My mum taught me the advantages of lining the glass shelves in a refrigerator. Most refrigerators could benefit from this. You just place a large plastic or cloth place mat on each shelf. Of course the cloth are a bit harder to keep clean.
I have my refrigerator shelves line with sturdy plastic mats. I can quickly wipe up spills and only need to take the mats totally out of fridge to clean about twice a year (nothing is perfect and once in a while, liquids will seep under mats). An extra bonus is that, if you can pick place mats that match your personality or kitchen decor, then all the better.
I have been told never to do that as it interferes with the air circulation in the refridgerator.
I wouldn't think it would be a problem, if the placemats aren't bigger/wider/longer than the actual shelves. I need to try this myself - reaching all the way to the back of my fridge shelves isn't easy for me.
Here's a solution to spills and getting at the items at the back of your refrigerator shelves. I discovered white plastic drawer organizers 6"x2"x15" from WalMart that are interlocking (one side slips over the corresponding side of a matching/identical organizer.) I use as many as necessary to "corral" items and just slide the one out a little bit with the items needed. They are easy to clean and remove when not needed.
I have not noticed any difference in circulation of the air. Often as not, items stored on the sheves individually are packed in and air does not circulate much.
I also use a fridge thermometer on a shelf in the door which alerts me to the minimum temperature of 40 degrees at the door. Once the temperature is set, there is no need to change the controls.
I put shallow plastic trays on the shelves of my refrigerator. They have a low edge and contain any spills. They don't effect the flow of air as they only cover the glass tops of the shelves. They make it very easy to clean.
Years ago I lined my glass shelves with rubbermaid shelf lining, thinking it was a good idea. Not so fast! Everything was sticking to it, of course, so one day I laid leftover upholstery fabric on top of that. It stays put, "sweating" items don't leave marks, things move around easily, a win-win for me. I take everything out now & then to clean.
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Line the metal racks in your refrigerator with large washable place mats. They catch the spills for easy clean-up.
By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO
I am sorry to say that this is not a good practice. The mats interfere with the air flow in the refrigerator. This is why the shelves are wire. (07/28/2010)
My shelves are glass and I think this is a brilliant idea. Thanks. (07/28/2010)
Definite thumbs up, great idea. (07/28/2010)