Nowadays, cooler boxes are becoming an indispensable part of our daily life because of their excellent cooling performance, great portability, and most importantly, they are eco-friendly, for there is no electricity needed while using a cooler box. However, every time you use your cooler, have you ever carefully cleaned it, or just put only a little effort into the cleaning? In fact, a cooler box does need cleaning, and regular cleaning is necessary.
The reasons are very simple.
As we all know, the growth rate of most bacteria will slow down in a low-temperature environment, and some bacteria like Yersinia and Listeria, on the contrary, will grow faster. Generally, the average temperature in a cooler is below 8 ℃, which can inhibit even kill most bacteria. However, there are still some special kinds of bacteria that will survive. So you are supposed to clean your cooler regularly and thoroughly, or it will be the ideal breeding for Yersinia, Listeria, etc. with which will contaminate the foods or snacks in your cooler over time.
What’s more, the cooler is so versatile that we throw just about anything in it. We throw meat, vegetable, fruit, wine, and of course, ice into it and then we forget - we just pick what we need. The rest of the food will leave a mark and these marks are usually less than impressive in an olfactory sense. Add to it that there may be bacteria in your cooler, it is no wonder that peculiar smell and disgusting mold, mildew, and fungus will be found then.
According to a study conducted by Good Housekeeping, Britain’s biggest-selling lifestyle magazine, 5% white vinegar by volume can be used to kill germs (including 99% of the bacteria, 82% of the molds, and 80% of the viruses) and disinfect surfaces. Besides, different from chemical detergent, white vinegar is eco-friendly and will do no harm to the environment as well as your body, for it is brewed by rice, and nontoxic. And white vinegar is super cheap whose price is less than one-third of some detergents. All these advantages make white vinegar very popular among housewives.
How to clean a cooler with white vinegar? Firstly, you need to prepare a bowl, pour out some white vinegar, and add a little toothpaste to the bowl. Then pour enough water into the mixture and beat well. The last thing you are supposed to do is to soak a towel in it for a while and wing out the wet towel to wipe your cooler. This method helps clean off the stains easily, even the toughest stains.
It has been common sense that alcohol can be used to wipe the surface of something for the sake of disinfection. Yet it’s worth noting that alcohol of different strengths has different usage. For example, rubbing alcohol, made from appropriately 75% ethanol, is most often used to disinfect medical instruments and human skin. So it’s of no use to replace it with the Baijiu, even though it’s of high-concentration alcohol. At the same time, higher concentration alcohol doesn’t mean a better disinfection effect. 90% alcohol concentration may reduce the effectiveness of disinfection because the chance of mutation for protein – a major substance contained in the virus – is less without water. And 95% alcohol concentration is usually used to wipe the ultraviolet lamp rather than in the case of minor injury of human beings.
In fact, we can also use alcohol to clean our cooler. If the cooler box isn’t cleaned in time after use, there may be some mildew spots formed from melting ice and leftovers, which are really awful and will contaminate the foods you put inside. And you will become more susceptible to disease since you eat these contaminated foods. Alcohol does work. Just soak a soft cloth in the mixture of alcohol and mild detergent, and then squeeze it dry to wipe the mildew spots. It makes quick profits. Why not try it?
Baking soda is a kind of sodium bicarbonate of slight alkalescence. Grease is not soluble in water, but it will emulsify and form emulsion while it meets baking soda. This chemical equation just reveals the principle: HCO3- +H2O=H2CO3+OH-. The rate of hydrolysis will be accelerated in a high-temperature environment. This is the reason why we prefer to use hot water while doing some cleaning. So grease marks can be removed easily with a diluted solution of baking soda and hot water.
Once you get home, you need to clean your cooler immediately so that the stains don’t get too set and become permanent. Firstly, empty out the cooler box. And then prepare a basin of water (hot water if necessary) and add two or three spoonfuls of baking soda into it. Soak your dishcloth in the mixture and wring it out to wipe your cooler both inside and outside. Lastly, wash your cooler several times with flowing water, and then lay it in an airy place and let it dry.
However, baking soda is a chemical, after all, so do not use it too frequently and remember to wear gloves while using it.
Getting rid of the smell caused by fish, meat or something with a strong odor can be a headache. Don’t moan and groan anymore. You can solve this problem with only several oranges. Firstly, cut an orange in halves and then scoop out the orange flesh. Secondly, put the orange peel into a bowl and sprinkle a little salt over it. Finally, place the whole bowl in your cooler box, leaving the cooler lid open overnight. The nasty smell will be removed one day after.
The principle is simple. On the one hand, orange peel has a strong adsorption ability. On the other hand, it comes in a special fragrance, which can neutralize other smells. You can also use lemon peel or pomelo peel instead.