Mama Nibbles: Spring Cleaning - Refrigerator Coil Maintenance How-To

Spring Cleaning - Refrigerator Coil Maintenance How-To

Appliances are such a big investment.  They make our lives so much easier.  I want to make sure that I take proper care of mine so that they last for a long time.  One way I make sure to keep my fridge in the best shape is to clean the coils twice a year.  Even though I do move my fridge out once a month to clean behind it gunk still builds up underneath.  Here is how to do this:

1. Purchase a good coil brush.  You can find them for around $4-$10 at a hardware or super store, there are even some longer ones that double as a dryer vent cleaner too.  There are also some great ones on

2. You will be leaving the fridge off for 20-30 minutes so be aware of this and don't open it for a few hours prior to cleaning if you want everything to stay really cold.  You could have a cooler with ice to put the more perishable items into or just wait until the day before you need to go grocery shopping.

3. With the help of someone else, push the fridge far enough to unplug it.  Turn the temperature control dials to the off position inside the fridge and then unplug from the wall outlet. You may want to scoot an old rug underneath to keep the flooring safe.  This is VERY important, you MUST UNPLUG the refrigerator to avoid possible electric shock.  Remove any kick plate that could be in place in front.

4. Figure out where the coils are located, some can be in front and some in back.  Using a flashlight makes this much easier!  You will probably see a big linty mess like the picture of my fridge above.

5. You might find a cardboard like thing in the rear with a fuzzy cushion on it, unscrew this and vacuum it off carefully.

6. Remove the drip pan from below, throw that in the bathtub to soak in hot soapy water while we clean the rest of your fridge.

7. Take your coil brush and knock down the chunks of lint, hair and whatever else you might have lurking under there.  Pull out anything large with your hand.  Get the vacuum hose ready, suck up all that mess!  You will be surprised at how much falls out!  I found money, toys, paper and more under mine. 

8. At this point you should be lying on the floor, maybe wearing a dust mask and gloves lol.  Check with the flashlight to be sure you got as much dirt as possible.  Now replace your cleaned drip pan, screw on anything you took off and then check behind the fridge to get any last hiding dust bunnies.

9. Push the fridge back into place and plug it in.  Turn the temperature dials back to where they were and give it a good 20-30 minutes to get back up to temp.  Mark that calendar for the next cleaning in 6 months.  If you own pets you should do this once every 3 months because they shed a lot of hair and it gets under there no matter how much you might clean!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I never knew how to clean this properly! I always feel like this area is gross due to dog hair! This is because our kitchen is a pretty communal area in our house and the dogs like to lay near the fridge. Thanks for the info!!


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