How To Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils



This DIY repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for cleaning the condenser coils in a refrigerator. The condenser coils at the bottom of the refrigerator collect dust during normal use. When dust coats the condenser coils, the coils can't release heat into the surrounding air, so the refrigerator has to work harder to stay cold. The result is decreased efficiency and poor cooling performance in the refrigerator. Clean the coils at least twice a year—more often if you have pets that shed.

This procedure works for many Kenmore, Whirlpool, GE, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, Frigidaire, Electrolux, LG and Samsung refrigerators.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 15 min.

Parts Required

  • None

Tools Required

  • Coil brush
  • Shop vacuum
  • Dust mask


 Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Step 1: Disconnect the electrical power

Unplug the refrigerator or shut off the circuit breaker for the refrigerator.

Step 2: Remove the toe grill

To access the condenser coils, remove the bottom front toe grill. On many refrigerator models, you can pull the grill straight out and off of the refrigerator. Check your owner's manual for instructions for removing the front toe grill on your refrigerator.

 Tip: Some refrigerators have the coils on the back instead of below. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall to reach the coils on the back.

If the coils are under the refrigerator, remove the toe grill to access the coils.

 Warning: This project can dislodge a lot of dust. Wear a dust mask to prevent lung irritation.

Step 3: Clean the condenser coils

Push a coil brush into the condenser coils under the refrigerator. The coil brush knocks the dust off of the condenser coils.  Vacuum the area to pick up the dust.

 Tip: After vacuuming the condenser coil area, move the refrigerator and vacuum the area.

After knocking the dust from the coils with a coil brush, vacuum the dust.

Step 4: Reinstall the toe grill

Snap the bottom front toe grill onto the front of the refrigerator. 

The coils are either at the back of the refrigerator or under it:

  • If the coils are behind the refrigerator, slide the refrigerator far enough away from the wall that you can unplug it; you might want to set cardboard in front of it to protect wood or vinyl flooring. Then continue sliding it away from the wall until you can comfortably work behind it.

  • If the coils are under the refrigerator, remove the front toe grill. On many models, you can pull the grill toward you to remove it. Check your owner's manual for instructions for your refrigerator.