Knowing how to clean refrigerator coils not only helps maintain a refrigerator’s temperature but can also extend the life of this hard-working appliance. Our team of refrigerator repair experts created easy, step-by-step instructions to clean refrigerator coils with the right supplies. But first, we’ll discuss why this simple task is so vital to your fridge’s function.

Why You Need to Clean Refrigerator Coils

Condenser coils transport refrigerant, the chemical substance that refrigerators use to maintain a cool temperature. If the condenser coils become coated in dust and debris, they have to work harder to function. This, in turn, makes it harder for the refrigerator to maintain its temperature. When this happens you’ll notice that your refrigerator freezer is cold but refrigerator is warm.

When your refrigerator has to work harder to keep cool, important components like the compressor can become overworked and break down. Your refrigerator will also require more energy to operate, increasing your utility bills.

clean refrigerator coils

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A Step-By-Step Guide to Clean Refrigerator Coils

Fortunately, these scenarios can be avoided by making sure you clean condenser coils at least once a year. Our step-by-step guide to coil cleaning includes the proper techniques and supplies.

#1. Unplug Your Refrigerator

Disconnecting your refrigerator from its power source ensures your safety while you work. Since it only takes minutes to clean refrigerator coils, unplugging it shouldn’t affect your refrigerator’s internal temperature.

#2. Locate the Condenser Coils

Depending on your model refrigerator, the condenser coils can be found on the back of the fridge or in the front behind a base grille. Move the refrigerator away from the wall to access coils on the back. Remove the base grille to reach coils that are located in the front.

#3. Vacuum Visible Dust and Debris

Clean refrigerator coils with a narrow-hose vacuum attachment, vacuuming all visible dust and debris in and around the coils. Remove any dust and dirt on the floor as well.

#4. Loosen Remaining Dust With an Appliance Brush

Next, use an appliance cleaning brush to gently clean refrigerator coils. Circulate the brush in and around the coils, reaching the last remaining dust and dirt particles.

appliance cleaning brush

Image Credit: Home Depot

#5. Vacuum One More Time and Reconnect Refrigerator

After brushing, use the vacuum attachment one more time to remove any lingering dust. Reconnect the refrigerator to its power source and reposition it or replace the base grille, as needed.

Simple refrigerator maintenance tips like condenser coil cleaning can extend the life of this important appliance. Clean your condenser coils at least one a year for optimal refrigerator function!