Clean Refrigerator Coils: Do It Like A Pro

Clean Refrigerator Coils

A refrigerator is your best companion anywhere you stay, isn’t it? A sip of apple juice after coming home, or grabbing a bottle of cold coffee in the afternoon in the office would require a well-functioning refrigerator. Or, maybe you like to apply an ice cube on your face before you go to sleep? Whichever you like, the refrigerator is an essential appliance. 

But to function well, the refrigerator requires a clean refrigerator coil. The coil is what keeps the heat away and is the main part that keeps the interior of the refrigerator cool. Now, if the coil gets dirty, the entire procedure would deteriorate. This is why you should clean refrigerator coils from time to time. 

To make the refrigerator coil cleaning process easier for you, I have come up with a guide to tell you the steps of cleaning. Here, I’ll show you 2 different ways of cleaning refrigerator coils. If you are ready to learn and get the best out of the refrigerator, let’s get started!

7 Simple Steps To Clean Refrigerator Coils: The Common Way

Cleaning the refrigerator coil, known as the condenser coil, is not complicated if you know the right way of doing it. You need the necessary tools and carefully perform the task. Just knowing the correct way would do the job. 

Here is a list of materials you need to clean refrigerator coils:

  • A bottle brush,
  • A vacuum cleaner,
  • A face mask (optional),
  • Lab Hand Gloves (optional),
  • Goggles (optional).

So, here are the 7 simple steps to effectively clean refrigerator coils: 

Step 1: Unplug The Refrigerator:

It is a ground rule to unplug any electronic appliance before cleaning. This is because you can get electric shocks if the switch is on, especially when you clean using water. So, before you start the process, switch off the power and unplug it.

Don’t worry about the cooked, frozen, or raw items inside the fridge. They won’t rot if the temperature is low at the time of your cleaning. The cleaning procedure is super fast, trust me! So, don’t worry about the food inside. 

Step 2: Move The Refrigerator From The Wall:

I suppose that your refrigerator is placed close to the wall as it needs to be plugged in. But as the refrigerator coils are at the backside of the fridge, you can’t clean it when it is close to the wall. 

So, pull the refrigerator away from the wall to start the process. Move it around 1 meter away from the wall. 

Step 3: Remove The Bottom Panel:

Not all refrigerator coils are visible from the outside. Most modern refrigerators keep the refrigerator coils hidden to give a sleek and stylish look. Now when this is the case, you have to remove the bottom panel to uncover the coil. 

You need to remove the bottom panel from the front part of the fridge. Some panels would come out if you gently pull them away. Otherwise, try pushing it up a bit and then slowly detach the panel. 

Step 4: Brush Away The Dirt And Grime: 

As the coil keeps working restlessly, grime and slug keep sticking to the coil. And when the coil is exposed at the back of the fridge, it gets dirty even more quickly and the layers would be wider. 

The first part of cleaning is to remove the thick layer of sluggish dirt that is stuck in the coil. This greasy layer is a bit to remove, and thus you need a soft-bristled, thin bottle brush to loosen up the dirt. 

Run the bottle brush up and down and through the coil to loosen up the grime and dirt. Thoroughly brush each corner of the coil. Use a flashlight for clarity. Remember that most of the coil may be covered with grease and grime. So clean thoroughly until you see the entire coil again. 

Step 5: Vacuum The Coil: 

Now that all the grime and dirt have come out from the coil, some loose dirt would be stuck in between the coil and it is important to clean it. 

Use the hose of a vacuum cleaner and attach a nozzle to deeply clean the coils. Vacuum the coils thoroughly and run them over and through them to suck up all the dirt. Also, clean the surrounding and bottom of the fridge to clean the entire area. 

Step 6: Repeat:

Cleaning the coil once may not suffice. Sometimes the dirt and grease are too stubborn that only one wash would not take out all the dirt. 

Check the coil with the flashlight and see if any spec of dirt is there or not. If yes, then use the brush and vacuum cleaner again to take out the last trace of dust and grime. 

Step 7: Restart The Refrigerator:

Your cleaning process is done. Now is the turn to bring back the bottom panel in place and start the fridge again. Hold the bottom panel at the bottom of the area and gently push it up to fix it. You would hear a click if it is attached properly. 

After cleaning and attaching the bottom panel, plug the fridge and switch it on. And you are done!

7 Easy Steps To Deep Clean Refrigerator Coils: An Alternative Way

The previous process is the most commonly used method of cleaning refrigerator coils. But there is another DIY  method to effectively clean refrigerator coils. In fact, if the grease and dirt are stubborn and deep, you must switch to this method rather than following the conventional way of coil cleaning. 

