Remove kickplate.jpg
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Authors Maria Hester
Location Arcata, California
Tools Vacuum, Dryer Brush
OKH Manifest Download

The usefulness of cleaning refrigerator coils is debated at Should I clean my refrigerator coils. Please read that before proceeding.

Steps[edit | edit source]


Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and other appliances and shut off the electricity by unplugging the power cord. For built-in refrigerators, turn the respective circuit breaker off.


Remove both (or just the kick plate, in built-in models) cover plates to expose the condenser coils. Most plates come off without any disassembly of fasteners; others are screwed on, especially the back plate.


If a vacuum is available, use the long, narrow hose attachment to clean out the debris in and around the coils.

  • Using a bottle brush or a dryer vent brush will help immensely; especially if your refrigerator is old and hasn't been cleaned for a very long time.
  • If a vacuum is not available, using a bottle brush or a dryer vent brush will do the trick just as well.

After cleaning, restore the cover plates onto the refrigerator and turn the power back on.

Tips[edit | edit source]

Cleaning the condenser coils in your refrigerator saves energy and money. For side-by-side or built-in refrigerators, cleaning should be performed at least twice a year. For refrigerators with coils mounted on the back of the refrigerator, cleaning the coils at least once a year is sufficient. The entire process should take 10 to 45 minutes, depending on how dirty the coils are; overall, it is a quick way to save money on your next energy bill.

Warnings[edit | edit source]

Make sure the electricity is turned off before attempting to clean your refrigerator's condenser coils!

Things You will Need[edit | edit source]

  • Vacuum and/or
  • Dryer Brush

Sources and Citations[edit | edit source]

Text[edit | edit source]
Images[edit | edit source]
FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgPage data
Part of Engr114 Whole Earth Engineering
Keywords energy efficiency, refrigeration, electric appliances, how tos, refrigeration, electric appliances
Authors Maria Hester
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Organizations Cal Poly Humboldt
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 8 pages link here
Aliases How to Clean Refrigerator Coils
Impact 543 page views
Created November 3, 2008 by Maria Hester
Modified January 29, 2024 by Felipe Schenone
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