In these busy times it is now common to forget to close the refrigerator doors, It is understandable that you should worry about what might happen if you leave the fridge door open and you are already a long way from home.
In this article I am going to do my best to answer the possible things that will happen if the refrigerator door is left open for a few hours.
Without wasting any of your time lest jump straight to it.
What will happen if refrigerator door is left open?
1. Moist Formation
When the door of the refrigerator is left open and unattended then air coming from the outside which is warm will mix with the cool air from the refrigerator and as a result the whole fridge will be moist and everything else in the fridge will be wet.
Due to the nature of how a refrigerator works, the compressor in the refrigerator will start to run continuously because the sensors on your fridge will find it hard to reach the “cool”temperature to slow down, this also leads to even more moist conditions.
2. Items in the fridge will start to be warm and Food Spoilage begins
The reason why we use refrigerators is the fact that we are trying to prevent any spoils from food, leaving the refrigerator open for a while, the temperature will start to increase and as a result the food will start to become warm.
Fortunately if the fridge is set to a right temperature and was cool enough, most of the foods won’t get spoiled, things like milk, bread, fruits and veggies won’t get spoiled.
However, some foods are really sensitive and it is important that you examine it before you consume, anything that is classified as creamy has a shorter tolerance rate, and get spoiled quickly.
Depending on the time you left your fridge open, I urge you to check every item before you consume it.
3. It will take longer to cool the refrigerator again
Now when you finally come back and close the fridge it will take longer than usual to get the fridge to get cold again due to the coils being frozen and a defrosting process would need to begin before the fridge gets cold again.
4. Nothing will happen to your refrigerator
Most people worry about the fridge getting damaged due to being left open, luckily, it is unlikely that your refrigerator will get damaged, as soon as you close the door the refrigerator will take a while to reset but once that is done than everything should be back to normal.
How long until food goes bad if a refrigerator door is left open?
Now, depending on various factors including the type of foods in the refrigerator, the temperature at which the refrigerator was running. The most obvious way to check if the food is not good to consume is to taste or smell it.
However, if you are extra health conscious it is recommended by USDA that you check the thermostat on the fridge and if the fridge was running below 105 Fahrenheit for more than 120 minutes then it is not advisable to consume the food.
Are there products to let you know if your fridge door is open?
- GENTLE ALARMS - Alert after 1 minute (for 2 seconds), a second alarm after...
- CONTINUOUS ALARM - Alert after 3 minutes (stay 60 seconds) will help you...
- REPEATED SIREN - Loud Mode includes an additional 110dB Siren every 4...
- Digital Thermometers: Includes one refrigerator thermometer and one freezer...
- Easy-to-Read LCD Display: Comes with magnetic backing for fridge mounting,...
- Customizable Temperature Alarms: Be alerted to temperature spikes caused by...
- World's Longest Wireless Range: Powered by LoRa technology, the long-range...
- Environment Monitoring – Be informed of the current temperature and...
- Low-Power Means Longer Battery Life: Because of the low power consumption,...
- Wireless fridge alarm goes off if the freezer door stays open for...
- Simple peel and stick installation, easy to install on any freezer/fridge...
- This alarm with 4 modes, it’s not only a refrigerator alarm, but also a...
How long can a fridge stay open?
This is a very difficult question to answer due to may different variables that come into play which includes the type of foods that are in the fridge and the type of fridge you have, some refrigerators can keep food cooler for longer than other refrigerators.
The average time you can leave a fridge open without food spoilage is 60 – 240 minutes.
How long does it take for a fridge to get cold after being left open?
As mentioned above, it will take the fridge a longer time to get cold after being left open, because it will need to first defrost and clean itself before the cooling process begins once more, with that said it will take approximately 24 hours for the fridge to get cold after being left open.
Final Thoughts on Leaving a Refrigerator Door Open
Forgetting to close the doors on your fridge after using it is common and can be stressful especially if you are far away from the house and there is only so much that you can do to help the situation.
Fortunately not a lot of harm will be done, I hope this article helped answer the questions you had.
Agnes is a kitchen and cooking enthusiast as well as a fitness fanatic. She loves to help readers upgrade and furnish their kitchen with the best available products! She is the primary writer behind SmartKitchenImprovement.com and hopes to share little tidbits of knowledge she’s picked up over her years as a mom and wife.