Vanilla fridge wipe is a household cleaning product that I first discovered as an undergraduate in Western Australia. It’s a food-safe disinfectant that also smells delicious, which helped to make housework just that tiny bit more tolerable. To my dismay, when I moved back to Singapore, I discovered that it wasn’t sold here. And because it’s highly flammable, I couldn’t purchase it in Australia and take it home with me either! Fortuitously, some years later, I chanced upon a recipe for homemade vanilla fridge wipe in Donna Hay Magazine (in Issue 17, to be precise). Since then, I’ve been happily whipping it up at home.
While I wouldn’t use this homemade vanilla fridge wipe as a primary cleaning solution (rubbing alcohol won’t kill all microorganisms), I like to use it to keep the inside of my fridge smelling nice. I also mist my clean ice cream machine bowl with some of it, let it evaporate, then churn my ice cream in it. Similarly, I use it on my clean kitchen counter top just before I knead bread or pasta dough on it. In other words, I use it as my final line of defence. But mostly, it works best as a fridge deodorant.
You can find rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit (usually isopropyl or ethyl alcohol solutions—the stuff that is used to disinfect your skin before you get an injection) in most pharmacies. Be aware that it is highly flammable (so, keep it away from open flames) and while it does contain alcohol, it should not be drunk. I use synthetic vanilla flavouring in my vanilla fridge wipe because the real stuff is way too expensive to use in this manner. I’ve also read that artificial vanilla has a more intense scent anyway, which makes it the preferable option when preparing vanilla fridge wipe!
Homemade Vanilla Fridge Wipe
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine.
Makes about 150ml
20ml rubbing alcohol
1½ tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a small atomiser. Cover and shake to combine.