Whether you’re moving and wondering what to do with your old refrigerator, or need to free the space at home for an upcoming renovation, keeping the appliance in storage is a good option. Providing proper storage, however, is crucial to maintain the fridge’s efficiency and prevent any damage.
Storing a fridge requires careful preparation and attention to detail to ensure it keeps operating as expected. In this guide, we’ll explore the steps to store a fridge correctly, provide answers as to how long you can store the appliance without use, and how to prevent mould growth during storage.
Table of Contents
Storing a fridge – step-by-step process
To ensure that a refrigerator is taken care of properly, it should be stored in a way that prevents mould or any damage from occurring. By doing this, the fridge will continue to work perfectly once it is needed again in the future.
We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to store your refrigerator safely and ensure it remains mould-free when you’re ready to use it again.
- 1. Empty the fridge – The first and most crucial step before storing your fridge is to clean it thoroughly. Begin by removing all the contents, including food items, beverages, and anything else you may have stored in the appliance. Once the refrigerator is empty, unplug it from the power source.
- 2. Defrost completely – Allow the fridge to defrost thoroughly before storage. This will prevent any water buildup and mould growth inside the fridge during its time in storage. Be patient during this process, as it may take several hours for the freezer to defrost entirely.
- 3. Clean the interior – Once the fridge has defrosted, clean the interior thoroughly. Remove all the shelves, drawers, and other removable parts from the fridge. Wash them with mild detergent and warm water. Ensure they are completely dry before placing them back inside the fridge.
- 4. Remove excess water – Check the drip pan located at the bottom of the fridge. If you find any water collected in it, empty the pan and clean it properly. This step is crucial to prevent any unpleasant odours from developing during storage.
- 5. Secure the doors – To avoid the growth of mildew or musty odours, keep the fridge doors slightly open during storage. However, be sure to use a door stop or wedge to prevent the doors from swinging completely open. This will also allow air circulation within the fridge, helping to keep it fresh.
- 6. Use packing materials – To protect the interior and exterior of the fridge during transportation and storage, make use of packing materials. Bubble wrap, moving blankets, or towels can act as a cushion to prevent scratches and dents. Consider using a breathable cloth or moving blanket to cover the fridge, protecting it from dust and debris during its time in storage. An added layer of protection is provided by this simple measure.
- 7. Move with care – When moving the fridge to the storage location, handle it with care. If you’re planning to store it in a storage unit, it’s essential to take extra precautions to ensure its safekeeping and easy transportation. Safely move the fridge to the storage unit using a dolly or hand truck. Ensure it remains upright during transport to protect the compressor and internal components from damage.
- 8. Store in a dry location – Find a suitable location for storing the fridge. Look for a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Consider a garage, basement, or storage unit with climate control to maintain a consistent temperature. Fluctuating temperatures can lead to condensation inside the fridge, potentially causing mould and damage to sensitive parts.
- 9. Keep it elevated – Place wooden blocks or pallets underneath the fridge to lift it off the ground slightly. This precaution helps to prevent moisture from seeping into the bottom of the fridge and causing damage. If possible, place the fridge towards the back of the storage unit, leaving enough space for easy retrieval without having to disturb other items. This way, you can access the fridge without hassle when you need it again.
- 10. Reconnect properly – When you’re ready to use the fridge again, let it sit upright for at least a few hours before plugging it back in. Allowing the fridge to rest in an upright position ensures that any oils in the compressor settle properly.
Taking the time to clean, defrost, and secure your fridge will pay off when you’re ready to use it again, as it will be ready to serve you efficiently for years to come.
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How long can you store a fridge without using it?
The length of time you can store a fridge without using it depends on several factors, including the condition of the fridge before storage, the storage environment, and how well you prepared the fridge for storage.
If you properly prepare the fridge for storage and store it in a cool, dry place with a stable temperature, it can typically remain in storage for several months without significant issues. Here are some general guidelines:
If the fridge is clean, defrosted, and stored in a suitable environment, it can be safely stored for up to a couple of months without any significant problems. However, it’s a good idea to check on the fridge periodically to ensure there are no issues like water leakage or pest infestations.
If you need to store the fridge for an extended period, such as six months or longer, it becomes even more crucial to prepare it thoroughly and choose an optimal storage location. Consider taking additional precautions like removing the doors and storing them separately to prevent them from warping or sealing shut.
Keep in mind that certain components of the fridge, such as the compressor, may be affected if the fridge remains unused for an extended period. As we mentioned before, when you’re ready to use the fridge again after a long-term storage period, it’s a good idea to let it sit upright for a few hours before plugging it in. This allows any oils in the compressor to settle properly.
Older fridges might face more challenges when stored for extended periods, as seals and gaskets could deteriorate over time. Newer fridges, on the other hand, may have more advanced features that help preserve their condition during storage.
In any case, when retrieving the fridge from storage, inspect it carefully, clean the interior again if necessary, and check for any signs of damage or wear before using it again. If you have any doubts about the appliance’s functionality, consider having your fridge inspected by a professional before reconnecting it to the power source and using it regularly.
Any appliance stored with Fantastic Removals will be kept in perfect condition!
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- Defrost and thoroughly clean the fridge before storing it;
- The fridge must be completely dry to prevent mould and odours during storage;
- When transporting the refrigerator, use a dolly or hand truck to keep it upright to avoid damage to the compressor.