If your businesses has been forced to close due to lockdown, it’s important to ensure your commercial fridges and freezers are cared for properly while not in active use. We’re urging all our customers to use this period of downtime to ensure you are taking the best care of your equipment, and catching up on preventative maintenance tasks that you may not always have enough time to conduct when service is busy.
Commercial refrigerator care
Deep cleaning your refrigeration equipment
Even if your business is no longer operating due to current restrictions, all equipment must be looked after in order to meet fundamental hygiene standards. Good maintenance is also key to ensure your chllers are in good working order when you re-open once restrictions are lifted.
Firstly, it’s important to empty your fridge before cleaning rather than ‘wiping around’ your stock. We then advise using soap and warm water to clean both the inside and exterior, with non-abrasive cloths or sponges – soft cloths and plastic scouring pads will prevent any damage to the material coating, but steel pads and wire brushes or scrapers and solvent-based cleaners will cause unisightly marks even on stainless steel.
Fridges with stock
Refrigerators only need a minimal amount of maintenance – it doesn’t take long, and once carried out correctly you will be reaping the benefits of having a longer-lasting, safe, and efficient fridge for many years. Even when you’re open, neglecting the routine maintainance of your refrigerators increases the risk of breakdowns. Now you have some time on your hands, this is the perfect opportunity to give your fridge a basic ‘MOT’ over and above the quick clean suggested above, by following a few simple steps:
- Remove any food ( a chance to check for out-of-date stock too)
- Thoroughly wipe down inside and out (see tips above)
- Clean the condenser coil with compressed air when necessary
- Ensure the gaskets are in good condition and seal properly
- If possible, clean heated seals weekly with warm water & mild detergent
- Polish any stainless steal to maintain appearance
If you have no stock to keep chilled, you can save money on utilities by ‘hibernating’ your commercial fridge. Simply follow the steps below:
- Switch the chiller unit off at the mains
- Carry out a manual defrost if required
- Clean inside and out as per our tips above
- Check door/drawer gaskets are clean, and not damaged
- Dry all interior surfaces fully
- Remove racking/shelves/containers and wrap in cling film
- Leave the door slightly ajar too stop bacteria from setting
- Wipe the refrigerator’s feet and/or castors
- Ensure the top of the appliances is clear – never store boxes etc on there
- Remember to re-clean agan before re-stocking after lockdown
Commercial freezer care
Freezer units with stock
Freezers can be left on during periods of closure which is a big help when it comes to reducing costly waste, but it’s important to re-evaluate stock once things return to normal. Here are our tips:
- Remove any food that is out of date
- Staack remaining food on shelves with adequate space between levels
- Make sure nothing is is stored on the bottom/floor of the freezer. (if it is, the airflow of the unit will be restricted which will lead to the compressor going into overtime and increase your energy bills)
For freezer units that have been cleared completely and won’t be used for the foreseeable future, here are some recommendations to make sure the equipment is ready to work at its best when you re-open:
- Turn off the unit to conserve energy
- Thoroughly clean the entire freezer with soap and water (use our fridge cleaning tips)
- Leave the door open marginally to prevent the build-up of unpleasant odours/bacteria
We’re here to help in whatever ways we can during this difficult time for businesses. If you need to help with any commercial kitchen maintenance during lockdown or beyond, contact our friendly experts today. Cutts Refrigeration.
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Tel: 01743 718 871
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