Take out your manual
This is a good time to familiarize you with your owner`s manual. It is important to follow the manufacturer`s instructions when disassembling the appliance. The refrigerator requires a moist environment for efficient operation but the same does not apply to a fridge in storage. When you unplug the unit, make sure that you clean and dry it thoroughly. This will help to ensure that the surfaces do not become home to mold and mildew. Give the fridge ample time to air before you move it to the self-storage unit. This will keep away the musty smell that can linger for weeks.
Use the right cleaners
It is important to choose appliance cleaners carefully. Using the wrong detergents can damage your refrigerator. Use hot soapy water to clean the exterior, but the interior needs more special care after removing the shelving and storage bins. A warm water and baking soda solution will keep the appliance interior clean and germ free. Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasives that can scratch plastic and damage stainless steel. Following the manual instructions, unplug the fridge before cleaning the coils and tubing. Remember to drain the fridge`s holding tank before you start cleaning.
When cleaning the fridge, it pays to be thorough. For instance, you should be able to identify any spilt food within the fridge, and then thoroughly clean it before putting it in storage. This will reduce the risk of the food rotting, which will discolor the interior of the fridge and give it a bad odor. You can always hire professional cleaners to do this for you if you don’t have the time or simply want it to get done as thoroughly as possible.
Moving the refrigerator
Unless you are planning to hire professional movers, you need to learn how to move the appliance like a pro. Refrigerators tend to be very heavy and they weigh anywhere between 250 to 300 pounds. This is a large bulk to move and you should not try to lift it manually. Get help and invest in a good dolly that will help you to move the appliance across any surface. Remove the drawers and shelves before tilting the fridge carefully over the dolly. Be careful when moving the fridge as it can topple over quite easily. Cover the fridge using a blanket and strap it securely to the dolly before loading it onto the truck.
Smart storage strategies
It is a good idea to choose a self-storage unit that has a drive-up access. This will make it convenient to unload the appliance, saving time and energy. Remove the fridge door when you get to the storage unit. A climate-controlled unit helps to combat humidity, but the refrigerator will remain fresher when the door is removed. This will also help to ensure safety when you visit the storage unit. Store the drawers upside down in the fridge to keep them free from dust and use plastic bags to store the hardware. For added protection, cover the refrigerator using a clean sheet.
Let it thaw out thoroughly
One of the common mistakes that people make when storing fridges is simply unplugging them and then putting them in storage. However, you should remember that when you do this, there will still be some ice or water in the system. When it’s left standing in the fridge for long, it could act as a focus for mold growth particularly if you store it in a facility that has a lot of mold.
To avoid this, you should unplug the fridge and then leave it open for a day or two before putting it in storage. This gives it enough time to thaw, and any water within it is also likely to evaporate if you leave the doors open. You can also decide to leave the doors slightly open during storage to ensure that there is enough circulation within it. Renting a storage unit with no mold in it will reduce the chances of any spores settling in the fridge and growing.
Preparing your refrigerator for storage is simple enough if you take the time to clean it properly and move it carefully. By storing your appliance in a climate-controlled self-storage, you can retrieve it in the best condition. This also has a role in helping you avoid voiding the warranty.