Tips for Cleaning Under the Refrigerator

You know those nights where you can’t sleep and you lie there thinking of everything in the house that needs to be done? Well, I had one of those nights recently, and as I lay there I heard the refrigerator humming on and off. Should it be turning on that often? Was it about to go out? Wasn’t I supposed to clean the cooling coils once a year? I had never done that. Nope, not once in my 8 years of married life had that task been checked off! Surely, the refrigerator was on its last leg and it was due to my lack of cleaning skills! So, the next morning I had my husband (who was just excited that his domestically challenged wife was finally getting around to it) help me pull the beast away from its cubby and began to tear off the plastic cover to reveal those dirty coils.

dirty refrigerator coils
I had already cleaned some of the holes. Just imagine the dirty spots multiplied! 🙂

Yep, it was gross under there! But here I was, deep into my project and I realized I didn’t really have the right tools. I’m pretty sure refrigerator designers don’t think about ease of access much when they thought up the location of those coils. I ran a Google search, pronto, and discovered there is a special refrigerator coil brush for reaching under and knocking off that dust and lint. I didn’t have time to wait for an Amazon delivery nor could I run to the hardware store right then. (If you do have time for Amazon shopping here is a coil brush.) This is what I did.

homemade coil brush

If you are in the pinch that I was in, try this:

  • Find a dowl or pencil-like object.
  • Wrap a fuzzy pipe cleaner around it and tape it to secure it to the dowel
  • Now, reach in there and get that lint out so your appliance doesn’t have to work too hard and quit on you!
  • Use a vacuum to help suck up the lint that you loosen.
A shop vac works great!

Sorry for the gross pictures. Happy cleaning!