How to Clean a Commercial Fridge
Ever wondered how to clean a commercial fridge? Refrigerators are one of the most expensive assets in a restaurant kitchen. While they age over time and will eventually need to be replaced, keeping them clean will ensure all-round hygiene of your restaurant.
Commercial Fridge Deep Cleaning Post Lockdown
Regular cleaning can also add to the longevity of this expensive kitchen equipment. Dirt is most of the main culprits of refrigerator breakdowns. Dusty fridge coils make the refrigerator work harder to keep your food cold. That eventually lowers the energy efficiency of the fridge to the point that internal temperatures rise and food spoils. This not only costs you more in energy and equipment, but it also puts your restaurant at risk. There are a few things that you can do to help keep your kitchen refrigerator clean and running in good condition. At the same time, these tips will avoid unnecessary health risks for your staff and customers.
How to Keep Your Fridge Clean
1. Clean the Fridge Surfaces Regularly (interior and exterior)
It’s important to clean the interior and exterior of the fridge regularly – preferably on a weekly or biweekly basis. Remove all the items from the fridge (including shelves and trays) and put them in a temporary cool area.
Make sure the fridge is turned off at the circuit breaker before unplugging the unit. Once turned off, use a soft scrubbing brush and cloth to clean shelves and surfaces. Avoid abrasive scrubbers and cleaning solutions. Commercial kitchen cleaning experts will tend to use specialised nontoxic solutions and special equipment, but if you’re doing it yourself you can use soapy water or a vinegar solution. For thicker grease on surfaces try using baking soda or stainless-steel degreasing detergent.
At all times you should be careful about the use of chemicals and disinfectants like bleach. Disinfectants can contaminate food products and make customers ill putting your restaurant’s health and safety in jeopardy. If you’re uncertain, get in touch with a professional cleaner. CICS clean commercial fridges with food-friendly antibacterial cleaning products.
2. Clean the Condenser Coil
Refrigerator condenser coils collect dust and need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Typically, manufacturers suggest that fridge condenser coils need to be cleaned every 3 months. Start the process by disconnecting power to the unit.
Make sure you’ve removed all items from the fridge and place them in a cool area to avoid spoiling. You may need to remove the cover or grate from the unit. It should snap off easily but refer to the manual if need be. Once the protective grate is off, use a stiff bristle brush to remove dust and dirt. Any remaining dust can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or air compressor.
There may be a grease build up on the coils which can damage them. In this case, it’s best to use an OEM-recommended degreaser while consulting the user manual for de-greasing instructions. Once clean, reattach the protective grate and restock the fridge. Cleaning your refrigerator coils have several benefits including:
Colder, more efficient refrigeration
Longer lifespan of the motor
Reduction in breakdowns and maintenance calls
Fewer incidents of food spoilage due to warm temperatures
3. Clean drip pans
While fridges differ in design, the drip pans are almost always at the bottom of the unit. Make sure that these are regularly emptied and cleaned to avoid overflowing with moisture and sludge. Drip pans should be cleaned at least once a month.
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