How to Stop a Fridge from Ice Build Up

Most modern refrigerators don’t need to be defrosted, so you shouldn’t have much trouble keeping your appliance free of ice and frost if it’s in working order. Just remember to keep the door closed as much as possible. You may also want to check the doors and inner seals to ensure that they’re forming a tight seal and not allowing any warm air to sneak in. Additionally, aim to keep your fridge clean and tidy, inside and out, to keep the air circulating correctly. If you notice that frost or ice is starting to build-up in your refrigerator or freezer, simply melt or chip away at the small chunks.


[Edit]Troubleshooting the Doors

  1. Open the fridge and freezer doors as infrequently as possible. Opening the door frequently increases the humidity levels inside your fridge and freezer which can lead to ice buildup and frost. Avoid leaving your fridge or freezer doors open when you’re deciding what to eat or trying to figure out which ingredients to pull out. Instead, make a quick mental list of what you’ll need so you can take all of those things out at one time. Only open 1 door at a time. Be as quick as possible and close the doors in under 1 minute.[1]
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    • For instance, if you’re going to be baking, take out the eggs, butter, and milk at one time. This way, you only have to open the door once.
    • If you have a hard time remembering what you stock in your fridge, keep a list of what’s inside posted on the refrigerator door.
  2. Raise the front legs so that your refrigerator doors close automatically. If your fridge or freezer door are prone to sitting open, or if they swing wide open while you’re moving food in and out, this easily can raise the humidity levels inside your appliance, causing ice to build up. Ask another person to help you pull the fridge out about from the wall. Have your partner tilt the top of the fridge backward, toward the wall, to expose the front 2 feet. While they hold it in this position, twist the legs counterclockwise. Unscrew the legs slightly to make them a little taller. This way, gravity will encourage the doors to shut.[2]
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    • Once you’ve tweaked the legs, open the doors and see if gravity help them close naturally. If not, repeat this process to lift the front legs even higher.
    • When you’re done, return the fridge back to its original spot.
  3. Tighten the door hinges if they’re loose. Loose hinges on your fridge or freezer doors will result in an incomplete seal; this will increase the humidity inside your appliance which may result in ice buildup. If you notice that the door or the screws on the hinges are wobbly, use a screwdriver to tighten the screws by turning them clockwise. Keep tightening them until they don’t spin around anymore.[3]
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    • Depending on the type of fridge you have, you may have to lift off a plastic cover to expose the hinges.
  4. Wipe down the seals around the inside of each door to remove any residue. If the seals lining your fridge or freezer doors are caked with food residue or ice crystals, they won’t close properly. Working on 1 door at a time, use a damp cleaning cloth and mild dish soap to quickly scrub the inside of the seal. Clean off the frame of the fridge opening, as well, to ensure that the seal can sit flush against it. Use a dry towel to wipe off any remaining moisture and then shut the door.[4]
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    • Make sure you don’t leave any moisture behind, as it might form an ice crystal.
  5. Replace a damaged door seal, or gasket, with a new one.[5] Look at the flexible rubber seal on the inside of your fridge and freezer doors. These are called refrigerator gaskets. If either one appears to be damaged, replace it to ensure that your appliance’s doors close completely. Contact your fridge manufacturer to order a replacement gasket. Once you have it, unplug your appliance and move all of the perishable items to coolers. Unscrew the damaged gasket and then screw the new one into place.[6]
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    • Make sure you know your appliance’s model number; you’ll need this in order to get the right replacement part.
    • Test out the seal of your new gasket before you turn the fridge back on and start loading it up. It should sit flush against the frame of the fridge or freezer opening without any gaps.

