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A Handy Guide to Basic Refrigerator Maintenance

Riverview Tenant Cleaning Out His Fridge to Prepare for MaintenanceAmong the most hard-working appliances in our homes is the refrigerator. However, we don’t give much thought to it unless something goes wrong. All appliances need regular maintenance and cleaning to keep them working properly, and this includes your refrigerator and freezer. If you neglect basic refrigerator maintenance, you not only shorten the useful life of the appliance but could also incur unnecessary and expensive repairs, too.

Regardless of the current state of your fridge, this guide can help you! We’ll go over fridge maintenance and cleaning basics and a few easy fixes to common problems.

Basic Refrigerator Maintenance

One great way to keep your refrigerator and freezer in good condition is to clean them properly and several times a year. While most of us know how important it is to wipe the fridge’s inside when it gets dirty, there are other areas you should also be cleaning regularly to ensure that your fridge keeps working properly.

Proper refrigerator maintenance includes cleaning the coils behind the fridge once or twice a year. These coils are what keep your refrigerator’s motor working efficiently. To clean the coils, you have to unplug the fridge and pull it away from the wall. After opening the back of the fridge, you have to vacuum out any dust or debris you find. A dry paintbrush is also helpful for cleaning the dust that has stuck on the coils.

You also have to clean the door seals on a regular basis since these help your refrigerator keep a consistent internal temperature. The seals are fairly easy to clean. Just use a damp cloth and wipe between the folds of the fridge or freezer door seals.

Finally, do not forget to wipe down the whole inside and outside of your fridge and freezer. The CDC recommends using hot, soapy water or, to disinfect, a solution made from 1 tablespoon of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Using either of these will kill bacteria and keep your refrigerator sparkling clean.

Common Problems and Fixes

Even with regular maintenance and cleaning, refrigerators can still have some problems. Here are some of them and their solutions:

  1. Freezer Frost
  2. Frozen Food
  3. Lukewarm Food

Frost in the freezer. Have you noticed a buildup of frost or ice crystals inside your freezer? Your freezer door might not be sealed tightly enough. If your freezer door is not sealed tight, water can get inside, freeze, and form frost. When that happens, defrost the freezer completely and clean it using the following steps. To defrost a freezer, unplug it, open the door, and wait for the ice to melt on its own. This is best done at least once a year. If you notice that you need to defrost more frequently, it might be time to replace the seal.

Food freezing in the refrigerator. If you observe that some food in the fridge tends to freeze, especially toward the back, you might have an issue with the temperature control or the thermostat. The easy way to fix this problem is to adjust the thermostat in your fridge. But if you still find frozen food in the refrigerator after trying that, you should look into hiring a handyman.

The refrigerator is not cold enough. If the food in your fridge tends to spoil quickly or it doesn’t seem very cold, that is a problem that has to be addressed immediately. If your fridge doesn’t get cold, it could have issues related to dirty coils, an incorrectly set thermostat, or a faulty thermostat. Anyone can do the first two fixes themselves. (You will likely have to call a professional to replace a defective thermostat.)


Are you thinking about moving to a new Riverview rental home, maybe one with a fridge provided? If so, reach out to Real Property Management Empire! You can contact us online or view our listings.

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