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Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

by Hunter Kissam October 12, 2022 4 min read

Harvest Right freeze dryers are the best in the food preservation industry for home freeze-drying food and keeping the nutritional value, and the best part is that they're easy to maintain. Understanding how your Harvest Right Freeze Dryer works and the methods to maintain it will save you money and time in having to deal with issues in the future. Let's talk about the best ways to keep your Harvest Right food freeze dryers running smoothly and enjoy its many nutrition benefits.

Regular maintenance of your freeze dryer is essential to ensure it operates efficiently and extends its lifespan. The freeze drying process involves several critical components such as the freeze dryer door, heating elements, and rack system, all of which require routine checks.

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Keep Your Freeze Dryer Clean

The best thing you can do to maintain and preserve the quality of your Harvest Right freeze dryer is to simply clean it after every use. When you allow your system to get dirty over time, it can cause clogs, leaks, or irreversible damage. 2 minutes after each freeze dry for use could save you hundreds of dollars on repairs later on.

It's especially important to understand why you should not let water sit in the freeze dryer. You can use natural cleaning solutions to clean the inside, as long as you dry them thoroughly afterward with paper towels or lint-free rags. If water is left to sit, it can cause rust to the stainless steel trays or damage to the rubber and acrylic components on your next cycle.

For deep cleaning, which should be done periodically, start by unplugging the machine and removing any trays and excess water. Use a clean cloth or microfiber cloths dipped in a solution of isopropyl alcohol or white vinegar to wipe down the interior chamber and the door, paying special attention to any debris or remaining moisture. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage the surfaces of your freeze dryer.

Inspect Between Uses

Between every use, simply look around and ensure that gaskets and O-rings still fit into place. Loose items may shift during operation, so it's best to look around and fix them as you see them. If you notice anything is dirty, clean it right away.

The only other factor to worry about between uses is emptying the water bucket!

Pay Attention to the Oil

Harvest Right vacuum pump

If you opt for the oil-free pump, then you can skip this step! For the rest of us, anything that has oil needs an oil change every year. Oil serves as a lubricant in motors and engines that prevents metal components from grinding each other down over time. Oil gets dirty over time, which causes friction, which will destroy your system if left to persist.

For the best results, filter the oil after every use, which should only take a couple of minutes. If you do this, you will only need to change the oil every 2 to 3 months with moderate use. Without filtering the oil, change every month at the least.

However, if you run your system almost daily, then it is ideal to change the oil more frequently. Some people change the oil after every 6 uses, but this isn't entirely necessary. Still, it will keep your system running longer, the more often you do it! Just remember to use a quality vacuum pump oil, not car motor oil.

Keeping Track

It's important to keep track of your oil use. You can leave a note near the system or on your phone and simply add tallies to every completed cycle between oil batch changes, and make notes of when you filtered the last batch of oil. This is a great way to keep track over long periods and plan your next oil change depending on your notes.

To prevent remaining moisture from building up inside, which could lead to mold growth, always ensure the freeze dryer door is securely closed after each batch. Additionally, keeping the door gasket—often a black rubber gasket—clean is crucial to maintain a proper seal and prevent air leaks.

How to Filter

Harvest Right - Vacuum Pump Oil

Simply remove the oil from the vacuum pump through the drain plug and run it through your filter. Then, pour the last bit of clean oil into a small, white cup (a full size Dixie cup will work), and you should see the line between the water and the oil. Try to pour the rest of that oil back into the vacuum pump while keeping the water in your cup.

Water is detrimental to any motor, so filtering your oil can make a big difference! Condensation can quickly cause water buildup in the motor.

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Maintain Your Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Harvest Right Freeze Dryers at Wild Oak Trail

Clearly, these are low-maintenance freeze dryers, as they only require minor ongoing work and the occasional oil change to continue running. It really is that simple to care for your own freeze dryer. Remember, maintaining your Harvest Right Freeze Dryer means you save on hassle and repair costs and continuously enjoy freeze-dried food with the best Nutritional content.

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Hunter Kissam
Hunter Kissam

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