Do Mini Fridges Need to be Transported Upright?

Mini fridges are quite convenient if you have a small living space. They provide you with the purpose of a refrigerator but in a smaller size. However, a mini-fridge is a little more sensitive compared to other refrigerators hence you will have to take extra care of that little one. So, do mini fridges need to be transported upright or can they stay fine if laid down on their side?

Mini fridges can be transported either upright or tilted. So, if your moving company transported it tilted due to size constraints, just let the mini-fridge stand straight for 24 hours before turning it on.

If you are a newbie to all-things-refrigerator, you have come to the right place. I’ll help answer all your transport of refrigerator-related questions through this guide. Read on to find out more tips on ensuring the maximum efficiency of your refrigerator.

Do mini-fridges need to be transported upright?

Mini fridges are a little different than your everyday full-size refrigerator. These little ones require a bit more care and caution. But the pros of mini-fridges trump all other worries. A mini-fridge helps you save electricity, can be placed anywhere, and saves you money too, both in the long and short run. When it comes to transportation, mini-fridges are not much of a hassle.

It is recommended that a mini-fridge be transported in an upright position however if due to any constraints it’s transported lying on its side, before turning it on, let it stand for 24 hours.

Transportation of mini-fridges usually is not a big issue because they are extremely portable and most of them can easily be moved from one place to another in your car. However, some large compact mini-fridges may need the assistance of professional movers to be transported. The after-care, once the mini-fridge has been transported, makes all the difference in its efficiency.

Also check this article about placing a mini fridge on a carpet!

What happens if your mini-fridge is transported sideways?

If your mini-fridge is transported sideways, it can create more than one problem for you. The most problematic occurrence would be the decrease in efficiency of your mini-fridge, ultimately leading to a non-working refrigerator. To understand the adverse effects, you first must understand what goes on inside your mini-fridge to cause such disasters.

Tilting your mini fridge has two major disadvantages which lead to unrepairable damage, one is shifting fluids causing damage to the compressor and disrupting of shelves.

I’ll detail these two major concerns so you understand why precautions need to be taken when transporting your mini-fridge:

Shifting of Fluids

Mini fridges contain numerous chemicals such as refrigerants, lubricants, and most crucial of all, oil. When you place your mini-fridge in a tilted position these fluids may shift and reach areas where they can cause damage. The most dangerous of all is oil which may drain from the compressor and reach the refrigerant lines.

This will cause the compressor to lock up when you plug your mini-fridge back in again as oil is not a compressible chemical. Therefore, it is important to let the mini-fridge stand upright for at least 24 hours before plugging it in so that the oil can return to its original location.

Disruption of Shelves

This may be a minor adverse effect of transporting your mini-fridge sideways but to save yourself from more damage you must pay attention to it. If your mini-fridge is being transported in a tilted position it is possible that the shelves inside of it would start sliding around. Shelves may become dislodged and start bouncing around the mini-fridge which could cause damage to the fridge.

Hence, it is always preferred that a mini-fridge be transported in an upright position to save you from the above-mentioned unfavorable effects.

How to prepare your mini-fridge for transportation?

Before you can transport your mini-fridge, you must prepare it accordingly. Never make the mistake of transporting a full refrigerator, take extra care to empty it to avoid any disastrous situations which could end up in the loss of your mini-fridge as well as the items inside it.

To prepare your mini-fridge for transportation all food items should be removed, it should be transported in an upright position preferably, avoid laying it on its front or rear and make sure no floor damage occurs.

Make sure you follow all the steps discussed below and take any extra steps as needed to prepare your refrigerator for transportation:

  1. Transport the mini-fridge preferably in a vertical position if possible as it will help minimize any damage to the sealed system.
  2. Let the mini-fridge stand upright for at least 24 hours before turning it on if you do need to transport it on its side later.
  3. Take extra care not to lay the mini-fridge on its front or rear as it could cause damage to the refrigerator.
  4. To prevent floor damage while carrying out your mini-fridge for transportation, make sure you don’t walk or wiggle the mini-fridge while carrying it out and cover the floor with cardboard for extra safety.
  5. Remove all food items, racks, shelves, and drawers before moving the mini-fridge.
  6. Empty the defrost tray before moving if your mini fridge has one.

If you follow these steps and carry out any other precautionary measures based on your judgment it will minimize any damage to your mini-fridge and this will ensure that your mini-fridge works effectively and efficiently.

How to prepare your mini-fridge for long absences?

Thinking of going on that long-awaited vacation? Will you be out of the house for more than a week? What about your mini-fridge? Should you leave it running all this time? Definitely no. There are certain steps that you need to follow to ensure the safety of your mini-fridge while you are out enjoying the vacation of your dreams.

Empty the mini-fridge and move the temperature dial to 0. Make sure you clean the refrigerator and its doors. Don’t forget to leave the doors open so proper air circulation can occur inside.

Following these steps will ensure that while you away on vacation or if you are not at home for a long period; your mini-fridge may not suffer in your absence.

Here’s a detailed video on how to prepare your mini-fridge for transportation!

Summing it up!

Mini fridges can be transported upright or sideways. If it is transported sideways, you should always let it stand upright for at least 24 hours before plugging it in so that the fluids can all come back to their original place. And always make sure to empty your mini-fridge accordingly before transporting it.

I hope this article helped you understand the nitty-gritty details of transporting a mini-fridge.

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Immad Amir
I'm Immad, a passionate home chef and the proud curator of RavvyReviews, a kitchen appliance & food blog. Through my blog, I share expert tips all aimed at inspiring fellow food enthusiasts to embark on their culinary adventures with confidence and creativity. I love interacting with you guys, do share your thoughts in the comments. Get in touch with me through
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