ReusingGreen Living

Using a Broken Refrigerator to Store Dishes and Flatware

Our refrigerator just broke a few days ago and I was told it can't be repaired anymore. I don't want to just throw it away so I'm thinking of making it a dish cabinet where I can put all our plates, glasses, spoons, forks, and other utensils. However, I'm not sure if it's safe and okay to do that. Wouldn't it be harmful to our health to store those things in a broken refrigerator since we are using them every day in eating and cooking?


Thank you in advance to those who can share info and advice.

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January 14, 20190 found this helpful

It is technically possible per this article but I personally cannot see myself keeping a broken fridge to store dishes and flatware - it would be space consuming for me and not convenient.

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January 15, 20190 found this helpful

I would advise against it if you have children living with you or visiting. They could get trapped inside and suffocate.

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January 15, 20190 found this helpful

I would think that it would smell musty. However, if you removed the gaskets so air could circulate in it, it may work.


I've never heard of anyone doing this but if you have the space, it could possibly be made into a cabinet but it would have to dry out first and you would not want it to be air tight.

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January 15, 20190 found this helpful

Also there is a concern about the freon which is harmful to environment if released.

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January 16, 20190 found this helpful

I cannot image using an old refrigerator for this but then there are a lot of people that use them for many things. Some uses are quite extreme but then I found some that were very interesting.

Usually when I have an appliance that I no longer need or want, I put an add in Freecycle and Craigslist stating free and noting condition.


This usually brings message within a day stating someone will pick it up and that is that.

I do not usually allow anyone in my home and I am never alone when the "taker" arrives because I just do not wish to take any chances that someone may have an ulterior motive for answering the ad.
Better to be safe - always.

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January 23, 20190 found this helpful

I have used a nonfunctional refrigerator before to store dry goods when I didn't want the mice or the other garbage to get into them. It lived in the garage/porch and I would just go in there and put dry goods in them just like you would put regular food in a regular fridge.

a fridge for storage to me is a brilliant idea

Just make sure you clean it well and solve storage issues

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January 24, 20190 found this helpful

I am all about being green and your idea may work, but I would want to take a number of precautions, including disabling the lock so no kid or pet could accidentally get stuck inside, removing the Freon (this must be done by a professional and in accordance to standards for your town--and disposed of properly--DO NOT DO THIS YOURSELF AS IT IS DANGEROUS), and maybe even removing all of the motor or at least cutting the cord so someone down the road doesn't plug it in and have an issue.


I would think if you took all of these precautions, cleaned it out well, and let it dry to get out any moisture (especially if it had a water feature thingy on the front or an ice maker), you could do this safely.

Post back what you decide. Best wishes.

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Better Living Green Living ReusingJanuary 14, 2019
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