Most refrigerators have a life span of about 14-17 years, but how well you maintain it will determine how long it will last. If you’re able to stay on top of your refrigerator maintenance, you’ll greatly extend its life. In order to help you do just that, we’ve organized the following refrigerator maintenance checklist:

Refrigerator Maintenance Checklist

Once every 1-2 months

  • Clean the interior of your refrigerator. Regular cleaning of your refrigerator will keep it smelling fresh and looking like new. Start by clearing out the clutter in your fridge. Be realistic about the food you should keep in there. Then, empty the contents of your refrigerator and remove drawers/shelves if possible. Clean the interior of the fridge with an all purpose cleaner. Use a sponge and warm soapy water to scrub the drawers and shelves. Here’s a video from the “Clean My Space” YouTube channel, with more great tips about how to go about this process:

Once every 2-3 months

  • Inspect/clean door gaskets. Cracks or any other damage to your door gaskets can significantly hurt the performance of your refrigerator. Once every few months, give them a quick examination. Close the door on a small piece of paper; if it can be pulled out easily, your gasket may need to be replaced. Also, clean the gaskets with some vinegar and a microfiber towel to help avoid mildew growth.
  • Deodorize. To help absorb odors, it’s a good idea to store a small open box of baking soda towards the back of the fridge. Replace the box once every 2-3 months.

Once every 6 months

  • Clean the refrigerator’s condenser coils. Dirty condenser coils can be the cause of many performance issues, including the refrigerator not cooling or running constantly. Cleaning them at least once every 6 months (once every 3 months if you have pets) helps ensure your parts aren’t having to work overtime to maintain the desired temperature. The condenser coils are typically located underneath the refrigerator or at the back of the unit.  They can be accessed by removing the front grille or pulling the fridge away from the wall. Use an appliance brush to gently brush off any dust/debris off the coils (or a vacuum with brush attachment if necessary).
refrigerator maintenance checklist
Refrigerator condenser coils
  • Replace water filter. If the refrigerator water filter isn’t replaced regularly, bacteria and other debris can build up in the filter. Not only does this hurt the quality of your water/ice from your dispenser, it can disrupt proper water flow in the refrigerator.
  • Make sure the refrigerator is level. Use a carpenter’s level to check to make sure the fridge is level from both front-to-back and side-to-side. Even if it’s only slightly off-level, your doors won’t seal as tightly as they should. Adjust the fridge’s feet if a fix is needed.
  • Clean the drip pan/drain hole. The drain hole and drip pan is what your refrigerator uses to remove condensation. It’s best to follow the instructions from your owner’s manual on how to remove mineral deposits from the drain hole. Also, drain the drip pan and wipe out any debris.