Things You'll Need
If you plan to stop using your refrigerator for a month or more, shut it down properly to prevent mold and odors. This task is not difficult, but it requires thorough cleaning. Take the time to do the job right. If you don't, mold and bacterial growth may render your fridge unusable.
Remove all food from the refrigerator.
Set the refrigerator's temperature control to the "Off" position. This control is typically found inside of the refrigerator, positioned at the top near the light.
Turn off the ice maker in the freezer by lifting the swing arm to the upper locked position.
Shut off the water supply valve, which is a spigot located on the wall. To find it, follow the water hose from the back of the refrigerator to the wall.
Drain the water tank if your refrigerator has a drinking water dispenser. Once the water supply has been shut off, you can simply run the dispenser until the tank empties.
Unplug the refrigerator. Leave the door open as you clean to allow it to warm to room temperature.
Wash the inside of the refrigerator with a food-safe cleaning product and paper towels. You can make your own cleaner by mixing 1 tbsp. baking soda into 1 qt. of water.
Wipe the inner surface of the refrigerator dry after cleaning. Do not leave standing water, which can encourage mold.
Put an open box of baking soda into the refrigerator to absorb odors.
Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.