allergies. If you have pets, expect to find enough fur to make a new dog or cat back there.
When's the last time you did a hardcore fridge cleaning?
Image via Alex@Garcia_in_Paris/Flickr