Here is a list of what you need to perform this DIY cleaning method: 

  • A soft-bristled bottle Brush,
  • A spraying bottle,
  • Baking soda,
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar,
  • 1 tsp of rubbing alcohol,
  • Lukewarm water,
  • A dry piece of cloth.

Now let me tell you how to do this DIY method of cleaning refrigerator coils:

Step 1: Unplug The Refrigerator: 

Though you already know it, still I should remind you to switch off and unplug the refrigerator before starting the process. To avoid accidents, plug out the fridge and place it a meter away from the wall. 

Step 2: Clean The Loose Dirt: 

Before you start deep cleaning the coils, you should remove the loose dirt and grime. To do so, rub the coil with a bottle brush and loosen up the dirt. Rub in between the coils, up and down to clean it thoroughly. 

Now use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle to remove the loose dirt from the coil and ground. Now you can start deep cleaning the refrigerator coils. 

Step 3: Make The Mixture: 

You need to make a cleaning solution first to deep clean the refrigerator coils. To do so, take the spraying bottle first. Pour 1 tsp of rubbing alcohol in it and then add 1 tsp of white vinegar to it. Fill the rest of the bottle with lukewarm water. Shake the spraying bottle well to mix all the ingredients properly. 

Step 4: Apply The Solution: 

After mixing the ingredients well, spray the solution on the affected area. You may see stains of rust and water or sticky areas that are yet to be cleaned. You may notice discoloration as well. Apply the mixture to these areas. Don’t overspray it. Spray only once or twice on the heavily stained and sticky areas. 

Leave the solution there for 5 to 7 minutes and let it work. 

Step 5: Clean It With A Brush:

After the mixture settles on the refrigerator coils, use a soft-bristled bottle brush to rub and scrub the coils well. Put pressure on the heavily stained parts and scrub the areas thoroughly to remove the stains, dirt, grease, and discoloration. 

Step 6: Wipe The Coil Off: 

After the process of brushing off the dirt is done, you have to remove any trace of solution and dirt from the coils. To do that, use a clean and dry cloth to gently wipe off the coils. Wipe around each coil and bring back the shine. 

Step 7: Treat With Baking Soda:

If you see any other trace of stain and dirt, you have to use baking soda. Spread baking soda over the area and let it sit for 5 minutes. Baking soda not only removes stains but also disinfects surfaces. 

After 5 minutes, repeat the processes mentioned above. Spray the solution of alcohol, vinegar, and warm water. Wait for 5 minutes and then brush up the coils. Then wipe off the coils thoroughly. And you are done!

This is an excellent secret remedy to deeply clean the refrigerator coils and bring back the shine. This also makes the coils durable and long-lasting.

Related Questions On Refrigerator Coils Cleaning:

What Happens If Refrigerator Coils Are Dirty? 

You may think that cleaning the refrigerator coils is not necessary because it is still working well. But actually, the coils are consuming more electricity and struggling to pass the heat out. 

The coils are there to release the heat so that the interior stays cool. Now when the coils are dirty and clogged, the heat can’t move out easily. It has to cross a thick layer of grime and dirt to finally go out. This means the coils can’t efficiently and smoothly pass out the heat when the coils are dirty. 

When the coils struggle to release heat due to the dirt, the life and durability of the coils keep reducing as they are taking extra pressure more than they were supposed to take. As a result, the cooling system of your fridge is deteriorating too and it may stop working suddenly. 

Moreover, your fridge consumes more electricity when the coils struggle to function and release heat properly. 

This is why it is recommended to clean the refrigerator coils from time to time to let the fridge function properly and smoothly. 

How Often Should  Refrigerator Coils Be Cleaned? 

Clogged and sticky refrigerator coil is a common issue in every house. Don’t think that it is just bothering you but everyone having a fridge. As the coils constantly work to pass on heat outside and keep the interior of the fridge cool, it gets dirty over time. 

Not only do you see grime and slug around and on the coils, but you can see the traces of rusting and nasty stains too. You can even see stubbornly sticky and greasy areas that are hard to clean. And if you don’t clean it, the entire fridge won’t function well. 

This is why you should be regular about cleaning the refrigerator coils. You just need to take out time twice a year to clean refrigerator coils. If you clean the coils once every six months, the fridge would be in good condition and provide service for a long time. 

However, if you feel that the fridge isn’t cooling well, this is the time when you should immediately consider cleaning the coils. 

Do Cleaning Refrigerator Coils Save Energy?

Generally, a refrigerator consumes a lot of energy, e. electricity. The electricity bill you pay mostly occupies the electricity consumed by the fridge. But when the coils are dirty and sluggish, be sure that the electricity bill is going to be more that month. 

