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The Rundown on How to Clean Your Walk-In Cooler or Freezer

Updated: May 6

As the dawn of spring cleaning is upon us, it’s time to take a roll call of all the nooks and crannies that we plan to tackle. Here is how you should clean your walk-in cooler or freezer:

For walk-in coolers and freezers specifically, dirt, dust, and food droppings can build up fast. It’s important to make sure that you’re regularly cleaning these spaces to ensure that they're always in their best shape. Whether you’re maintaining your equipment in a restaurant, supermarket, or hospital, we’ve got the hook up for the best walk-in-and-freezer-cleaning rundown!

dirty walk-in cooler

When cleaning your walk-in cooler or freezer, it’s best to keep it simple: soap and water work wonders. Combine these two miracle workers with a cloth for walls and a soft-bristled broom or brush for the floor and you’re golden! However, make sure that you’re steering away from any harsh chemicals, as they can damage the metal in your cooler or freezer. Harsh chemicals that can damage your equipment include things like chlorides and acids, so it’s best to stick to just soap and warm water to avoid any damages that may be costly over time. For anything that’s giving you a hard time while cleaning, like hard water stains, the use of a vinegar solution will usually do the trick!

To begin the cleaning process for your walk-in cooler or freezer, it’s best to start with the condenser coils. Ideally, these should be cleaned once per month to make sure that everything continues running smoothly and to avoid expensive repairs. To clean the condenser coils, the most important step is to turn off the breaker to ensure that you’re safe. Use a shop vac or an industrial vacuum to clean off the coils with ease. Next, use a rag with mild soap to cleanse the outside.

Next, work your way around the inside of the walk-in cooler or freezer with a cloth and mild soap. Remember not to use harsh chemicals! For the floor, give it a good sweep and a mop with mild soap. Make sure to dry the floor completely before you turn your cooler or freezer back on since the liquid can turn to ice very quickly and possibly cause an avoidable accident.

One thing you can’t forget is those door gaskets! Door gaskets in coolers and freezers, when not maintained and cleaned regularly, can house mold and other bacterias that can eventually harm the integrity of the gaskets. If that integrity is compromised, your cooler or freezer’s cold air can easily escape, which not only means another repair but can also cause your food to spoil, which is even more money lost. With that in mind, cleaning the door gaskets is simple and quick! Simply take a soapy cloth to the gaskets to wipe away dirt and debris, making sure to get any buildup that may be occurring. One way of extending your gasket's life and preserving the material is to use a vinyl preservative after cleaning. To test that seal for good measure, a good trick is to close the door on a dollar bill. When you pull the bill out of the sealed door, you should feel resistance. If you don’t feel resistance, your seal might be broken.

Next are drain lines. It’s vital to keep drain lines clean and free of any debris and food buildup. If there is significant buildup, it’s possible that it could cause your entire cooler or freezer to break down completely, which would not only be expensive, but you run the risk of losing everything stored in that cooler or freezer. Another terrible side effect of the freezer breaking down due to the clogged drain lines is the smell that can come along with it. As you can imagine, the odor of old, caked-up food waste and liquids doesn’t smell too pleasant, and that stench could fill up your kitchen or supermarket quickly. To examine the state of your drain lines, just give it a quick check to see if there is any buildup or blockage. We highly recommend getting with one of our skilled technicians to come out and clean the drain lines on your unit.

In short, nothing is better for your walk-in cooler or freezer than a good scrub. In order to extend your unit’s life and to save you more money, monthly cleanings are the way to go. Find anything unsavory that needs fixing? Don’t hesitate to give us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration.

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) 686-0500 for our Lubbock, Texas community.

Or check out our website at


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