A comprehensive guide on how to store a fridge in South Africa.
Find out how to store a fridge, with our straightforward guide.
Kitchen appliances are some of the hardest items to maintain in storage, and fridges are no exception. When not in use, fridges are prone to moisture damage, rust and mould, bacteria and mildew growth.
To protect the appearance of a fridge and make sure it will continue to work properly, it’s important to clean it properly, transport it carefully and store it in a cool, dry space.
In this guide, you’ll find out about:
- choosing affordable storage
- how long before your move to defrost a fridge
- tips for cleaning and drying a fridge
- packing fridge shelves
- protecting a fridge for during transit
- removing a fridge door
- transporting a fridge
- tips for fridge storage.
To minimise costs, opt for a self-storage unit that’s no bigger than you really need.
Even the smallest units offered by self-storage providers have enough floor space for a fridge. However, it’s vital to check that the entry to a unit is wide and high enough for the fridge you have.
Beyond that, ensure that the unit you choose is clean, dry and secure – and in a location that’s convenient for you to access.
Storing a fridge in Cape Town
Storing a fridge in Johannesburg
For Johannesburg fridge storage, XtraSpace offers seven branches in the greater city area. Depending on location, they offer units from 2 m2 to 100 m2.
Storing a fridge in Durban
Storing a fridge in Pietermaritzburg
Our Pietermaritzburg branch offers units from 3 m2 to 34 m2.
You should defrost a fridge at least 24 hours before a move. This is enough time for all the ice to melt and for the gas in the fridge to settle.
If your fridge has an icemaker, switch off the water supply 24 hours before you switch off the fridge. This is so that the icemaker can use up any remaining water.
Once a fridge is empty and defrosted, remove the shelves and trays. Wipe everything down, inside and out, with warm mildly soapy water and then rinse. Don’t use any harsh detergents.
Dry the inside and outside of the fridge with a towel. Then leave the doors open for it to dry thoroughly.
Also carefully dust or vacuum out any dust or cobwebs on the coils at the back of the fridge.
Remove all the loose shelves, as well as accessories like egg trays.
You can store them inside the fridge – wrapped to prevent scratching – once it’s in a storage unit. However, never transport them in the fridge or they could break and cause damage.
To protect glass fridge shelves, wrap them in bubble wrap or aerothene. It’s also a good idea to use stiff cardboard to protect the shelf corners.
Generally, avoid completely wrapping a fridge in plastic, except for a very short period of time.
Instead, use soft furniture blankets to protect a fridge from scratches.
For extra protection, put a piece of cardboard in between the securing ropes and furniture blanket to make sure the ropes don’t rub too much.
It’s also a good idea to secure the doors when the fridge is in transit. You can do this using straps or a low-tack tape like masking tape.
Don’t use duct tape – it’s too sticky and can damage the finish on the doors or leave marks.
It’s not necessary to remove your fridge door for transport and storage. However, it can be useful to do this if you need to fit the fridge through a narrow doorway.
Removing the door is also a good option for very long-term storage. This can help prevent mould build-up inside the fridge.
Before removing a fridge door, always consult your user manual or contact the manufacturer for instructions.
In general, these are the basic steps to follow:
- Ensure the fridge is empty and switched off.
- If your fridge door has an icemaker or water dispenser, remove the front grill at the bottom of the fridge and disconnect the water line and electrical cable.
- Remove the beauty cover at the top of the door near the hinge. This will reveal the hinge bracket.
- Unscrew the hinge bracket using a socket wrench, Allen key or Phillips screwdriver.
- Once unscrewed, remove the bracket and lift the door off its bottom pivot. The door might be heavy, so have someone help you with this step.
Always get help when transporting a fridge to avoid injury. Ideally, use a moving trolley to move the fridge to and from the moving vehicle.
Make sure your fridge is fully secured with rope or straps in an upright position.
Don’t transport a fridge on its side unless you have no other choice. Doing this can cause damage to the refrigerator compressor. The compressor contains oil that’s kept in place by gravity.
Once your fridge is cleaned, prepped and transported, it can be kept in a storage unit for as long as needed.
Experts offer the following general tips for long-term fridge storage:
- store a fridge upright on a flat, level surface
- store the fridge standing on a pallet, cardboard or a furniture blanket
- leave enough space around the fridge to prevent scratching
- leave the door(s) ajar to avoid moisture and mould build-up
- don’t leave the fridge wrapped in plastic, which can lead to condensation
- drape a furniture blanket or sheet loosely over the fridge as a dust cover
- don’t place anything heavy on top of the fridge.