How to Store a Refrigerator Properly: Storage Advice & Tips

How to Store a Refrigerator

Residential white refrigerator in a small kitchen. Are you looking to store a refrigerator properly? Prepare your refrigerator for storage and choose the best environment to keep it in to ensure it stays undamaged and free from mold, odors, and more. In our guide on how to store a refrigerator, we will cover step-by-step actions you should take to prepare for storage, transportation tips such as deodorizing and proper handling, and how to choose the suitable storage unit.

Preparation Before Storage

When preparing your refrigerator for storage, the main steps are to check that all electricity is turned off, the fridge is adequately cleaned and disinfected, and thoroughly dried.

Turning Off the Refrigerator

Switching off the refrigerator at the latest the night before storage is essential to allow it to defrost and all the liquids to settle. You’ll want everything to have melted beforehand to be cleaned and disinfected.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

To thoroughly clean and disinfect the inside and outside of your refrigerator, start by removing all the food. Then, clean and sanitize all surfaces to prevent odors and mold. You can clean the inside of your refrigerator by making a paste of equal parts baking soda and white vinegar or using an all-purpose cleaner. It’s recommended to only use bleach for strong odors or stains, as it could damage the appliance. If you have a stainless-steel refrigerator, don’t use soap and water to remove smudges on the outside; instead, use an appropriate stainless-steel all-purpose cleaner. Clean all refrigerator components, removing all the moveable shelves and drawers to be cleaned and dried before putting them back into the fridge.

Drying the Refrigerator

Ensuring the refrigerator is completely dry before storage is pivotal to avoid mold and mildew. Dry with a microfiber cloth, dry towel, or paper towel. Dry all surfaces, drawers, and other components.

Transportation Tips

Once your refrigerator is cleaned and dried, it’s time to prepare it for transportation. Below, we’ve included tips for moving the fridge, proper handling and safety precautions, and additional methods for deodorizing before long-term storage.

Moving the Refrigerator

To safely move the refrigerator, you will need assistance from others or the right moving equipment. It should also be wrapped for protection and deodorized to help absorb any lingering smells before putting it in storage. Below, find out how to safely move and transport your refrigerator, as well as more.

Handling and Safety Precautions

The key to a successful move and preventing injury or damage is to have assistance moving the refrigerator to avoid injury and damage. We recommend wrapping it in a protective blanket or sheet and using a moving trolley.

It’s really important to keep the fridge upright when moving it. Transporting a refrigerator on its back can harm internal parts and lead to the internal fluids, like the motor oil or refrigerant, shifting and settling in unwanted places within the machine’s system.

Lastly, remove the freezer and refrigerator doors once in the storage unit to prevent moisture and mold buildup. You can also leave the doors slightly open to achieve the same effect.


If foul odors remain in the refrigerator after thoroughly cleaning, there’s no need to worry. You can leave a container of baking soda inside the fridge to absorb odors.

Choosing the Right Storage Unit

Make sure to follow these important steps for cleaning, moving, and storing your refrigerator. By keeping it in a climate-controlled environment and finding the perfect-sized storage unit, you can be confident it will stay in great condition for the long term and not have to worry about how long can a refrigerator can be stored without being used. The ideal storage conditions include a clean, dry, and climate-controlled environment offered at a purpose-built storage facility. Also, remember to position the refrigerator properly for storage, such as keeping the doors slightly open to prevent odors and moisture build-up.

Find a Storage Unit Near You at Fairfax City Storage Today

Front view of Fairfax City Self Storage building.

If you need a place to store your refrigerator, contact us at Fairfax City Self Storage! We provide temperature-controlled self-storage in Fairfax, Virginia. We can offer helpful advice on storing appliances such as refrigerators in a storage unit and address all your storage-related inquiries. Contact us today!

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