Spring Clean Your Refrigerator

Spring Cleaning Your Refrigerator

If you’re getting ready to start your spring cleaning, don’t forget to spring clean your refrigerator, including the condenser coils, condenser fan blade, and the door gaskets. Spring is also a great time to replace your water filter. Other than the door gaskets, you may not know where these other parts are located, so it’s easy to forget that they need to be cleaned regularly. These instructions will demonstrate the steps for how to spring clean most fridges.

Cleaning Refrigerator Condenser Coils

Before you can clean the condenser, you need to know where it is on your refrigerator. They may be located at the back, front, bottom or top. It will depend on the age, the manufacturer, and whether it is a freestanding or a built-in refrigerator. Older fridges have a static condenser coil clearly visible on the back in a grid pattern, usually black. Most are behind a vent / screen cover or toe grill that you can remove to access the coils and fan. This cover will have a build up of dust where the airflow enters.

Condenser Coil Cleaning Instructions:

  1. Remove power to refrigerator. If you have a freestanding fridge and want to unplug it, proceed to step 2. If you have a larger built-in model or don’t want to risk damaging the floor, just trip the circuit breaker for the fridge. Do not attempt to clean the coils while the refrigerator is still connected to power. You could cause damage to the appliance and risk injury by electric shock or death.
  2. Pull the Unit Forward. This will be necessary for models with the coils located at the bottom back of the appliance. We suggest to use appliance glides when you move the refrigerator. This will protect your hardwood, linoleum, or tile from deep scratches and unsightly gouges. On built-in models, like Subzero, Viking, GE Monogram, etc. you will not have to pull the refrigerator out, but you will have to remove the machine compartment cover to access the condenser, either at the top or bottom in front. Check your owner manual for location of this area.
  3. Turn off the water supply to the refrigerator and disconnect the water line connected at the back of the unit if the appliance needs to be pulled forward. For models that don’t need to be moved, this step is not required.
  4. Gain access to the coils. In models with bottom or top coils, remove the the grille cover to access the coils. For units with back mounted coils, remove screws holding machine compartment cover and set aside.
  5. Clean the condenser coils: Use a coil brush (available at most hardware stores) and/or vacuum to carefully remove dust from the coils. Do NOT use any sharp objects to remove dust, as the condenser is hard but not impossible to damage. Damage to the coils will result in a costly repair. Do not use liquid detergents when cleaning the coils.
  6. Clean the condenser fan: Vacuum and/or wipe down any dirt, hair, or excess debris from the fan blades, the shroud around fan blade and the motor.
  7. Final wipe down: To finish the process, clean up your area (including the floor and wall behind the fridge). Don’t forget to replace any cover you removed, reconnect and turn water supply back on. Restore power to unit.
  8. Repeating this process once a year should be enough. 

Tip: Manufacturers recommend cleaning the condenser coils in your fridge every 6 months to 1 year, but conditions can vary dramatically from house to house. If you have a lot of pet hair and light dust in your home, you should clean them more often.

Clean Your Fridge Gasket

The door seal (or gasket) accumulates a lot of grime which should be cleaned every 3 months or so to ensure that the door closes properly and the condition of the seal does not deteriorate. To clean the fridge gasket, you can either use a vinegar/water solution (1-part vinegar to 4-parts water) or a bleach/water solution (1-part bleach to 8-parts water). Use the solution with a wet sponge and toothbrush to clean the gasket, then lightly dry with paper towel. To keep the rubber supple, you can rub a small amount of lemon oil, mineral oil, or body lotion around the perimeter of the gasket.

Clean Refrigerator Interior Cabinet

There are two schools of thought as to how to clean interior. Cleaning your fridge one shelf at a time, removing and replacing food as you go. On the other hand, you could remove all the food items from the shelves and the shelves themselves, then cleaning entire compartment at once. 

Replace Your Water Filter and Air Filter

If you have a fridge with an ice and water dispenser, it is easy to forget your model may have a water filter that needs to be replaced. Failing to change your water filter allows contaminants to build up and can actually make water quality worse. This isn’t just bad for you and your family, but bad for your fridge. Manufacturers recommend replacing the filter every 6-12 months.

We’re here to help if you need refrigerator repair near me. Just call 630/424-0646 for fast appliance repair in the Chicago suburbs.

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