Engineering fail.

Fridays are grocery shopping day at our house. And grocery shopping day, when the fridge is empty and echoing, is the best day to do a full-on refrigerator clean. But we didn’t know what we were letting ourselves in for.

I don’t think our family is more slovenly than any other. But it had been awhile since we’d done a deep clean in the fridge. And over time there had been some…spillage. Seepage. It wasn’t pretty. <Photos redacted, so as not to offend the unsuspecting reader.>

And so, every single shelf, drawer, and bin came out yesterday.

Water, soap, and slime everywhere. Refrigerator bits in various stages of washing and drying on every horizontal surface. Food that was meant to be cold sitting around rising in temperature by the second.

But there was one part we just couldn’t get clean – too many spills had seeped in between its parts, where they were unreachable yet completely visible (and disgusting).

So we started the monumental task of trying to take apart, piece by piece, an item that seemingly was never meant to be dismantled.

And that’s when it hit me:

Refrigerators are engineered by men who not only have never attempted to clean one, but who have never even conceived of the possibility that someone would feel the need to clean one.


Because not only was the entire thing a jigsaw puzzle that threatened to snap and become tons of busted, unuseable parts. Even better, two of the main parts – plastic sheets that lie just under the glass shelf – consist of 100’s of tiny, recessed squares that hold on to water as if they’re expecting an extended drought. And of course, those recessed squares are meant to hang downward, where they will drip on the produce in the two drawers for days and days.


An hour and a half after our venture started, with the entire ground floor of the house strewn with towels, shop vac, hair dryer, rapidly warming food, and fridge parts, we finally had that damnable shelf gleaming and reassembled, with minimal structural damage.

I’d like to declare here and now that Middle is a rock star. She had the guts to do the breakdown and reassembly. No way would I have tackled this task without her.

I would also like to declare that if, in some bright and shining day in the distant future, an appliance company puts out a  refrigerator that was engineered by a woman, I will be first in line to buy it.


6 thoughts on “Engineering fail.

  1. I very much truly dislike cleaning the refrigerator. I, too, wait until it is nearly empty and I’m about to go grocery shopping. This is usually done on a Wednesday, as the next day is our trash day. So, if there’s anything to toss out, we grab garbage bags. Three week old lettuce, two year old condiments, and salad dressing. It seems like we need to be eating more salads. Anyhoo, congrats on your Middle on the taking apart and putting back together the random jigsaw puzzle called The Fridge. Yeesh.


  2. Congratulations on achieving such complete fridge cleanliness, despite the idiocy of the men who designed it! It never fails to amaze me how many products are designed so that they are fiendishly hard to clean or (even worse, especially for those of us who can be deliberately blind to random spooge) repair. Maybe it’s a money-making effort? Although I sure don’t know anyone who would replace a fridge just because it’s gotten too gross!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s