A mini-fridge can be a space-saving, efficient means of cooling items. They are popular amongst college students, those who have limited space, and commercial entities that need refrigeration for non-food things like medicine. You may keep a small mini fridge at your desk to store a few drinks and lunch, or rather designate a mini-fridge for a part of your home. The uses are seemingly endless; similarly they come in a myriad of colours, sizes, and styles. They keep food safe to eat, maintaining the temperature of food at a bacteria-inhibiting temperature. Yet, when a mini-fridge breaks, some people choose to throw them away, others have found ways to repurpose their non-working mini fridges.
We live at a time that is critical for the Earth and its resources. Climate change produces measurable and widespread detrimental changes, and is in part fuelled in part by our hungry consumption and subsequent waste. Living and making choices specifically with the planet in mind is everyone’s shared responsibility. Hence, making use of an old mini-fridge is a small step in the right direction. Additionally, finding a way to use a broken mini-fridge can save you valuable money.
Without the working parts, a mini-fridge is essentially an insulated, sealed space. To begin repurposing, remove (or have removed by a professional) the wiring, motor, and refrigerant. The simplest way to re-use the broken mini-fridge is to gut the interior and find creative uses for the components: removable drawers, racks, shelves. The below video shows you how to refashion an old refrigerator into an outdoor cooler.
Using a mini-fridge as an oven requires some handiwork and creativity. Bear in mind that the heating power can fluctuate considerably based on location, weather, etc. This project requires that the working parts be removed, along with the door. To create the “oven,” lay the fridge outside on a sunny day with the opening facing up. Line the interior back surface with aluminium foil and place a metal cookie sheet on top of the foil. Here the cookie sheet acts as a conductor. To cook, place your food inside a black pot with a glass lid. Place this pot on top of the cookie sheet. To increase the in-box temperature, you can use reflectors to direct more of the sun’s rays to the interior of the fridge. You can also cover the opening with tempered glass, creating an enclosed space.
A mini-fridge can, with some work, become a smoker. To begin, put your fridge in an upright position. Place an electric hot plate on the bottom. Heat the wood chips of your choice using the hotplate and a stainless steel pot. Use racks above to place food. You can make a vent on the top by cutting out a small hole and using a flap to control the amount of escaping smoke. A more elaborate design requires transporting smoke from a nearby fire pit with pipes.
The mini-fridge can also act as storage. The inbuilt shelves make it ideal for storing several items together. With the door on, it can house non-refrigerated food items, drinks, or even valuables. When the door is removed, the mini-fridge is like any small shelving unit. The racks make it ideal for storing small tools and equipment.
Certain components (like the compressor and refrigerant) of the refrigerator are hazardous and shouldn’t be handled by anyone but a professional who is able to properly dispose of these materials. The door and latches should be secured and care must be taken to prevent entrapment of playing children. It is recommended that, if you choose to store or dispose of, your mini-fridge, you should wrap a heavy-duty chain around the unit. The chain should go through the handle and be secured with a padlock, ensuring that it cannot be opened. Removing the doors entirely is required by law in several areas.
It is evident that increasing the shelf-life of what we use, and finding novel ways to utilise them, is helpful to not only our pocketbooks, but also to the already-burdened environment. Yet, when we are no longer able to use a mini-refrigerator, replacing it becomes a top priority because we rely heavily on effective and consistent cooling for the foods we eat to be safe. Product reviews and rankings can help you quickly decide what unit to get without getting lost in combing through the endless options. Check out this comprehensive review of high-performing mini-fridges here