Appliance storage is a great way to keep your valuable whitegoods in top condition while you’re moving, travelling, or renovating.
There are a few steps to take to properly prepare your refrigerator for storage, including:
- Cleaning and drying your fridge in preparation for storage
- Transporting your fridge safely
- Choosing the right storage unit for your fridge
- Positioning your fridge properly for safe storage.
Follow our step-by-step guide to keep your fridge secure and in working order for when you need it again.
Cleaning And Drying Your Fridge
Preparing any appliance for storage should start with giving it a good clean and dry.
- Remove all items from the fridge – This may sound obvious, but be sure to remove all food and items before cleaning your fridge. This will make it much easier to thoroughly clean every surface.
- Turn off your fridge – Turn your fridge off and unplug at the wall a day prior to cleaning. If you have a fridge/freezer combo that requires manual defrosting, be sure to remove all ice and moisture prior to cleaning.
- Drain the water – If your fridge has a water dispenser, remember to drain all water to prevent leakage and damage.
- Remove shelves and drawers – Take out any removable shelves and drawers and soak in warm water and dishwashing soap. Cleaning refrigerator shelves may be easier outside rather than in the kitchen sink.
- Wipe down all surfaces – Use a microfibre cloth and warm water with dishwashing soap to wipe down all surface areas of your fridge. Cheap sponges can leave little plastic particles behind, so avoid using these in your fridge.
- Remove stains – For those tougher spots, combine some baking soda and water to create a paste and leave on the stain for 30 minutes or so, then wipe clean with the microfibre cloth. Bleach and other disinfectants should be avoided when cleaning the inside of a refrigerator. Cleaning your refrigerator with baking soda is a safer, more natural option.
- Wipe down the outside – Give the outside of your fridge a good wipe down with the same microfibre cloth and warm water and dishwashing soap. Wipe dry with a dry cloth to prevent streaking.
- Allow your fridge to dry – Wipe the inside of your fridge dry and leave the door open to assist with drying.
- Deodorise – You can prevent unpleasant smells by leaving a plastic cup or container of baking soda in your fridge to absorb any strong odours.
Once your fridge is clean, dry, and free from any smells, it’ll be ready to place into appliance storage.
Discover more appliance storage tips in our Storage Guide: How To Store Appliances.
Transporting Your Fridge
When it comes to transporting your appliance into storage, there are several steps to follow to avoid the risk of damage to your fridge and injury to yourself.
- Ensure all electrical cords and components are unplugged and securely placed in a bag or box with your fridge.
- If cords cannot be disconnected, they should be taped down to avoid dragging or pulling.
- Remove any storage compartments, ice trays, and other removable components to avoid damage. Wrap in bubble wrap or packing paper and place in a labelled box with your fridge.
- When loading and transporting a fridge, it’s always best to keep it upright to avoid damage to the sealed system. Depending on the model, this can also prevent gas loss and water running back into the appliance and causing damage.
- If you have to tilt your fridge briefly in order to move it, be sure to leave it upright for at least a few hours before plugging it in and turning it on again.
- Use a moving blanket to avoid any scratches or damage during transit.
- Prevent injury by moving your fridge with two or more people. This will help distribute weight evenly and reduce the workload.
- Use equipment to move your fridge, such as dollies, trolleys, and moving straps.
- When loading your fridge into a truck, ute, or trailer, it’s best to have one person in front to pull, and one person behind to push.
- Secure the fridge on your vehicle by bracing it in the corner of your truck. If using a ute or trailer, be sure to secure it with moving straps.
- Drive carefully when transporting your fridge, avoiding sharp turns, speedbumps, roundabouts, and any sudden acceleration or braking.
Different fridge makes and models can require different care, so always remember to follow any refrigerator moving instructions for your specific fridge.
For more advice on safely moving heavy items, check out this guide.
Choosing The Right Storage Unit For Your Fridge
There are a few features to keep in mind when choosing appropriate appliance storage to ensure your fridge stays clean, dry, and in good condition.
The two main things to consider are:
- Appliance Storage Size – Choose a storage unit that’s tall enough to accommodate your fridge’s standing height.
- Temperature and Humidity – Avoid damage caused by moisture build-up by opting for a climate-controlled storage unit. These control humidity and temperatures to keep your fridge clean and dry.
Get a better idea of our storage unit sizes here.
Positioning Your Fridge
After transporting a refrigerator, it’s important to consider how you’ll position your appliance in storage to avoid damage and ensure it’s in good working order when you need it again.
- Store your fridge upright to avoid damage to the inside mechanisms and sealed systems.
- Keep the door open or ajar to prevent odours and moisture build-up. Don’t place anything between the door and the fridge to keep it open if it pushes against the seal – this can damage the seal.
- Cover your fridge in a moving blanket or sheet to prevent dust and damage.
Remember to keep your bags or boxes of fridge cords and accessories nearby as to not lose them. You might even like to place the bags or boxes inside the fridge to keep everything together and maximise space in your storage unit.
Fridge Storage FAQs
Can I lay my fridge down for transport?
This isn’t recommended. Laying a fridge on its side can damage the internal mechanisms and leave it unusable. If you need to tilt your fridge briefly for transportation, be sure to leave it upright for at least a few hours before using it again.
Some models such as compact fridges can’t be placed on their side under any circumstances. Remember to follow any refrigerator moving instructions for your specific model to prevent damage.
How long can I store a fridge for?
Fridges generally don’t have a specific ‘lifespan’. If you’ve taken the correct steps to safely store your fridge, chances are it’ll still be running when you plug it back in even years later!
National Storage offers secure, affordable storage units ideal for storing appliances like fridges. Whether you need to store your fridge for a month or a year, we can find the perfect solution for you. Contact our friendly team for more information or visit your local National Storage today.