HomeKitchenHow To Prepare A Fridge When Going On Vacation

How To Prepare A Fridge When Going On Vacation

Going on a vacation is always an exciting time – planning your itinerary, packing your bags, and enjoying the anticipation of a new adventure. However, there is one essential task that you may overlook – preparing your fridge before leaving.

Keeping your refrigerator in order while you are vacationing will prevent any unpleasant surprises and potential food spoilage when you return.

Here are some tips and tricks for keeping your foods properly stored, your energy consumption in check, and your mind at ease while you’re enjoying a well-deserved rest.

Leave It On

Leave your fridge on if you are going away for less than a month. It will consume less energy than usual, as you won’t be opening and closing it as often as you normally do. 

If you leave any food in the fridge, you can leave the temperature on your usual setting, or you can set the thermostat to a warmer temperature if there is no food inside – this will also save energy.

If you were to unplug your fridge for all the short trips you take, it would require you to prepare it for proper storage to avoid any leakages and food spoilage. It is dangerous to keep food in an unplugged fridge, as the temperature starts rising and bacteria starts to grow, which can cause food poisoning.

Remove All Perishables

Make sure to remove all perishable foods (this includes fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, or freshly cooked food, as well as dairy products and anything that is about to go out of date) from the fridge before going on vacation. 

Leaving perishables in the fridge before going on vacation will definitely mean you return to a smelly, disgusting fridge. You will have to clean it as soon as you get back, and let’s face it – no one wants to get busy cleaning straight home from vacation.

Turn It Off and Store It Properly

If you plan to go away for over a month, it is recommended to turn off your fridge and properly prepare it for storage. Make sure to:

  • Turn the fridge off and unplug it from the wall receptacle.
  • Remove all perishables, as they will spoil otherwise.
  • Turn off the ice maker, clear out any ice, and turn off the water supply.
  • Clean the fridge thoroughly to prevent any odours. Use a baking soda solution (1 tablespoon of baking soda per 1 quart of water).
  • Make sure the fridge is completely dry before storing it. If there is any water left inside, there is a risk of mould or mildew development.
  • Store the fridge in a clean and dry storage facility. It is best to keep the fridge doors open to prevent any odours and mould from developing.

Put Some Ice or Water In It

If you are going on a short trip and want to leave your fridge on, it is important to ensure it doesn’t stay too empty – that would cause difficulties in maintaining a steady temperature. The solution for this problem is to fill a couple of jugs with water and store them in the fridge while you’re away.

The fridge is best at maintaining a steady temperature when it is half full. The same goes for the freezer – you can fill an empty freezer with bags of ice to help it maintain a steady temperature too.

When you return from your trip, you can remove the water jugs and ice bags and clean the fridge using a cloth and some disinfectant.

Choose The Right Temperature

The right temperature of a fridge depends on how stocked it is. The ideal temperature in a fridge is 4.5°C, but it varies in different parts of the fridge. You can achieve the ideal temperature by keeping the coldest part of your fridge between 0°C (32°F) and 5°C (41°F) – use a thermometer to check the fridge temperature.

When you go on a trip and keep the fridge on, you can increase the temperature a bit after removing all perishable foods. The warmer temperature keeps non-perishable foods fresh but also saves energy and money.

Clean It

It’s a good idea to clean your fridge before you leave on vacation, even if you plan to leave it turned on. Germs and bacteria start developing in food leftovers and create a bad odour – which can become quite a nuisance when time comes to restock the fridge. Normally you would notice there is an off smell developing, but as you will be away, the growth can go unchecked. 

Follow these five steps to clean your fridge and prevent bad odours:

  • Throw out any spoiled foods and any foods stored with it or touching it. Seal it in a bag and toss it in the rubbish.
  • Empty the rest of the food items and store them in a cool place while you tackle the cleaning. 
  • Take out the shelving, drawers, and any other removable parts. Wash them using warm, soapy water, and then dry them with a clean towel.
  • Wipe the insides of the fridge with warm, soapy water, and then rinse with clean water. Dry with a clean towel. You can also use a baking soda solution. 
  • Put the shelves, drawers, and other removable parts back in the fridge, make sure everything is dry, and leave the doors open to prevent mould from developing.

Turn Off the Ice Maker

It is recommended to turn off the ice maker, shut off the water supply, and discard any existing ice cubes from the appliance before going on vacation. 

If you turn off the water supply but not the ice maker, the fill valve will be damaged due to a lack of water.

If you leave the ice maker on, it can malfunction, which can end up being an expensive repair.

Set It to Vacation Mode

If your fridge has one, set it to vacation mode before going on a trip. The vacation mode feature reduces power usage by keeping the freezer running normally, but increasing the temperature of the other compartments to 15°C.

Check if your fridge has a vacation mode by checking the control panel for a Vacation button. Fridges without a control panel usually don’t support this feature.

Wrapping Up 

Preparing your fridge for vacation is a simple process. You’ll need to take stock of the food inside it, clean it and decide whether or not it’s worth unplugging it for the duration of your trip. As long as you clean your fridge regularly and maintain it well so that it lasts longer, it should be in perfect working order when you come home. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular posts