A mini fridge is a necessity for students going away to school. They’re a convenient way to store snacks and drinks while saving on trips to the grocery store… but do you know how to take care of one? Sure, a mini fridge might cost less than the textbooks you need for a semester, but you need to protect your investment. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your fridge so you have it for your entire school career and beyond.
How To Pack & Move Your Mini Fridge: Keep It Upright!
Step one is getting your fridge into your dorm, right? The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep the fridge upright at all times. Laying your mini fridge horizontally could cause problems with the mechanics that keep your fridge cold when you plug it in. Should you really need to lay it down any other way, try to lay it flat on its back or tilted for as short a time as possible. When you are able to stand it upright, wait 24 hours before plugging it in to allow the system to re-correct itself should anything have shifted during transport.
How to Maintain Your Mini Fridge: Keep It Clean and Smelling Fresh
Once you have moved in and have placed food or drinks in your mini fridge, aim to clean it out once a week. Check for expired milk, meat, fruits/veggies or other perishable items and discard them as needed. Should you have a spill in your fridge, clean it out immediately to avoid bacteria, mold, mildew or food-borne illnesses. You may also want to place a small box of baking soda inside to absorb odors.
How to Defrost Your Mini Fridge: Defrost Every Break!
When your mini fridge will be left unattended for long periods of time like when moving out or on Thanksgiving, Winter or Spring breaks, your refrigerator will need to be defrosted. Plan on defrosting your fridge at least 24 hours before you leave. To defrost your mini fridge:
- Remove and discard any items inside.
- Unplug your fridge, prop open the door and place a towel or tray underneath it to absorb any water. You may also want to place a towel inside the fridge as moisture accumulates.
- Leave it overnight.
- The next morning, wipe down any excess moisture and dry the towels, trays or cloths you used in and around the fridge.
This is also a great time to clean the shelves, drawers or racks your mini fridge may have. Never use harsh or abrasive cleaners inside your fridge, but a hot water/baking soda mixture or warm soapy water will do the trick. Rinse it with a clean rag or sponge and dry.
An important note: ALWAYS make sure your fridge is dry before closing the door to avoid mold and bacteria! A moldy fridge is certainly nto something you want to come back from break to.
How to Use Your Mini Fridge After College
I donated my mini fridge to an upcoming college freshman after I graduated, but there are many things you can use it for should you wish to take it home with you. Here are just some ways to keep using your fridge:
- Man Cave or Home Theater: Store cold beverages in your man cave or home theater so you don’t have to make your way to the kitchen every time you or your friends need something to wet their whistle.
- Extra Food Storage: Keep your mini fridge in your utility room, basement or garage and use it as extra space to hold excess leftovers or groceries. This is especially convenient during the holidays or while throwing a party!
- Mini Fridge as a Wine Cooler: It may not be as great a solution as a proper wine cooler, but will suffice to make space in your actual refrigerator.
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