I'm doing a bit of a clean of my fridge and freezer (dual unit) and I have heard you should turn your fridge/freezer off when cleaning - since I am not doing a complete/deep clean of it and I don't have many items in there I was wanting to keep it running.

Is there any particular reason you should turn it off when cleaning? ...or is that just a "save power" kind of thing? ...or does it let off particles of gas or something when running that you shouldn't be breathing in that long?

  • What gas? Is this a propane unit?
    – isherwood
    May 12, 2020 at 19:44
  • @isherwood I don't believe so; but I thought there was some kind of gas involved in the functioning of a fridge/freezer?
    – Brett
    May 12, 2020 at 20:00
  • you only need to turn it off to prevent a wet rag from freezing to the inside wall when you are cleaning it
    – jsotola
    May 12, 2020 at 20:01
  • 1
    I should hope not. :)
    – isherwood
    May 12, 2020 at 20:09
  • 1
    Yeah, the Freon envelope is a hermetically sealed unit, only thing going in/out of the Freon envelope is 2 electrical wires. Even the motor spins in a Freon bath, which doesn't really bother it any. May 12, 2020 at 21:41

2 Answers 2


There's no reason to turn it off. You'd save a few cents in power by doing so, but it's not worth the hassle for a short period. It's not going to cause damage.

  • Well I'm estimating 30-45 mins clean as whilst I am not doing he whole unit, I will be doing a lot of the little bits and pieces that don't usually get cleaned in most instances. Still doesn't matter?
    – Brett
    May 12, 2020 at 20:03
  • Doesn't matter at my house. :)
    – isherwood
    May 12, 2020 at 20:08
  • Alright, cheers! :)
    – Brett
    May 12, 2020 at 20:11
  • i agree about the lack of damage, but depending on the weather, and harking back to clearing out apt fridges in august, it can condense quite a bit in the short time of cleaning, which can cause water to pool, which can breed mold and bacteria if not frost-free.
    – dandavis
    May 13, 2020 at 16:25
  • @dandavis Yep, it's frost-free, it's actually a pretty new fridge, less than a year old.
    – Brett
    May 14, 2020 at 21:55

The problem with "not turning it off" is that your cleaning soapy water will freeze to the side of the freezer!

That is the reason they advise turning it off.

If you can work around that, you're all set :)

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