The list of things to do is almost completely checked, a clear sign that the errands and duties that we have to do before we can leave for the longed-for holidays have been completed.

But it’s not over yet, because before closing the door with a double turn and leaving us work, school and routine behind us, something is still missing: cleaning the fridge and freezer!

If ours is an old model refrigerator, it will be absolutely essential to defrost it. For this operation, in addition to a lot of patience, you need: towels, spatula to break up the ice and unfortunately quite some elbow grease. But remember to always switch off the power and avoid using the hair dryer, as you used to do: when you defrost this appliance you are still in contact with water and therefore can be dangerous. Prudence is never too much.

The first operation to do, when the fridge is a recent purchase, is that of emptying. If you intend to take time off for quite a long time, it is a good idea to completely empty the fridge and freezer and also unplug the power cord. If, on the other hand, the holiday is relatively short, we can avoid turning off the power but it is necessary to avoid keeping perishable food. In this case, the freezer can be left as it is, while in the fridge only products that have not expired can be left in sealed packages, such as preserves, jams, closed drinks, wine, beer. For everything else, it would be ideal to hand over to friends and relatives instead of throwing them away. We avoid waste.

The magic word is: cleaning! Thus, the second operation, after emptying, is cleaning to avoid going home and finding ourselves invaded by unpleasant smells. To clean the refrigerator you can buy special products in spray, which are very comfortable, but full of chemicals. If we like the idea of ​​using natural products, we focus on products such as baking soda, lemon and white vinegar. With the baking soda a kind of pasta is prepared, obtained by mixing it with hot water, to pass with the sponge everywhere. With the vinegar go through all the compartments to eliminate the risk of unpleasant odours. Just pour a little on a rag and pass it carefully. The lemon can be mixed with baking soda. The smart advice? To enhance the deodorant action we can place a tray containing vinegar or ground coffee on the shelves, because both absorb odours. Effective and economical.

Prudence yes, but… if we have decided to leave the fridge in operation during our absence because the holidays will be brief anyway, we should not forget that there could be blackouts or power failures. A good rule is to leave a copy of the house keys to a trusted person and to verify that the neighbours or the condominium administrator have our phone number or a contact to whom to refer. If we want to protect ourselves beyond all limits, we use the old, very absorbent towel trick (for example, a beach towel) under the refrigerator and along the edge: in case of emergency, it will absorb part of the water avoiding flooding our home and … that of neighbours!