Refrigerators and stoves can be pretty expensive to replace. Thus, if you're putting these large appliances into a storage unit, you want to make sure you take the time to prepare them properly so they emerge intact and ready to use again. Here are a few tips for preparing each of these large appliances for time in a storage unit.


You must make sure your fridge is spotless and free from bacteria on the inside, or else it will emerge smelling absolutely unappetizing. Start by removing all of the drawers and shelves. Clean these separately in a mixture of bleach and water. Be sure to scrub away any caked-on debris, and then let them sit somewhere until they are completely dry. Use the same bleach and water mixture to wipe out the entire fridge. Spend plenty of time on the gaskets, since mold and spilled liquids tend to accumulate here.

If there is caked-on grime in your refrigerator, sprinkle a little baking soda on it, and then tackle it with an old toothbrush. When you're finished, wipe away the baking soda with your bleach water. Then, unplug the fridge (if you have not already) and let it sit open for a whole day before putting the shelves and drawers back inside. You want to make sure all traces of moisture are gone so you do not end up with mold. Put a big, open box of baking soda inside to help absorb any residual odors, and shut the door.

Make sure you keep the fridge upright during transport and storage so the coils do not become damaged. Tape the door shut with duct tape to keep rodents from making their way inside.


Run your oven's self-cleaning cycle a day or two before you plan to put it in storage. When the self-cleaning cycle is complete, wipe the whole oven out with a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts water. This will remove any last traces of ash or grime so they don't attract any pests in storage.

To clean the burners and drip pans, remove them from the stove completely. Scrub the drip pans with some baking soda and water to remove any caked-on grime. If you cannot get them clean, consider just tossing them out and purchasing new ones when you remove the stove from storage. (Drip pans are only a few dollars apiece.) Wipe the burners themselves down with disinfectant wipes or a bleach-water solution. Even the smallest traces of spilled food can attract bugs.

When you're done cleaning, let your oven dry completely. Then, stuff it with newspaper. This will keep the grates and heating elements from rattling around too much during transport. Wrap a shower curtain or another thick sheet of plastic over the top of the stove to keep dust from falling into the burners.

If you follow the steps above, your stove and refrigerator should emerge from storage in perfect working condition. Click here for more information on self storage.