How to Clean Your Fridge Coils

by DeeDee
3 Materials
30 Minutes
When was the last time you cleaned your refrigerator coils? Yeah, it's been a while huh? Did you know that you can save yourself money by keeping the coils clean? Yes! When everything is clean in there your fridge doesn't have to work as hard, this results in the fridge using less electricity. Yay!
Refrigerators are expensive and if you can help it last as long as possible by keeping it dust bunny free, by all means, let's do it!  Let me show you how I clean my fridge coils.
We have fur people who live in our house so I pull my fridge out about once per month and clean behind it, but I don't open the back and clean inside more than about twice per year, so about every six months is good if you have pets and once per year if you do not.
I walked out the shop and got into my husband's tool box to find 1/4" nut driver, that's the size our fridge takes.  The old fridge we had just had phillips head screws on it.
Step 1.
Make sure the electricity is OFF to your fridge.  Unplug it or flip the breaker switch.  I unplug mine, because that way I'm sure its off!

Step 2.
Remove the back cover.
Oh yeah, let's get up close and personal with all those dust bunnies living in there!  Eeeewww!

Oh boy! It's gross in there isn't it?  Well, now you know that mess is costing you some extra dollars on your power bill, so its best to keep it clean!
Step 3.
Grab your shop vac and while using a slim lined tip, vacuum all those dust bunnies out of there!  Be careful of your coils, you do not want to damage them and ruin your fridge. That would be bad!
After I have everything vacuumed out of there, I take a damp paper towel and wipe the remaining dust off of where I can reach.  Again, be very careful when wiping down each part because all these little bits and pieces are what make the fridge work properly.  You want to keep them all in tact.

Don't worry if you can't get all of the dust off of everything, your fridge is already breathing better by now anyway.
Tah Dah! Looks so much better now!  I'm pretty sure I can hear her breathing better too!
While I was at it, I went ahead and cleaned up all the other fridge neighborhoods that were housing the little dust bunnies.  This is the side that's up against the cabinet.
This is all the front bottom vented area of the fridge.  The vent itself just snaps right off.  First I vacuumed all the fuzz off of it then took it into the bathtub for a wash down.  Next I grabbed my shop vac again and removed all the fuzz hiding in under there. Yuck!
Next, I used my handy Clorox wipes to wipe all the spills and splashes down.
Before and After!  So much nicer now.  Looks new again! I sure do love a clean kitchen yall and when its deep cleaned, its even better!
Alrighty then!  I bet you'll want to go check your fridge now to see if you have giant fuzz balls living in there like mine did!  It just takes a quick thirty minutes to save yourself lots of money on your energy bill and who doesn't like to save money? I know I do!

While doing research I discovered a COIL CLEANING BRUSH ( click here to go to our blog for the link) and I'm ordering one now! It will make cleaning the coils so much easier in the future!

Would you like to see where else I had dust bunnies living in my house? Click on link below.

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 7 questions
  • Joe Joe on Oct 16, 2019

    It good to clean the coil like you did it help making it last a lot longer the compressor does not have to work as hard. When your done there go and clean the calcium from your Hot water tank shut the water off and drain the tank and shut the electric off and pull the heating elements rods top and bottom and Vacuum out all the calcium from bottom of the tank

  • Susan Ellis Yamakawa Susan Ellis Yamakawa on Oct 16, 2019

    What cleaner do you use to clean the shelves

  • Debra S Debra S on Oct 16, 2019

    It is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves about appliances today! YES yes, to keep your fridge alive for the longest time is is VERY important to clean the coils. And just important to clean over under around it often! And do the makers make it EASY to even get the things in and out of the space? NO. Why in the world these things can't be on proper caster wheels? that are smooth and easy and won't scratch your floors? Why can't they make it easier to access your coils for cleaning?

    Don't get me started on ovens, too... I'm so sick of oven doors that open down like they do! There is no reason why all makers can't offer the side opening or french opening like the higher end or commercial ones do!

    Okay rant over.... carry on....

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4 of 126 comments
  • Ticia Ticia on Oct 17, 2020

    Great tips all around but I'm surmising the refrigerator has to be somewhat empty to move it; I know for sure I couldn't do it otherwise because my freezer is always full. Thanks for sharing.

    • DeeDee DeeDee on Oct 19, 2020

      Hi Ticia, Thank you so much! Our fridge is is on rollers, so it moves quite easily.

  • Dora Dora on Oct 18, 2020

    Good information, thanks!