Clean Refrigerator Coils: DIY Maintenance for Efficiency


Maintaining the efficiency of your refrigerator is crucial for preserving food and reducing energy consumption. One often overlooked but essential maintenance task is cleaning the refrigerator coils. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of cleaning refrigerator coils on your own, ensuring your appliance operates at its best.

Understanding the Role of Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator coils play a vital role in the cooling process. Located either at the back or beneath the unit, these coils dissipate heat from the refrigerator’s compressor. Over time, dust and debris accumulate on the coils, hindering their ability to release heat efficiently.

The Impact of Dirty Coils on Efficiency

When refrigerator coils are covered with dust and grime, the appliance must work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This extra strain not only reduces the refrigerator’s overall efficiency but also leads to increased energy consumption, potentially resulting in higher electricity bills.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Before diving into the cleaning process, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, a coil brush or a long-handled soft brush, and a damp cloth. Additionally, ensure the refrigerator is unplugged or disconnected from the power source for safety.

Locating and Accessing the Coils

Refrigerator coils are typically located either on the back of the unit or beneath it, accessible from the front or rear kick plate. Consult your refrigerator’s manual to determine the exact location of the coils. Once located, carefully move the refrigerator away from the wall or access the coils from the front or rear panel.

Removing Loose Debris with a Brush or Vacuum

Begin the cleaning process by removing loose debris from the coils. Use a coil brush, a long-handled soft brush, or the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Gently brush or vacuum away dust, cobwebs, and any other particles that have accumulated on the coils.

Deep Cleaning with a Damp Cloth

For a more thorough cleaning, use a damp cloth to wipe down the coils. Be cautious and avoid putting excessive pressure on the coils, as they can be delicate. Wipe away any stubborn dirt or grime, paying attention to the spaces between the coils. Ensure the coils are completely dry before restoring power to the refrigerator.

Cleaning the Surrounding Area

While you have the refrigerator pulled away from the wall, take the opportunity to clean the surrounding area. Vacuum or sweep away any dust or debris on the floor and the refrigerator’s rear. A clean environment ensures proper airflow, contributing to the overall efficiency of the appliance.

Ensuring Regular Maintenance

Cleaning refrigerator coils should be part of your regular maintenance routine. Aim to clean the coils at least twice a year, or more frequently if you have pets or notice excessive dust in your home. Regular maintenance not only keeps your refrigerator operating efficiently but also extends its lifespan.

Monitoring Energy Efficiency

After cleaning the coils, monitor your refrigerator’s energy consumption. You may notice a reduction in energy usage, leading to potential cost savings. Additionally, a more efficiently operating refrigerator contributes to a greener and more sustainable home.

Benefits of DIY Maintenance

Cleaning refrigerator coils on your own not only improves the appliance’s efficiency but also empowers you to take an active role in maintaining your household. DIY maintenance tasks contribute to a well-functioning home and can save you money on repair costs in the long run.


Cleaning refrigerator coils is a straightforward yet impactful DIY maintenance task. By investing a little time in this simple chore, you can enhance your refrigerator’s efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and contribute to a more sustainable home. For more information on home maintenance and DIY tips, visit