National Clean Out Your Fridge Day

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day - Friday, November 15, 2024

Activities Lifestyle

What is National Clean Out Your Fridge Day?

Excuse the pun, but the timing has never been riper to celebrate National Clean Out Your Fridge Day on November 15! This is the perfect opportunity to tackle that science experiment that’s been growing way in the back, there. Of course, ideally, we’d all clean out our fridges far more often than once a year, but let’s be real: Making it an annual occasion provides everyone with the reassurance that at least the horrendous situation with your roommate’s long-forgotten “homemade kombucha” will be rectified eventually, and marking it as a day on the national calendar gives you plenty of scope for getting passive aggressive in the preceding weeks.

History of National Clean Out Your Fridge Day

New technology means new problems. Ever since the first household refrigerator hit the market, consumers then became burdened with a new thing to deal with – cleaning it. 
From 1911 to 1922, the technological advances of home refrigerators and refrigeration technologies increased at the rate of speed rivaled only by smartphones. It wasn’t until 1927 when GE produced the “Monitor Top,” a reference to the ironclad Civil War-era ship, the USS Monitor. This model alone sold over one million units. 
It wasn’t until post-war America that separate freeze box units were created and used in addition to the typical refrigerator. And then, in the 1970s and 80s, further developments helped created a the combo model we usually see today. 
Regardless of what kind of refrigerator they had over the years, everyone had the task of needing to clean it out. Whether its the moldy oranges, the brown bananas, or that milk you forgot about, cleaning a refrigerator is something that American’s over the past century can relate to. 

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day timeline


First Freezer

The arrival of freezers large enough to make more than ice cubes revolutionized the frozen food industry


First Frigidaire

Founded by the folks who brought you General Motors, the brand became so popular that many Americans called any refrigerator by the name of the company


First Household Refrigerator

Produced by General Electric, the design was based on one by a French Cistercian monk and physics teacher, Marcel Audiffren, and primarily designed to help GE sell electricity


First Ice-Making Machine

And it only took about a hundred more years for the phrase “on the rocks” to be ascribed to Scotch by bar staff


Artificial Refrigeration Begins

Scottish professor William Cullen used a pump to create a partial vacuum in the world’s first refrigeration machine

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day FAQs

What day is National Clean Out Your Fridge Day?

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day is always on November 15. Always. You hear that, Todd, we’re looking at you!

How do I celebrate National Clean Out Your Fridge Day?

The best way to celebrate National Clean Out Your Fridge Day is to, well… clean out your fridge!

What should I clean out on National Clean Out Your Fridge Day?

The best thing to clean out on National Clean Out Your Fridge Day is whatever is the worst-smelling science experiment in there. 

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day Activities

  1. Give far too much heavy-handed and serious notice

    Nobody likes to check for their precious turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich at lunch time and find it’s been chucked out with the furry pasta that was last touched last month. The trick to this part of celebrating National Clean Out Your Fridge Day is to give a series of increasingly escalating pieces of overwrought and deadly serious-sounding notice. You might print out a picture of a nuclear mushroom cloud and fix it to the fridge, writing, “days to National Clean Out Your Fridge Day,” and count it down on a daily basis. Send an office-wide email, cc’ing your boss. Or if it’s your roomies, send a series of group texts over the days before you do it.

  2. Buy a hazmat suit

    There really is no way you can go too far with National Clean Out Your Fridge Day. Real hazmat suits cost hundreds of dollars, but you can buy a killer costume version for around $30. It’ll make for an excellent picture when you finally come to dispose of that…wait…what even is that, anyway? Tweet about it. Make it a big deal.

  3. Actually clean out the fridge

    The chances are, if you’ve made a big enough deal out of it, that you might even have roped in some help for cleaning out the fridge by the time the big day rolls around. Apparently cleaning your fridge requires things like “warm, soapy water” and “a sponge,” and unplugging it if you’re planning to have the door open for a while, so you don’t waste energy. But hopefully one of your friends or coworkers will be better with the details, after all, you’ve spent so much energy on the promotion. It’s only right to share the work.

Why We Love National Clean Out Your Fridge Day

  1. More of us than ever are sharing living spaces

    The number of adults sharing a household with a roommate has surged as rents have risen more quickly than incomes across America over recent years—25% of adults now share with a roommate. The fridge is a major source of roommate tension, and cleaning it out is great for your roommate relationships. It also is good for your health—by diffusing tension, it lowers stress.

  2. It’s a perfect way to be appreciated

    Nobody at the office likes to do this horrific chore, which means the person who does do it gets a medal, which could even mean a raise, which would be hugely disproportionate to the amount of effort it takes to hold your nose and do the dirty work. Remember: When there are dirty jobs to be done, there is money to be made!

  3. You didn’t run out of that after all

    When your fridge is cluttered, it's easy to forget you have a long-lasting sauce tucked away in the back there behind the stuff nobody wants to touch. So before you buy that second bottle of sriracha, check your own fridge! You'll save money, time, and get what basically amounts to free condiments. What's not to love about free condiments?

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