How to Clean Refrigerator Coils?

When it comes to refrigerator cleaning, we always think of just throwing away week old food items or things that are no longer useful for us, but cleaning your fridge is a lot more than that. If your fridge runs, but it is not cold enough, then it is time to clean the refrigerator coils, and this will help your fridge to run cold without consuming lots of electricity. Coils are those long tubes present at the back or bottom of your refrigerator. These coils play a significant role in running the fridge cold, and the build-up on these coils is a common problem for various refrigerator problems. The maintenance of your refrigerator coils should be part of your regular cleaning regime so that your fridge runs smoothly for many years.

Why is it necessary to clean the refrigerator coils?

Cleaning the refrigerator coils is needed, especially if you have a furry friend that shed or if you have placed the fridge in not so clean place like a garage. The refrigeration process is fundamentally a transfer of heat. The pump and motor push a gas refrigerant through coils, where it becomes liquid by soaking up the fridge’s temperature and cools everything inside.

This process cannot take place well when these coils become dirty with pet hair or dust, and the fridge cannot cool efficiently. Thus to make your fridge long-lasting, it is necessary to clean the coils of your refrigerator that also lowers the electric bill.

 The condenser coils are present either on the top or on the back of the refrigerator. Before attempting any cleaning or maintenance, you should unplug the appliance from the power supply to reduce the possibility of electric shock.

How often should we clean the fridge coils?

It is recommended to clean the refrigerator coils every six months to keep your refrigerator running efficiently. It should be done more often if there are shedding pets at your home.  It is an easy and short task, so you should not avoid it.

Steps to clean Refrigerator coils

Locate the coils

First, locate the coils in your refrigerator. The condenser coils can be at the back or bottom of the fridge. Most of the older models have coils mounted on the refrigerator’s back, and the newer models have the coils at a toe panel at the bottom of the refrigerator’s back.

Unplug your refrigerator

Disconnect the power supply before attempting for any electrical maintenance. Unplug the refrigerator and pull the unit away from the switch to begin the cleaning of the coils.  Remove the toe guard from the front, which is there if the coils are underneath your fridge. You can access the coils from the front once you remove the toe guard. You can access the coil from the back with the space available between the wall and refrigerator.


Now it is time to vacuum the exposed coils. Use the upholstery tool or crevice to remove debris. Properly clean the coils by sucking up the dirt and ensure to sweep the floor behind and under the refrigerator. You can use a narrow vacuum attachment to clear dust and debris which are there around the coils and its surrounding space. You can use the skinny attachment to clean dust debris from crannies and nooks of condenser coil space.

Use a coil brush

Scrape and remove the dirt using the coil brush, which is a long-handles brush. The brushing easily removes particles from the coil. It is a crucial step in cleaning the refrigerator coils. The vacuum you do initially does not remove all the build-up dirt, and much of it remains accumulated on the condenser coils. Clean the coils directly by brushing on the coils as well as brush the hardware surrounding these coils.

Last vacuum

This last time you should use the skinny vacuum attachment once you brushed the coils. Cleaning the coils of your refrigerator will allow it to run well and easily maintaining a temperature. Vacuum all the debris and dust that remain around the coils. 

Set refrigerator to position

Now it is the time to return the refrigerator to its place once you have cleaned the coils. Plug it again to the unit so it can start working with the power supply. Vacuum the surroundings of the appliance.

Tips and Precautions for Easy Cleaning of Refrigerator Coils

Don’t forget to unplug your refrigerator

Before you start cleaning the refrigerator’s coil, make sure to unplug your appliance as this will reduce the risk of shocks. For an electrical device, it is necessary to break the circuit by pulling the power cord from the socket. Never access the coils of an appliance without taking essential precautions.

Using damp cloth works well

Using damp cloth dabbed with a bit of soapy liquid. Wipe the coils until the dirt is removed. However, if any dirt remains there, then consider using the brush. Ensure that surrounding areas of coils should not get wet because it may shut-off the appliance.

Plugging it back! Wait

If you have dry cleaned the coils, then you can plug in the appliance once it is cleaned, but using a damp cloth for cleaning can be a tricky task. It will help if you do not turn on the power as soon as the coils are cleaned. Let the moisture evaporate, so allow the coils to dry. It will avoid accidents, and your refrigerator will work efficiently.

Clean Regularly

It is necessary to clean the coils of your refrigerator regularly so that it can work efficiently and effectively for a long time. It will not allow grease or dirt to build up permanently.

Professional help

You can seek professional help if cleaning the coils of the refrigerator looks overwhelming task. An expert professional can do it correctly, and you won’t have to spend your time maintaining the appliance. After all, time is money!

Final Words

Cleaning your refrigerator is not a big task if you do it regularly at a certain interval of time. Use brush and vacuum to remove the dust, grease, and hair from the coil so that your refrigerator can run efficiently. Make sure the coils dry once cleaning is done before plugging the fridge back.