Remove kickplate.jpg
Project data
Authors Maria Hester
Location Arcata, California
Tools vacuum, dryer brush
OKH Manifest Open Know-How Manifest Download
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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]
Page data
Part of Engr114 Whole Earth Engineering
Type Project
Keywords energy efficiency, refrigeration, electric appliances, how tos, refrigeration, electric appliances
Authors Maria Hester
Published 2008
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Affiliations Cal Poly Humboldt
Impact Number of views to this page and its redirects. Updated once a month. Views by admins and bots are not counted. Multiple views during the same session are counted as one. 2,697
Issues Automatically detected page issues. Click on them to find out more. They may take some minutes to disappear after you fix them. Sections nested too deep
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