I plan to store refrigerator in my residence unplugged. I cleaned it well with all soap, 409 and disinfectant, and left doors open to dry out for few days.

They recommend to keep Doors Open for long term refrigerator storage. This prevents mold and mildew growth when unplugged. Question is, I want to keep doors closed when guests come for aesthetic purpose (instead of having piece of cardboard/stopper sticking out).

Is it okay, to leave doors open at night before sleep, (8 hours a day). Would this strategy be sufficient and if correct, how many days, should many days per weeks? Everyday? 3-4 times? Currently live in part of US where temperature is moderate 50-80, low humidity etc, Just want to be sure,


  • It will probably be fine if opened regularly I would put a bowl of baking soda in each compartment to help just in case.
    – Ed Beal
    May 4, 2020 at 15:33
  • hi @EdBeal how many times a week per say, or does it matter? thanks, feel free to write in answer, I can send points May 4, 2020 at 15:34
  • I think you already asked this, and I think you might have 2 accounts, which happens a lot because this system lets you use cookie accounts without tying to an email. I recommend registering an account (tie it to an email, Facebook, Google) then ask mods to merge your other account(s). May 4, 2020 at 19:07

4 Answers 4


I wouldn't. You could potentially have mold growth within hours.

However, the door doesn't have to be open very wide. I would stoutly tape a block there that holds the door open 1 inch.

You really have to do something like that, because humans have been trained since age 3 to treat an open refrigerator door as an emergency that demands immediate closing. The people at the lodge make me bat crazy; every time they re-close refrigerator doors left open because the fridge is off. Once it becomes obvious to the human that someone has affixed a block that prevents the door from closing, they will usually leave it alone.

After a couple months, the fridge will dry out and you can let the door be closed. Though it helps to throw a desiccant pack in there.

I know where your mind is going to go, though. You're going to say "Well shoot, I'll just throw a desiccant pack in there on day one and never leave it open at all!" And I say "good luck with that". Refrigerators can hold a LOT of moisture, enough to overwhelm any desiccant pack. I would not do that for the first week.

After the first week, if you're diligent about resetting desiccant packs then that's fine, but you need to not forget.

  • well, I'm only person living in residence, so I'm only one would who shut it :), no kids, like other answer, I'll probably leaving baking soda and desiccant pack (as you recommend)in the refrigerator, and open it 3 times week, if sleeping, thanks May 4, 2020 at 20:12
  • I'll clean it and, leave the doors open for a week, and then start open intermittingly, should be enough, thanks May 4, 2020 at 20:14
  • also, you said fridge will take couple months to dry out, how did you get that? usually thought takes 1-2 weeks, appreciate everything May 4, 2020 at 20:15
  • @AlanSmith5482 three things are against you. First the fact that the problem water is on the backside of the refrigerator lining, where air does not have very good access. Second I only crack the door an inch. Third it tends to be humid, and that slows drying. I know a week won't work because it didn't for me. May 5, 2020 at 4:09

I have an unused fridge in our shop that my son always closes. I open it but it may not be until a weekend when I find it. So I can say it has been out there for 3 years and regularly is closed on a Monday or Tuesday and I find it on Friday or Saturday. It is a backup we had repaired so I don’t need it, but may so I want it clean. 1 time it started growing mold but sure how long it was closed. I added a bowl of baking soda to each side and doors are open at least 2 days per week, result with no mold for ~3 years. The one time mold did grow, I was gone for 2 months. I added baking soda after that with no issues so far (I did add new baking soda about a year ago and probably should again. I live in Oregon so relative humidity is not high like back East. But I would say a few days a week of being open have worked so far.


I suspect you'll find it simpler to prop the doors open, rather than remember to open it up for a few hours on a schedule.

I have a small fridge I only use around the holidays, and I put a clamp between the fridge and freezer sections (not real tight, just enough to stay put). The body of the clamp then prevents the doors from closing completely. I have to wipe it out when it's time to use it (dust builds up), but that's never been a big deal.

Depending on model, you could run a piece of rope around it, or put something on the floor to block the doors open.

  • well I kind of addressed that in the question, 'want to keep doors closed when guests come for aesthetic purpose (instead of having piece of clamp/stopper sticking out).' May 4, 2020 at 17:38

put a bowl of damp-absorbing crystals ("Damp Rid" etc) in each compartment and just leave the doors closed.

  • Do you have experience with this? It takes very little moisture to get an unauthorized ecosystem in your unused fridge... May 5, 2020 at 11:27

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