When the refrigerator coils are dirty, they struggle to pass out the heat. For this reason, the coil consumes more electricity to release the heat outside and keep the interior cool. 

But when the refrigerator coil is clean, the process of releasing heat becomes smooth and fast. This reduces the energy consumption rate approximately by 30 percent. Thus the electricity consumption rate reduces when the coil is clean and efficiently functioning. 

Therefore, it is evident that cleaning refrigerator coils save energy and you must consider keeping the coils clean. 

Should You Clean Condenser Coils On A Refrigerator?

To keep a refrigerator in good condition, it is necessary to clean condenser coils on the refrigerator. As part of regular refrigerator maintenance, you should vacuum clean the condenser coils at least twice a year. If the dirt is too stubborn to remove with a vacuum cleaner, you would need to clean it thoroughly and deeply. 

You should clean the condenser coils on a refrigerator at least twice a year to keep the system working efficiently. The condenser coils are there to release the heat out of the refrigerator so that the interior remains cool. Now when the coil is clogged with dirt, it fails to pass heat out. As a result, the refrigerator doesn’t stay cool. 

Therefore, to let the condenser coil function and keep the cooling system in good condition, you should clean condenser coils on a refrigerator at least twice a year. 

How Do You Clean The Coils Under Your Refrigerator?

Refrigerators can have the condenser coil either on the back or under the refrigerator. When the coils on the back are visible, the coils under the refrigerator are not visible. This is why some may think that it is difficult to clean the coils under the refrigerator. However, it is not that hard. 

You need to unplug and pull the refrigerator away from the wall. Now, look at the bottom and find the bottom panel. It is located right at the bottom. You need to remove the bottom panel to expose the coils. Gently clip off the bottom panel, and the coil is right there. It can be clogged with dirt and you may not see it clearly. Take a flashlight and start cleaning with a brush. 

Clean with a bottle brush until the entire coil is visible again. Wipe off the coil and vacuum the coil to suck up all the dirt. And you are done. Clip the bottom panel again and plug the refrigerator. It is that simple!

How Long Does It Take For Refrigerators To Cool After Coil Cleaning? 

Remember that after you clean the coil, it requires some time to start functioning. As you have lowered the temperature of the coil while cleaning, the regular and continuous functioning of the coil gets disrupted. This is why it requires time for the coil to start cooling the fridge again. 

Ideally, it requires around 3 to 24 hours for the coil to start functioning and cooling the fridge. However, if it is a very hot day, it may take longer to cool the refrigerator. Basically, the coil needs to get back into the track and start cooling and for that, the surrounding temperature matters too.

Also, the size of the fridge would decide the time required to reset the fridge. The bigger the refrigerator, the longer it takes. 

How Much Does It Cost To Clean Refrigerator Coils? 

If you clean the refrigerator coils by yourself, you need a bottle brush and a vacuum cleaner to clean the coils. The cost of this is minimal and you are most likely to have them at home. So, no extra cost is required. 

But if you decide to clean refrigerator coils by a professional, it would come at a cost. Professionals not only do it easily and efficiently but would also provide you with the best service. So, it is a good idea to hire an expert. 

The cost of hiring a professional to clean refrigerator coils would range from $60 to $100 depending on how dirty and greasy the coil is. The dirtier it is, the more price you would pay to the expert. 

Compared to the cost of cleaning all the other parts of a refrigerator, this is the cheapest. 

How Do You Know If You Need To Clean Your Refrigerator Coil?

Sometimes you may see that the refrigerator is working but its cooling capacity has reduced or is almost zero. This is the time when you need to check the refrigerator coil. 

The refrigerator coil is responsible for cooling the interior and keeping the foods and items fresh. It releases the heat out and keeps the interior cool. Now when the coil is clogged and dirty, its cooling system deteriorates too. This is why, even when the fridge is running, you may notice that the cooling mechanism has collapsed. 

When such a situation arrives, you should consider cleaning the refrigerator coils immediately. To bring back life to the cooling system, you have to clean refrigerator coils. 

So, besides cleaning the refrigerator twice a year, if you notice that the fridge isn’t cooling the items, this is the time when you need to clean refrigerator coils. 


Now, you have learned the best techniques to clean refrigerators coils along with some extra tips for deep cleaning. I have also given a pile of information regarding cleaning refrigerator coils. These would help you to learn the most and know why cleaning the coils is necessary. Besides, you could come to know how a dirty coil can negatively impact the function of the fridge. 

Since You have learned A to Z about cleaning refrigerator coils, when are you planning to clean refrigerator coils? 

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Shifat Hossen

Hey guys, This is Shifat Hossen. I'm a professional chef. I have been cooking for the last 10 years. I have a restaurant business as well. If you love cooking, be with me.

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