A refrigerator keeps things cool and fresh. It is a necessity at home. It is your go-to place whenever you want to refresh or have a snack. However, going to the kitchen to do this is sometimes inconvenient. It would be easier to have a mini-fridge beside you.
A mini-fridge is a compact refrigerator. It does the same function but occupies a smaller space making it ideal in your office, hotel rooms, or in your bedroom. It holds just the right amount of stocks for short-term consumption.
If you have a mini-fridge, you need to know how to care for it properly. It may be small, but it is costly. Knowing how to rightly clean and maintain this appliance allows you to use it for a long time and maximize your investment.
Basic types of a mini-fridge
There are two fundamental classifications of a fridge, the frost or static type, and the non-frost type. The main difference lies in the frost buildup.
Frost fridges accumulate an icy layer over time. It is the traditional type of cooling system; most of us grew up having. On the other hand, non-frost, as the name implies, does not gather frost.
Initially, the former was more energy-efficient. However, with the advancements in technology, many non-frost types are now at par with energy consumption. Which is better will be a matter of personal preference.
Keeping your mini-fridge clean is a must. It would help if you practiced regular sanitation because it holds food. Improper food handling and storage can lead to serious health issues.
You must schedule cleaning up your fridge at least once every three months. It is time for deep-cleaning and defrosting. You must develop a habit of cleaning as you go daily so that the mess will not build up.
Since it is compact, it is relatively easier to clean a mini-fridge than the full-sized ones. There is less space to tidy up, and it will require less time to finish.
Steps to Defrosting your Fridge
Defrosting your mini-fridge is easy. You can do it on your own without hassle. The procedure will depend on which type of freezer you have and what defrosting system it employs.
The first thing you need to do when you decide to clean up your mini-fridge is to remove everything. Find the right place to store the fridge’s contents while cleaning to get them out of the way. Doing so allows you to reach all the corners.
Automatic defrosting system
This kind of defrosting system is very straightforward. Just press the defrost button on the control panel of the fridge. For a frost type refrigerator, you need to wait for all the ice to melt and then wipe clean every surface and edges of the appliance.
Once the sensors detect that all the frost has melted, the fridge will start automatically. When done defrosting, the compressor begins sounding, and the defrost button pops back up. What is left for you to do is empty the drip pan. Wash it before putting it back to eliminate germs and bacteria that accumulated from the matters that melted.
Manual defrosting system
If your mini-fridge is for manual defrosting, look for the dial and turn it to zero or off. Unplug the appliance and leave the fridge door open to help hasten the melting of the ice. It may take a few hours for all of them to disappear. It is why timing is crucial for this endeavor. It is best to do it on a sunny day or overnight.
Start cleaning up once all ice melted. For detachable parts, remove them and wash them with soap and water. Let them air dry or use a tablecloth before putting them back in. Ensure that you scrub every corner, wipe away all visible dirt, and clean the drip pan before plugging it back on.
Once done cleaning your mini-fridge, you may then begin placing the contents back. You must do this regularly for maximum use of your appliance.
Tips on how to keep your mini-fridge on top shape
Here are some tips to keep your mini-fridge at its optimum performance:
Regular cleaning – CLAYGO
It would be best if you had a fixed schedule for general cleaning. It means that even if you do not see visible dirt if it is time to do it, you have to do it. Ideally, doing this every two to three months is enough.
However, nothing beats having a regular maintenance habit. It would help if you learned CLAYGO, clean as you go. Whenever you see spills, wipe them clean. Do not wait for the defrosting schedule to address the mess.
Do not allow frost to build up
Even if you have regular clean up on a fixed schedule, if you see that the ice thickness is more than a fourth of an inch, consider defrosting already. Too much ice buildup makes cooling or freezing food take longer. It will make the appliance less efficient. The compressor can be overworked also.
Allowing too thick buildup may also damage your appliance. It also uses up space that could have been for freezing food instead. Dense ice is a telltale sign that it is time for you to defrost.
Throw away spoiled and expired items
One bad habit that many people have regarding storing food is keeping everything inside the fridge and forgetting all about it. The refrigerator often reeks of food no longer suitable for consumption because they are either spoiled or expired.
Habitually check the contents of your mini-fridge and remove such items. Spoiled items may start producing harmful microorganisms that may contaminate the other items inside. It also helps to give more space to other stuff you need to store.
Do not overstock
Overstocked refrigerators hinder the free circulation of cold air inside. If this happens, the cooling of food will take longer. It will also make the compressor more worked up. It will not only harm the food stored but as well as your appliance and electric bill.
Always keep the door closed
Whenever you open the fridge door, cold air comes out, and the temperature inside will go up. Keeping the door close will keep the temperature at the optimum level. Doing otherwise will make the fridge use more energy to maintain the coolness it requires.
Keep food in spill-proof containers
One of the leading causes of spillage in your fridge is the items you put in unsealed containers. Putting food inside airtight containers will not only prevent this but will also help preserve their freshness.
Use natural deodorizers
You usually do not discriminate about what you put inside your mini-fridge. Unfortunately, at times, some of those you store may have a strong smell. It can contaminate other items you put inside.
You can avoid this by using natural deodorizers such as charcoal or an open box of baking soda. All you need to do is place them at the corner of the fridge, and they will absorb the stench. It will keep your appliance not only looking clean but smelling clean too.
A mini-fridge is a handy appliance. It holds the most important thing that we need to access daily – our food. It is why you must know how to keep it clean at all times. It is crucial that where you put what you eat is free of elements that can harm you.
It is not so difficult to do that. You read above the simple ways of how to do it. Follow the tips, too, and you will be on your way to keeping a mini-fridge that is more than just clean, but energy and cost-efficient also.