How to Keep Coolers Clean in Your Floral Shop
Refrigerators and coolers have many applications that go beyond food storage. Many other items need to be chilled or kept cool at certain temperatures to preserve their quality. One of these is flowers that look, smell and feel like they were just plucked from a blooming garden.
Fresh flowers are the lifeline of every successful floral shop. Behind every beautiful floral arrangement are reliable coolers that can regulate optimal temperatures to preserve the fresh, garden quality of various kinds of flowers. With a reliable flower shop cooler, florists can maintain a large inventory of fresh flowers and complete orders at a moment’s notice without risking wilting and waste.
Flower Shop Coolers Need Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Any flower shop owner knows that heat and a lack of moisture are the number one enemy of fresh flowers. When left to stand in the heat, they will quickly wilt, leaving only wasted blooms that would have made for stunning arrangements and valuable sales.
That’s why the first step in storing flowers and keeping them fresh for longer is checking the thermostat of floral coolers. Various temperatures are often required to store different types of flowers in floral coolers. Unlike regular commercial refrigerators, these specialty coolers are designed to circulate air gently, rather than blast cold air that exposes flowers to chill damage.
Regular cleaning and inspection remove airflow-blocking debris and keeps flower shop coolers functioning optimally. Manufacturers typically set the optimal temperature of floral coolers, leaving it to the owners to monitor water temperature afterwards using a quality probe thermometer. Measuring water temperature is preferred over air temperature, as the latter typically fluctuates throughout the day with the constant opening and closing of doors, while water generally maintains the actual temperature.
Set a Cleaning and Maintenance Schedule
Like many appliances, flower shop coolers need to be regularly cleaned and maintained to ensure optimal performance. But the reality is that because it’s impossible to afford downtime when keeping special merchandise like flowers fresh, many flower shop owners never actually book a maintenance service or call their cooler manufacturer or authorized dealer until their unit breaks down.
When was the last time you cleaned and maintained your floral coolers? Their long-term, reliable function depends on a few key tasks that preserve their ability to keep fresh blooms chilled, fresh, and attractive.
It’s important to learn how to keep floral coolers clean and in perfect condition so they can maintain the ideal temperature, ventilate, and preserve your flower shop’s beautiful but very delicate merchandise.
When to Clean Flower Shop Coolers
A major part of keeping flowers perfectly fresh and scented is storing them in clean and functioning coolers at a stable temperature. Floral coolers need to be cleaned lightly at least once a week, with a deeper clean done monthly and annually.
Getting into the habit of a weekly clean prevents dirt from accumulating and tougher to remove later on. This also keeps the glass display clear of fingerprints to maintain an attractive array of freshly scented and brightly coloured blooms.
A more thorough monthly clean gives you time to scrub off stubborn stains from flower pigments and wilted petals, perhaps in time for designing seasonal offers and promotions with new bouquets and floral arrangements.
An annual clean can coincide with the regular maintenance service for the floral cooler. You can address any performance issues and arrange for necessary repairs or parts replacement to avoid a larger breakdown.
Basic Cleaning for Floral Coolers
For starters, make sure to clean all the surfaces, such as the walls, floors, and shelves, as well as dust off the interiors to prevent dirt and grime from accumulating on the glass and the door seal. Make sure to use a cleaning solution that’s specially formulated for flowers, as other chemicals may be toxic and cause them to wilt prematurely.
Book a Professional Cooler Cleaning
While it’s easy to wipe down the shelves and surfaces of a flower shop cooler, a lot of the essential mechanisms require delicate handling and professional tools to avoid costly equipment damage — and a negative impact on the sales of your flower shop. These parts of a floral cooler need to be cleaned professionally for optimal results:
1. Condensing unit
Perhaps the most crucial part of a floral cooler is the condensing unit. This is responsible for keeping the air perfectly cold for flowers to hold their shape and should be cleaned every month. This typically requires shutting off power in your flower shop for about 15 minutes. During that time, a professional cooler technician will set the shop vac to blow air outward and release accumulated dust and dirt to the exterior for clean-up.
2. Condensing coil
The condensing coil needs cleaning at least twice a year to remove built-up dust and dirt. This requires an industrial vacuum and wet cloth to remove debris and deposits, especially from small, hard-to-reach crevices.
3. Evaporator coil
Like the condensing coil, the evaporator coil also needs to be cleaned twice a year using a specially formulated cleaning solution to get rid of sediment. A professional floral cooler technician will remove the bottom pan of the coil and clean it with the solution, followed by the tubing and actual coils.
4. Drain lines
The drain lines are a hotbed of harmful deposits like mould and debris, causing them to clog and become even more difficult to clean over time. To avoid this, make sure that drain lines are cleared as part of the annual floral cooler maintenance.
5. Door gaskets
The door gaskets are magnets for debris and stains. When left unattended, they lose their seal, causing warm air to enter the floral cooler and affect the quality of merchandise that needs to be stored at specific temperatures to prevent wilting and discolouration.
Cleaning the door gaskets of your floral cooler eliminates this risk and restores the seal. A professional floral cooler technician can also apply a protective vinyl layer to extend the lifespan of the door gaskets.
To learn how to keep the coolers in your flower shop clean, call Ancaster Food Equipment at 866-711-5486, or contact us here.