Tri-Point Refrigeration Blog | How to Clean Your Reach-In

How to Clean Your Reach-In

Jan 28, 2024 | Commercial Kitchen, Reach-Ins, Refrigeration, Sanitation | 0 comments

Perhaps nothing sees as much traffic as your commercial reach-in freezer or fridge. Of course, lots of things are stored in there, but its frequent use also means frequent mess: spilled ranch dressing, sloshing ceviche juice, and maybe an unnoticed chunk of crab ripening in the far corner.

We all know that a commercial kitchen sees a lot of cleaning, a lot of bleach, and a lot of hosing down–and this includes your reach-in! However, things can always be done better or more efficiently. We’re here to give you some quick tips on how to keep your reach-in squeaky clean and smelling fresh.

First things first, (and as with most cleaning operations) that reach-in needs to be emptied. There can’t be a single item in your reach-in, as it runs the risk of cross-contamination and the risk of getting cleaning products on edibles meant for your patrons. This is also a great chance to rid your machine of expired or smelly foods–of course, you don’t want those lingering around for longer than they’re welcome. Make sure to relocate temperature-sensitive foods (like dairy) to another cooler while you’re busy cleaning the reach-in.

Next up is a step that you can’t skip: unplugging the machine. Without fully disconnecting it from its power supply, you can risk damaging the unit or making it run harder than it needs to as it overcompensates for its open door during the cleaning process.

Start this cleaning process working from the inside out. This machine is simple and doesn’t need any overly-complicated cleaners to keep it squeaky clean. Opt for a soft towel (microfiber!), lukewarm water, and nonabrasive soap. Avoid things like harsh chemicals and scouring pads at all costs, as these can severely damage your machine’s metal, and there’s no coming back from it. Any plastic can also stand to be damaged by these materials, and metals can be permanently discolored or scratched.

As you’re cleaning the interior, take out the metal racks and give those a thorough bath as well. Likewise, you can use a small vacuum to quickly rid of any and all debris that’s collected on the floors and corners of your reach-in.

Now that you’ve cleaned the inside of your reach-in, it’s time to sanitize it. Of course, cleaning it, well, cleans it, but it’s extremely important to take an extra step to fully sanitize it. Using food-safe sanitizer ensures that there are no nasties left behind and taking that extra step can define the cleanliness of your machine.

Next, on to the only thing that’s left: the outside! Yes, the outside of your machine needs to be cleaned as well–there’s no use in skipping the part that everyone looks at every day! This part, thankfully, is super easy and straightforward. Simply take to it with a damp cloth and nonabrasive cleaner. For a caked-on mess, opt for a baking soda paste to gently rid the machine of ultra-dried-up grease. Your reach-in can weather through many different food-related storms: slinging sauces, popping grease, and general dirt that can get kicked around a commercial kitchen. That’s why it’s extremely important to maintain its outward cleanliness as well. Of course, you can also apply a bit of that sanitizer here, as well!

Once you’ve completed the last step-congratulations! Your reach-in is now squeaky clean! What can be even more crucial, however, is the maintenance of your reach-in: cleaning the condenser coils, evaporator coils, and maintaining door gaskets.

Cue Tri-Point Refrigeration! With us, you can sign up for a regular maintenance plan for any of your commercial refrigeration machines to ensure that your investments stay running smoothly and efficiently for as long as possible. Our technicians would be thrilled to add you to our roster and be available to service and clean those hard-to-manage components in your reach-in, walk-in, or ice machine.

Start right here by giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration and we would be ecstatic in helping you keep your reach-in and any other machines in tip-top shape! We’re excited to help you along the way, and with regular servicing, we can keep your equipment running smoothly and healthily, while also extending the reach of your dollar.

For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community.

Or check out our website at

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