Here's a story for you Curees. It turns out that most Americans have terrible habits when it comes to cleaning out the refrigerator, and appliance makers know it. So they are waging a campaign to educate consumers on how to best use their refrigerators, and, it turns out, they are also working to accomodate consumers' bad housekeeping habits. Here's how.
Whirlpool, for instance, just spent months creating a shelf that is specially designed to hold an entire can of spilled soda pop. The surface tension of the shelf holds liquids instead of letting them run over the side. This is just one innovation that appliance makers are adding to refrigerators to compensate for the fact that most housekeepers clean their fridge only once a year.
They are adding things like improved lighting, bacteria-killing gadgets, and special shelves like the one described above. The Wall Street Journal says, that consumers:
...don't devote much effort to [cleaning the refrigerator], even when they come home with bags of new groceries. In Whirlpool's 2005 refrigerator habits survey of 2,571 consumers, 33% said they don't spend any time cleaning the refrigerator before grocery shopping. In order to make room for items just purchased, 27% reported shoving everything in and not worrying about organization.
People also apparently don't know how to organize their refrigerators. They put milk on the door (not cold enough!) and they have no idea what to do with the cheese drawer. They also pack their refrigerators too tightly, impeding the flow of cold air.
Overall this is a fascinating article — a good look at the technology going into current refrigerators. It's also full of good tips and facts on how to use your fridge.
• Read the article: Why Won't Anyone Clean Me? at The Wall Street Journal
Related: Pantry and Fridge Cleaning Resources
(Image: Whirlpool via The Wall Street Journal)