Cleaning An Unplugged Fridge

Cleaning is a chore that few of us enjoy doing. But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. It is a necessary evil, but it seems to be difficult though especially when it comes to cleaning the fridge.

How To Clean A Fridge That Has Been Unplugged?

Cleaning An Unplugged Fridge

Cleaning out the refrigerator will not take all day, but you will be leaving the door open for long periods of time, allowing cold air to escape naturally. To save energy, it is best to unplug it while cleaning (and keep your fingers from getting too cold).

Following are the steps to clean a fridge:

1. Take Out All Of The Food And Drawers

Once the fridge is unplugged, remove all drawers, ice trays, food items, and anything else that needs to be cleaned or moved. You may want to keep perishable foods like meat, dairy, and eggs in a cooler for the time being.

2. Create A Cleaner

There are many effective cleaning sprays on the market, but you’ll be surprised at how well vinegar and baking soda clean your fridge. Making your own cleaner isn’t as difficult as it sounds, and it will save you a trip to the store. This solution is also suitable for cleaning the exterior of a stainless steel refrigerator.

3. Clean Everything

Wipe down the interior of the fridge with your cleaning product or the vinegar and baking soda solution. Touch up any hard-to-reach areas as well as any apparatuses visible after the drawers have been removed, as these areas receive little regular attention. After that, clear some space in your sink to scrub the drawers and set them aside to dry.

4. Clean the Fridge Outside

When you’re finished with the interior, wipe down the sides, doors, and handles with the rag and cleaning solution. Stainless steel refrigerators are frequently smudged with fingerprints, so buff these and any watermarks out afterward with a dry rag.

Slide the fridge over to sweep up the dust and dirt underneath if you feel comfortable doing so.

Clean the condenser coils with a toothbrush. Without regular cleaning, your refrigerator’s condenser coils can become clogged or even damaged over time. Refer to your refrigerator’s owner’s manual to locate your condenser coils. Don’t worry if you don’t have it; most modern appliances have an online digital manual.

5. Refill The Fridge And Reconnect It

Replace the drawers and plug in the power cable after your fridge is spotless and your coils are clean. You may want to wait for the fridge to cool down before restocking perishable items, depending on how long it has been unplugged.

It is also a good idea to check expiration dates as you restock your refrigerator to ensure that you are not restocking it with anything that will soon spoil.

How To Prepare To Unplug A Refrigerator?

Assume you’re planning a long vacation (3 weeks or more) and want to leave your fringe unplugged. There is a recommended course of action in this situation.

These steps will not only ensure the longevity of your unit, but will also protect it from bacteria, mold, and dust. The steps are as follows:

1) Unplug The Refrigerator

The first step is to disconnect the unit. Remember that unplugging does not imply turning off the socket.

In other words, make sure it’s not plugged into an electrical outlet. If your refrigerator has extra features like a dispenser or an ice maker, make sure you turn off the power before unplugging it.

2) Take Out All Food

Then remove everything (all foodstuffs and items) from the unit and wait until the coolness has returned to normal room temperature.

3) Cleanup

As you are aware, leaving the fridge like that without cleaning is not advisable, especially if you are leaving for an extended period of time.

Because bacteria and mold will thrive within the unit, the odor will worsen. To avoid this, it is prudent to thoroughly clean the interior to remove moisture and odor. Remember to clean everything, including your unit’s drawers and shelves.

Remember to clean the freezer and the door gasket.

4) Dry With A Cloth

After cleaning each component, make sure it is completely dry. To dry everything, use paper towels or a dry cloth. Remember that wet surfaces in the fridge can cause odors to develop.

Moisture absorbers such as silica gel, ground coffee, baking soda, charcoal briquettes, and others can also be used.

5) Allow It to Breathe

Before leaving, make sure the doors are slightly open to allow air to pass through.

You can accomplish this by placing a towel between the door and the body of the refrigerator. You can also use a drawer to hold the door open.

If you have rodents in your home, you should take the necessary precautions to keep them out of the refrigerator.

Related Questions

How long can a refrigerator be left unplugged?

Close the refrigerator and freezer doors as much as possible to keep the temperature cold. If the refrigerator is unopened, it will keep food cold for about 4 hours. If the door is kept closed, a full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full).

Should I unplug my refrigerator if I’m going to be gone for four months?

If you will be away for more than a month (or putting the unit in temperature-controlled storage), we recommend the following: Remove all food from the refrigerator and turn off the circuit breaker or fuse that supplies power to it, or unplug the cord from the wall receptacle.


Unplugging your refrigerator to clean it is safe, but it is not recommended on a regular basis due to the time it takes for the gases to settle and cool again.

If you’re unplugging it to relocate it, make sure you know how heavy it is before attempting to lift it.