The Importance of Cleaning Under the Refrigerator and How to Do it Right

Setting aside time to clean under your refrigerator can seem daunting, and maybe its been weighing on you. What is under there? Do you remember all the things you have forgotten? Aside from the fact that there are probably sticky splatters, dust bunnies, and other junk hiding deep under the cave of the refrigerator, there is most likely another set of problems that doesn’t cross your mind too often.

Financials. Yes. Hear me out.

You really can save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars by making cleaning under your refrigerator a few times per year part of your routine. See, dust can clog the fan, reduce the efficiency of your heat exchangers and condensers, costing you more in energy bills.  The reduced efficiency also causes  the motors to work harder and get hotter, reducing the effective useful life of your appliances. The splatters can cause flooring and baseboard damage if not kept clean, and as a bonus, clearing out the dust can actually help reduce indoor allergies!

When done regularly, it doesn’t take more than about a half an hour. But if you wait too long, you may be looking at several hours, such as what happened under this refrigerator.



Here’s how its done:

  1. Pull out your refrigerator and collect all items hiding in the floor.
  2. Unplug your refrigerator before cleaning mechanical/electrical parts/dusting around coils.
  3. Check your owner’s manual for any special instructions for removing and cleaning vents or filters, and remove them prior to cleaning.
  4. Unplug your refrigerator before cleaning the back or underside of the unit. (Such and important step, it’s listed twice.)
  5. Dust the walls, and clean any splatters with an all purpose cleaner and non-abrasive cloth.
  6. Clean the top of the refrigerator, and work your way around the front and side panels.
  7. Vacuum or sweep the debris on the back of the refrigerator and on the floor.
  8. Tackle the coils, gently, with a feather duster, or a light touch with a microfiber cloth. Coils can easily be damaged with too much pressure. Use a vacuum cleaner with attachment, if possible, to help get some of the hard to reach dust.
  9. Find your fan/s, and dust and clean gently as appropriate or described in your owner’s manual.
  10. Clean air inlet vents and other accessories as necessary and replace.
  11. Clean the floor behind the refrigerator, scraping up all stuck on goo, etcetera.
  12. Plug in your refrigerator.
  13. Move refrigerator back into location.


That’s it! You have successfully cleaned behind your refrigerator, and can mark it off of your to do list.

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