Proper storage of an unplugged refrigerator involves removing all food, draining water from the ice maker and ensuring it is clean and odor free before storage. Removing water from the ice maker prevents freezing and damage to the lines if storing the appliance in an unheated space.
Any food left in the refrigerator or spilled on the shelves provides a medium for the growth of bacteria and mold, which produce odors that make the interior of the unit unpleasant. The owner should consume any remaining food, transfer it to another refrigerator or throw it away before starting the shutdown process.
To empty the ice maker and its lines, the owner must close the water supply valve, allow time for the ice maker to complete its final cycle and lift the wire switch to shut it off. SF Gate recommends following the owner's manual for draining remaining water from the lines and for removal of the water filter.
A baking soda solution is useful for cleaning the inside of the refrigerator without scratching. The baking soda provides a natural deodorizer and enough abrasive to remove dried-on food without scratching the surface. Once the refrigerator is clean, leaving the doors open a few days allows any remaining water to evaporate. Once it is dry, securing the doors prevents children or pets from getting trapped inside the unit.