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clean the refrigerator coils | chrome kitchen refrigerator

How to Clean Refrigerator Coils in 5 Easy Steps

The pros at Mr. Appliance® are breaking down this simple process.

  • Unplug your refrigerator, and remove the grille protector.
  • Use a stiff brush to loosen debris on the coils.
  • Vacuum the coils and surrounding area.
  • Clean and dry the grille cover before reattaching it.
  • Plug your fridge back in.

Cleaning refrigerator coils is a must-do household chore that keeps your fridge running efficiently and cuts down on the chance of a repair bill down the road. Here are all the details you need to do it right.

Where Are the Condenser Coils on a Refrigerator?

Most refrigerator coils are behind a grate on the back of the appliance. Depending on the model, the coils could be located on the base of the front of the appliance. Consult your owner’s manual if you have a hard time finding them, or ask your local Mr. Appliance to walk you through it.

Steps for Cleaning Dirty Refrigerator Coils

  • Unplug your refrigerator. Whenever doing appliance maintenance of any kind, it’s safest to make sure there’s no power running to it. Also, be careful when pulling your fridge out to access the cord.
  • Remove the grille cover. Most grille covers simply snap on and off so you can access the coils for cleaning. An aggressive tug usually gets the job done. However, some grilles may require a screwdriver for removal.
  • Loosen debris with a stiff brush. After several months of collecting dust and grime, the coils may need to be scrubbed hard. For about $10 to $15, you can purchase brushes specifically designed for coil cleaning. The cost is worth it when you consider the alternative: a repair bill or a new fridge altogether.
  • Vacuum the mess. After breaking up that debris, pull out a handheld vacuum or use a hose attachment from your normal push vacuum to suck everything up.This is also a good opportunity to vacuum everything that has collected behind and around the fridge that could potentially make its way back to those coils.
  • Clean the grille cover. Your job doesn’t end with cleaning the coils. Make sure you also clean the grille cover under hot running water to remove all gunk. Dry the grille cover thoroughly before reattaching it.
  • Plug your refrigerator back in. Congratulations: You’ve successfully cleaned your dirty refrigerator coils.


How Often to Clean Refrigerator Coils

Make sure you do this chore about twice a year, along with other important refrigerator maintenance.

But don’t beat yourself up about not learning how to clean the refrigerator coils until now. According to our fellow Neighborly® brand Molly Maid®, refrigerator coils are one of the top 10 places people commonly forget to clean.

Why You Need to Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

We’ve already mentioned that cleaning the refrigerator coils helps keep the appliance efficient and healthy, but you may be wondering how that works. Refrigerator coils condense and cool the refrigerant, the chemical that allows the appliance to keep your produce and other food at a safe, cool temperature. When those coils are clean, they easily release heat and keep everything running smoothly.

Dirty refrigerator coils cause the compressor to work harder and burn up more energy, which shortens the refrigerator’s lifespan, leads to repairs, and increases your monthly utility bill. Clean those coils to take care of what is likely the most significant appliance in your household.

Refrigerator Not Cooling Very Well?

While lack of cooling power is a common symptom of a refrigerator that has had dirty condenser coils for a long time, there may be another reason (or multiple reasons) for the problem.

But don’t panic. Call the experts at Mr. Appliance, who work on refrigerators old and new, to diagnose the issue. Schedule an appointment online, or call your local team.