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Thinking of doing some spring cleaning? Don’t forget about the kitchen! In honour of Earth Day, we’ve prepared an eco-friendly guide to help you clean and polish your kitchen—from the refrigerator to the pantry, and everything in between.

Tips for cleaning your fridge and pantry

Cleaning your fridge

To clean your fridge, we recommend emptying it completely and placing your food items in a cooler.

Avoid all-purpose cleaners—they’re often harmful both to your health and to the planet. Some good old-fashioned recipes will do the trick just fine!

Cleaning your pantry

Sort through the products in your pantry and toss any that have expired; canned tuna doesn’t last forever!

Take advantage of the occasion to categorize your items. Reserve one shelf for starches, such as rice and pasta, or categorize shelves by theme, such as snacks for example.

Is your pantry bursting at the seams? Transfer items that are packaged in cardboard boxes or plastic bags—think rice, lentils, oats, and couscous—into clear glass containers. If you have lots of different containers, label them for easier identification. It’s a great way to quickly find exactly what you’re looking for and makes taking stock of your inventory a lot easier (and prevents you from buying a third container of breadcrumbs!).

Spice drawer

Now’s the ideal time to organize your spice drawer! Categorize your spices in alphabetical order or by cuisine type. For example, group together all the spices you use to make curry and all the spices you use to make Mexican recipes.

Dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, have a maximum shelf life of three years.

Ground or powdered spices usually keep for two to three years. Whole spices keep much longer, as their surface area isn’t exposed to air, light, or humidity. If properly stored, they keep for up to four years.

That being said, you can still consume spices that are past their prime. The only thing is that they might be less flavourful.

Zero-waste tips

Certain food items, such as white flour, can be kept for at least a year in optimal conditions. To keep such items fresher longer, transfer them to airtight containers and store in a cool, dry place. A great tip is to indicate the purchase date directly on the container.

Feel like your potatoes always sprout in record time? Keep them away from onions—the two don’t fare well when stored side by side.

Opened a canned item but didn’t use it all? Freeze the leftovers for a later use!

Clean your home without hurting the planet!

Opt for a greener cleaning routine by replacing your store-bought products with natural ones.

Lemon

This citrus isn’t just great in recipes—it’s also great for making your microwave shine! Simply squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl filled with three cups of water, place the bowl in the microwave and heat for a few minutes. The steam will make it easier to scrape caked on food and dirt off the sides of the microwave and the lovely lemon scent will fill your kitchen with a burst of freshness!

Baking soda

This super-versatile ingredient is a great weapon against odours and dirt! To clean your fridge, make a paste with equal parts water and baking soda . . . then start scrubbing!

White vinegar

Thanks to its high acidic levels, vinegar is great for polishing your stovetop, sink, and kitchen counter. Simply mix half a cup of white vinegar and two litres of hot water, then use a sponge or rag to scrub those kitchen surfaces clean!

Does the thought of cleaning your kitchen give you a headache? Take it one step at a time and break it down by area—do the appliances one day, the pantry another, etc. Thanks to these tips and tricks, spring cleaning will be easy, breezy, and fun!