Refrigerators and freezers will do well in storage, if they’re prepared, and stored, properly. Taking care to follow manufacturer instructions, ensuring the appliance is fully defrosted, clean, and dry, and making sure airflow is permitted during the term of storage are the key points to remember during this process.
We break it down step by step.
- Empty the fridge or freezer completely - removing all food items. Transfer to a cooler (if keeping), compost or waste disposal.
- Empty the ice maker (if applicable).
- Refer to the manufacturer’s manual to safely disconnect any plugs, lines, or cables - completely disconnect the appliance from power and water.
- Remove all interior drawers, racks, and shelves for cleaning. Wash in warm, soapy water and allow to dry completely.
- Leave appliance open and unplugged for a day or two to make sure everything defrosts (use towels, bowl, tray underneath to catch any dripping water). If defrosting is required, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how long you need for this process (some may recommend several days or more).
- Thoroughly clean the fridge/freezer:
- vacuum dust and debris from coils;
- empty defrosting pan;
- clean interior as usual with warm water, soap, sponge, baking soda & vinegar to remove any food or liquids;
- clean the exterior also and dry the appliance with soft cloths and/or allow to air dry.
- Leave doors/lid open to dry completely.
- Replace shelves/drawers.
- Use strong tape to keep interior drawers/shelves in place.
- If you are moving the unit yourself, secure doors/lid with bungee cord or rope for transportation to prevent damage and keep the appliance upright during transit.
- Once placed in storage, ensure the doors/lid are kept slightly ajar to permit airflow. If you are self-storing, you can use a towel, pad, or piece of wood to prop them open. Make sure to then secure door so towel or pad remains in place.
- Before securing door, place an open box of baking soda inside fridge and freezer compartments to keep appliance fresh during storage. Your moving company may provide commercial desiccant packs to further protect your appliance while stored.
- Cover the appliance with a moving blanket or large sheet to protect from dust. If storing with a mover, they will protect your appliance appropriately.
Damp items should never be placed in storage. Make sure your appliance is fully defrosted, cleared of water/ice, and dried prior to placement in storage. If this step is not observed, the appliance may be subject to rust or mould. This could affect other items stored with the appliance.
Any food or liquid residue left in the appliance can also encourage mould growth as well as attract rodents and bugs. Ensure you have thoroughly cleaned your appliance prior to moving and storage. Hard-to-remove stains may require a mixture of water and bleach. Ensure the appliance is fully dry following cleaning.
Make sure the refrigerator door cannot be closed if there's any chance children will be playing near the appliance while it's in storage.
When putting the refrigerator back in service, make sure to refer to the manufacturer's manual for directions. You may need to leave it in its new position for 24 hours before plugging it in. The coolant will drain back into the compressor, preventing compressor failure.
Treat the refrigerator gently during the move. If you damage the coils or compressor, it may require expensive repairs.
Planning a move that requires storage? We can look after your move out, your storage and your delivery to your new home once you’re ready. Contact us for more information.