How to Clean a Commercial Fridge After a Hurricane

Cleaning up in the aftermath of a hurricane is an essential step toward getting life back to normal. One of the most fundamental pieces of equipment to clean after an extended power outage or flood is your commercial refrigerator.

This guide will explain how to clean your fridge after a hurricane in just a few simple steps.

Products Needed

You may already have many of the products you will need for cleaning a commercial fridge. You can clean your refrigerator with vinegar to destroy mildew, and a mixture of bleach and water will sanitize all fridge surfaces. Detergent will help to wash the shelves and crispers.

There are numerous commercial products available in grocery stores to eliminate odors, but you can also use household products such as:

  • Baking soda
  • Kitty litter
  • Activated charcoal
  • Coffee grounds

These products absorb odor and are easy to clean up after sitting in the fridge for a few days.

Cleaning Your Commercial Fridge

Follow these steps to restore your fridge to like-new condition.

Remove Spoiled Food

When cleaning rotten food from the fridge, remember you can not go by appearance, odor or taste. In fact, to stay safe, you should avoid tasting anything.

To determine whether a food item is spoiled or not, consider the temperature. Perishable foods that sit above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours are no longer safe to eat. You can refreeze frozen foods that are 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below or still have ice crystals.

After a power outage lasting a week, you should remove all food.

Clean Fridge Surfaces

With the fridge unplugged, remove the shelves and crispers and wash them with hot water and detergent. Once all the components are cleaned, rinse them with a sanitizing mixture of liquid chlorine bleach and water.

Use hot water and baking soda to clean the interior of the fridge and freezer, including the doors and gaskets. Rinse the interior with the sanitizing solution after you are finished. Leave the doors open for at least 15 minutes to allow for proper air circulation.

Eliminate Lasting Odors

If there are lingering odors, sprinkle coffee grounds, baking soda, kitty litter or activated charcoal on the shelves and run the refrigerator empty for a few days. You can also pack each shelf with newspaper, sprinkle it with water and run the fridge for five or six days.

Learn More With Unlimited Restoration

URI offers 24/7 emergency service and restoration for fast responses when you need it most. Get in touch with us to learn more about developing a plan to protect your property in an emergency.


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