How to Clean Refrigerator Coils in 4 Easy Steps

Do you know what’s really cool? Your refrigerator when it’s running properly! Maintaining clean refrigerator coils is the best way to ensure your refrigerator stays cool and runs efficiently.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than thinking you have to run out and buy a new refrigerator when the one you have should be working.

Why and When You Should Clean Refrigerator Coils

The refrigerator condenser coils are responsible for keeping the internal temperature cool. When there is build up of dust and debris (ex: pet hair) on the coils, the refrigerator has to work twice as hard to try to maintain cool temperatures, and sometimes simply can’t do it well enough.

At the top of refrigerator maintenance tips is making sure the condenser coils stay clean. We recommend cleaning refrigerator coils every 6 months.

Step-By-Step Instructions for
How to Clean Refrigerator Coils

First and foremost, always follow standard safety precautions when servicing any appliance: UNPLUG the appliance before attempting to clean refrigerator coils.

1. Pull Refrigerator Away from the Wall

The refrigerator condenser coils are located either on the back or underneath of the unit. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall where you can see well and get the vacuum where it needs to go.

If your refrigerator has a toe guard on the bottom front of the unit, remove it so that you can clean more thoroughly.

how to clean refrigerator coils
Image from Nabateans


2. Vacuum Loose Debris

If you have a face mask, now is the time to wear it! The mask will protect you from breathing in dust and muck that is hiding around your appliance as you clean refrigerator.

Use a narrow vacuum attachment to remove all loose dust and debris that you can see behind and underneath the refrigerator. Vacuum the floor behind and around the refrigerator as well.

clean condenser coils
Image from Weather Imagery


3. Brush Stubborn Areas

Now that all the loose particles have been removed, it’s time to clean condenser coils more thoroughly. Use a long-handled appliance cleaning brush to scrub off stubborn dust and dirt particles that have accumulated on the condenser coils. Pay close attention to get into all the crevices and tiny spaces that have build up on them.

Detailed cleaning with the brush will ensure clean refrigerator coils and help make your refrigerator run efficiently. Remember, your efforts here will assist your refrigerator in keeping temperatures cool and ultimately save you money on your utility bill.

appliance cleaning brush
Image from Home Depot

4. Vacuum Again

You’ve got it – vacuum one more time to remove all that dirt the brushing dislodged from the coils. Once you are satisfied everything is clean and free of debris, plug the refrigerator back in and return it to its position against the wall.

Maintaining clean refrigerator coils is a task that should be performed about every 6 months. Once clean, it takes about 24 hours for the refrigerator to reach peak performance again.

refrigerator maintenance tips
Image from HomeSteady


If cleaning the refrigerator coils has not proven to increase performance, then it may be wise to call a refrigerator repair technician. Contact our experts at GFY Appliance Repair for service today!

brad edwards GFY Appliance Service

Brad Edwards, Owner

10% off
appliance repair

Subscribe to our newsletter…

We share maintenance tips, home hacks, seasonal recipes, appliance recall alerts, and more.

Browse by topic

New & noteworthy

leave it to the pros