How to store a fridge

If you’re moving your belongings into a storage unit, then you’re probably going to have to store a fridge. Refrigerators are one of the most common things that people move into storage units. They are also one of the most valuable appliances that people own, so they need to be stored properly to avoid damage. ‘

If you aren’t careful, you could end up with a mouldy, stinky fridge after it’s been in storage. If this is the case, the smell may never disappear, and the fridge could be permanently damaged. 

Luckily, storing a fridge isn’t difficult, you just need to take the right steps. Follow this guide for a step by step process of how to store your fridge. 

Find the right storage unit

Start by choosing the right size storage unit for keeping a fridge. Try to get a unit with drive-up access to make moving the fridge into it a lot easier. You don’t want to be carrying your fridge upstairs to a unit at the top of a storage complex. This is exhausting, and it could damage your fridge.

A climate-controlled unit is ideal because this will help to prevent mould and mildew from damaging your fridge. Of course, the unit will also need to have enough space and a big enough entrance for the fridge.

storage garage

Clean and defrost the fridge properly

You need to make sure that the fridge is completely clean and dry before you put it into storage. If there is still moisture or food particles left in the fridge, this can result in a major mess over time. Even the smallest crumb could form mould, which will spread across your fridge. If you don’t clean the fridge properly, then you might not even be able to use it after its time in storage. 

Start by defrosting the fridge. Unplug it, open up the doors, and place a couple of towels underneath the fridge to catch any water. Properly defrosting a fridge can take some time, as there is a lot of hidden moisture and ice that we don’t always notice. Leaving the fridge to stand for a week will ensure that it is completely dry.

Take out all of the drawers and compartments and clean these individually. Wipe down the entire interior and exterior of the fridge with a suitable detergent. A combination of baking soda and water works well for the inside of the fridge. Pull the fridge away from the wall, and make sure that you can clean all of the sides and back of the fridge too. Pay attention to cleaning the coils at the back of the fridge. These can be cleaned with a brush or cloth. 

Before putting the fridge into storage, it will need to be completely dry. Dry it with a cloth, and leave it to stand for a day or two with the doors open to fully air dry.

cleaning a fridge

Move the fridge carefully

Be very careful when moving your refrigerator. Try to wrap the fridge up in moving blankets when you carry it and load it into the van. This will help to avoid scratches, and it can protect anything that you might knock the fridge into. 

When pulling the fridge out, consider placing a protective sheet underneath the fridge. This will help to protect the floors from scratches. Always get someone to help you move a fridge. 

Keep the fridge upright

A common problem with moving fridges is a broken compressor due to the fridge being carried on its side. This is because the oil in the tubing will run out of the compressor and into the condenser when the fridge is tipped over. When the fridge is positioned upright again, the oil won’t run back down, which will result in a failed compressor.

So, when moving your fridge, always try to keep it upright. Using a dolly to move the fridge is recommended. Of course, always store the fridge upright and on a level surface in your storage unit. If you tilt the fridge while carrying it, make sure that it stands upright for around 24 hours for the oil and gas to settle before you turn it on.

smeg fridges

Keep the fridge open and dry

When the fridge is in storage, you need to make sure that it stays dry. If any moisture gets trapped in the fridge and mould starts to grow, you will end up with a very smelly fridge. This could affect the smell and taste of any food stored inside it, and you might never be able to get rid of that smell. Even the tiniest drop of moisture could have a devastating effect. 

Try to keep the fridge open while it’s in storage. There are two ways to do this. You could take off the fridge and freezer door entirely according to the manufacturer instructions. This is the most effective option, and it won’t result in any damage. Just make sure that you keep all of the door parts safely together.

The other option is to keep the door wedged open with a small object. This works, but using the wrong object could damage the seal of the fridge. To avoid this, try to use an object that is relatively flat and smooth, and not too large.


You need to make sure that you store your fridge properly if you want it to be in perfect condition once you take it out of storage. The main focus should be on keeping your fridge clean, dry, and upright. As long as you get this right, you can happily leave it in your storage unit for a very long time. 

Follow the steps listed above, and you will have a clean fridge that works perfectly after its time in storage. Just remember to try not to carry it out of the storage unit on its side, and wait 24 hours before plugging it back in.