How to clean refrigerator coils


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Just as the refrigerator is the life of the kitchen, refrigerator’s coils are its life. So, to prolong the refrigerator’s life, read on and learn how to clean refrigerator coils.

Can you imagine your kitchen without a refrigerator, the king of kitchen appliances?

If the answer is no, you’ll have to learn to take care of this machine. To keep this machine as efficient as new, learning how to clean refrigerator coils is a must.

Clean coils prolong the life of the refrigerator. Now, the question arises, how to clean refrigerator coils? In this article, this is exactly what we are going to tell you.

But why so much fuss about coils?

Coils act as a condenser of the refrigerant of the refrigerator. A compressor pushes refrigerant vapours in the coils. Vapours come in contact with the outside environment and begin to cool down and liquify. This liquified refrigerant flows in the coil absorbing heat from inside the refrigerator and losing this heat to the outer environment. Yes, this is exactly why you find the area surrounding coils so warm. Now, at the end of the coils, an evaporator is present that converts the fluid refrigerant into the vapour. It then sends the vapour back to the compressor to keep the cycle of refrigeration going.

If coils are either clogged or covered with dust, the efficiency of refrigerant to expel the heat out reduces. It does two things,

1. It causes the compressor to overwork because to maintain refrigerant temperature, compressor pushes refrigerant vapours more frequently inside the coils.

2. Compressor uses more energy to compress the vapours of refrigerant.

These things collectively reduce the efficiency of the refrigerator, increase the temperature of the refrigerator, and increase electricity consumption.

Now, you must have realized why we had called these coils life of the refrigerator! And you must be very eager to know how to clean refrigerator coils?

However, before reaching this part, let’s tell you exactly where to look for refrigerator coils!

Where to look for coils?

It depends upon the type of refrigerator you have. If your refrigerator is an old model, you can barely miss the coils. They are at the back, covering the whole back of the refrigerator. All you have to do is to pull the refrigerator away from the wall and the could are there. However, if you have a new model refrigerator, you might not know where coils are! So, for new models, look at the bottom. Coils might be covered or uncovered, however, they are present at the bottom of the refrigerator. These coils can be accessed from either front of the refrigerator or from the back.

Now, you have found the coils, it is time to inspect the coils and see yourself the dust settled on the coils. If the dust is visible, do not wait and clean it immediately.

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The next important question before dealing with how to clean refrigerator coils is how frequently to clean refrigerator coils.

How frequently to clean refrigerator coils?

It again depends upon the dust in the environment. Normally, once in a year cleaning of coils is enough to keep your refrigerator healthy and as good as new. But, if you are an animal lover and an honorable owner of a pet, clean the coils twice in a year. Pets shed their hair and those light hair tend to clog the coils.

After reading this article, when you know how to clean refrigerator coils, do inspect your coils and decide cleaning frequency yourself! After all, who knows your refrigerator better than you?

What will you need?

Not much! Just a vacuum cleaner with its attachments, a screwdriver, brush to clean coils is all you need. And yes, do not forget to take a mask. The dust settled on the coils is usually very thin and is absorbed by the vacuum cleaner as soon as it is removed from the coils. However, some of it might get airborne and go inside your respiratory tract and settle there. If you are allergic to dust, better to leave the cleaning process for somebody else at home.

Though you can use a paintbrush to clean coils, a coil cleaning brush should be preferred. It is very soft and will not damage the fins of the coils. You can easily insert it between coils.

If your coils are not visible from outside, then they are behind a panel. This panel can be removable either from the front or back. You will need a screwdriver to remove that panel. Do not forget to clean the panel with a detergent before placing it at its place again.

Now, when you have assembled all the equipment, let’s learn how to clean refrigerator coils and get down to work on coils.

How to clean refrigerator coils

The first step will be to unplug your device.

Now pull the refrigerator away from the wall and locate the coils. These are U-shaped metal tubes.

Clean the coils with the help of a brush. A coil brush is flexible and cylindrical that goes into the space between the coils very easily. Gently remove the dust by inserting the brush in the corners of coils too. Bristles of brush should be large enough to reach sufficiently deep.

If your coils are located at the back, keep the narrow nuzzle hose of vacuum just next to the brush. The vacuum cleaner will absorb all the dust, making the cleaning process less messy.

If coils are present, using brush and vacuum cleaner alternatively is easier.

Now, that you have cleaned the coils, do not forget to clean the surrounding area too. There must be some fallen debris from the coils. If left there, they will settle back on the coils in no time, ruining your work. So, clear the surrounding area and the panel thoroughly after cleaning the coils. After cleaning put the panel back, if coils are located behind a panel.

Pull back the refrigerator back at its place and plug it again.

As you can see, it takes hardly 15 minutes to clean the refrigerator coils. Hope this DIY tutorial on how to clean refrigerator coil will help you keep your refrigerator as good as new for a long time. Some words of caution before ending this article.


Do not forget to unplug the device and wear a mask before starting on the task.

Clean the coils gently. Rough handling might damage sensitive fins and you will end up doing harm instead of good.

Do not use cleaning products on coils. It may damage the fins. If your coils are too dirty and grimy, just get an expert to do the cleaning for you. They know exactly what cleaning product to use. Some people use compressed air cans to remove dirt from coils. It is safe and you can use it too.

Let’s end the piece with recalling the benefits of cleaning the coils. Removing dirt will enable the coils to expel out the heat from inside the refrigerator. It will prevent overworking of the compressor and excess consumption of electricity. It will improve the efficiency of your refrigerator and prolong its life. So, what are you waiting for? Reduce your electricity bill and increase refrigerator efficiency by spending only 15 minutes on cleaning the coils of your refrigerator. If there is any query, do let us know in the comment section. If you have some suggestions, feel free to contact us.

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