A commercial refrigerator is at the heart of any food service business and can create extreme difficulties when the unit breaks down. While no refrigeration unit lasts forever, there are several things you can do to extend the life of your refrigerator.
Be sure that your machine is unplugged before you begin any cleaning of your unit.
By keeping all of the mechanical parts of your commercial refrigerator clean, you are taking the first step to keeping your unit healthy. There are several parts on a unit that should be cleaned regularly.
The condenser coil location on a unit can vary, and can be found either by checking the owner’s manual or asking the installation technician to point the unit out to you. This part should be cleaned at least once a month to keep it free of dust, dirt and lint.
Clean the condenser coil with a commercial condenser coil cleaner, which can be purchased at many kitchen equipment retailers. Brush the condenser fins from top to bottom and never side to side. Once you have completed scrubbing the fins, straighten any bent fins with a comb.
Some manufacturers such as Structural Concepts, have patented cleaners that automatically clean the condenser coils daily.
Fan Blades and Motor
The blades and motor on commercial refrigeration should also be cleaned once a month. Cleaning is done with a soft cloth run over both the motor and the fan blades. If it is necessary to wash the blades, cover the motor with another, dry cloth so that the moisture does not cause damage to the motor.
It is important to remember not to use any steel wool, caustic cleaning chemicals or bleach when cleaning the interior of your refrigerated unit. These products can not only cause damage to the finish of the refrigerator, but they can leave behind strong chemical scents that can affect the flavor of the food. Use a solvent of warm water and mild soap to clean the inside of your unit.
Once a week, remove the door gaskets from the refrigerator and allow them to soak in a soap and water mixture for about thirty minutes. Once they have soaked for a while, simply remove the gaskets, dry them and replace them on the unit. Be sure to make sure the gaskets still create a proper seal once you have reattached them to your unit.
Shelves should also be removed and cleaned at least once a week.
Aside from routine cleaning, there are some additional things you need to do every couple of months in order to assure your commercial refrigerator is operating properly.
Taking care of the basic components of your refrigerator can lead to a much longer lifetime and lessen the hassle for you as the owner. It may mean taking extra time and little bit of extra money in the short term, but getting extra years out of your machine makes up for it in the long run.