Plastic shelves and drawers inside the fridge are essential for organizing and storing food and drinks. However, with use and over time, it’s common for these accessories to deteriorate and crack. Fortunately, there are some simple tips to prevent deterioration and prolong the life of plastic shelves and drawers in the fridge.
Common Causes of Plastic Deterioration in the Fridge
There are several factors that can cause the deterioration of plastic in the fridge:
- Extreme Temperatures: Sudden temperature changes inside the fridge can cause the plastic to expand and contract repeatedly, weakening its structure over time.
- Exposure to Acidic Foods: Foods like citrus, vinegar, and tomatoes contain acids that can react with plastic and weaken it.
- Spills and Stains: Spills, especially those containing sugar or fat, can leave sticky residues that weaken the plastic over time.
- Use of Abrasive Chemicals: Such as bleach, ammonia, or abrasive sponges can scratch and damage the plastic surface.
Tips to Prevent Deterioration
By following these simple tips, you can avoid premature deterioration of the plastic shelves and drawers in your fridge:
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Clean spills as soon as they happen to prevent residues from sticking.
- Use a soft cloth dampened with warm water to clean the shelves and drawers. Avoid abrasive products.
- Dry the shelves and drawers well after cleaning to prevent moisture buildup.
- Remove the shelves and drawers periodically and clean them thoroughly, both inside and out.
Organization and Storage
- Do not overload the shelves with too much weight to prevent them from warping. Distribute the weight evenly.
- Avoid storing acidic foods like citrus directly on plastic shelves. Place them in containers or Tupperware.
- If you notice small cracks, reinforce the plastic by applying adhesive tape on the underside to prevent them from expanding.
- Place foods that can spill easily, like dairy products, on the lower shelves. This helps avoid spills on other shelves.
- Store high-water-content foods like cucumbers, lettuce, and berries in the fridge’s more humid compartments, like fruit and vegetable drawers.
- Keep acidic foods like citrus, vinegars, and sauces in the upper compartments, far from plastic shelves.
Options for Replacing Damaged Shelves
If the plastic shelves in your fridge are already very deteriorated, there are some options for replacement:
- Purchase original replacement parts specifically designed for your fridge model. These are the most durable option.
- Use shelves or drawers made of corrosion-resistant metal, like stainless steel. They are very durable.
- Install shelves or drawers made of tempered glass. Glass is resistant to extreme temperatures and acidic spills.
Comparison of Materials for Fridge Shelves
|Lightweight – Economical – Easy to clean
|Cracks over time
|Very durable – Resistant to temperatures
|Heavy – Rusts if not stainless steel
|Resistant to chemicals and acids – Easy to clean
|Fragile – Expensive
|Natural and renewable – Moisture resistant
|Hard to find – Can crack
As you can see, there are many ways to extend the life of the plastic shelves and drawers in your fridge. Just by following good cleaning practices, organization, and smart food storage, you’re well on your way.