[Edit]Keeping Your Fridge Tidy

  1. Move bulky food items away from the cooling mechanisms. While your fridge or freezer is running, place your hand inside to locate the cold air source. This is usually along the back wall of the appliance. If this area is blocked by a dense arrangement of food items, move these out of the way. Leave some open space around the cooling mechanism so that the air can flow around.[7]
    Stop a Fridge from Ice Build Up Step 6.jpg
    • Don’t block any of the vents with bulky freezer boxes or bags. Keep these items further away from the sides and walls of your appliance.
  2. Avoid over-filling your fridge and freezer. An overstuffed appliance will restrict the airflow and may trap cold air in certain pockets, which could result in frosty patches. Store items in the designated drawers and spots, with fruits in the crisping drawers, meat in the meat drawers, butter in the butter tray, and condiments in the narrow shelves inside the door. Use fridge organizers and bins to keep your appliance organized and clutter-free.[8]
    Stop a Fridge from Ice Build Up Step 7.jpg
    • Take a few minutes each week to check your fridge for old or expired items. Toss these out as soon as they go bad to make space for fresh foods.
  3. Clean off the vents every 6 months to ensure proper air circulation. Dirty, clogged vents can lead to airflow issues and ice buildup. About twice a year, unscrew the vents from the inside of your refrigerator. Use a bristle brush, warm water, and mild dish soap to scrub away any dust, dirt, and food residue. Dry them off completely before replacing them.[9]
    Stop a Fridge from Ice Build Up Step 8.jpg
    • Shut off your appliance and transfer perishable foods to a cooler before you disassemble the vents.
  4. Wash out the inside of your fridge about twice a year. Before cleaning your fridge, take everything out of your fridge and store the perishable items in a cooler temporarily. Use a dry sheet of paper towel to brush out any crumbs and food residue. Follow up by scrubbing down the shelves and insides using a warm, soapy cleaning cloth. Dry off the surfaces before returning all of your food items.[10]
    Stop a Fridge from Ice Build Up Step 9.jpg
    • If you notice any spills or crumbs, wipe these up as soon as possible so they don’t form ice crystals.
  5. Vacuum the condenser coils at the back of your fridge twice a year.[11] Turn off your fridge and stash the perishable items in coolers. Pull out your appliance far enough from the wall so that you can easily access the back. Use a soft bristle brush attachment to vacuum the dust and debris off of the coils. Then, return your fridge to its usual spot.[12]
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    • Move the vacuum attachment in the direction of the coils so you don’t dent them.
    • Clean the coils more frequently if you have pets whose hair might end up behind your refrigerator.
    • Depending on the fridge model you have, the condenser coils may be located below or on top of the appliance. Check the user manual to see how you can access these coils.

[Edit]Eliminating Ice Buildup

  1. Keep your refrigerator set at and your freezer at . Adjust the dials inside your appliance so that each section stays consistently at these temperatures. This way, your food will be stored safely and you won’t encourage any excess ice buildup in your refrigerator. Avoid setting your fridge to any colder settings as you might encourage frost.[13]
    Stop a Fridge from Ice Build Up Step 11.jpg
    • Use an appliance thermometer to check the temperatures inside your fridge and freezer.
  2. Melt away ice crystals with hot water and a cleaning cloth.[14] Saturate a cleaning cloth or sponge with hot water. Hold the damp cloth directly on top of any ice buildup or frost. Press down on it gently to warm up the ice below. If the cloth starts to get cold, soak it in some more hot water and reapply it to the frost. Continue this process until the frost melts away completely.[15]
    Stop a Fridge from Ice Build Up Step 12.jpg
    • Use a paper towel or a dry cleaning cloth to soak up any moisture before you close your fridge.
  3. Use a bristle brush or kitchen utensil to dislodge tougher ice crystals. If you’re having trouble getting ice patches to melt away with hot water, use a brush with medium or stiff bristles to scrape away the solid chunks of ice. Or, try knocking the pieces of frost off with a sturdy wooden spoon. Once you’ve dislodged the frost, sweep up the fallen ice crystals into a bowl and tip them into the kitchen sink where they can melt.[16]
    Stop a Fridge from Ice Build Up Step 13.jpg
    • Avoid using a sharp object to chip away at the frozen buildup; you may risk damaging the inside of your refrigerator.[17]


  • Modern-day refrigerators are designed so that you shouldn’t have to defrost them. However, older appliances may need to be defrosted periodically.[18]
  • If you’re having issues with a new refrigerator that’s still under warranty, contact the manufacturer to schedule a repair service.[19]

[Edit]Related wikiHows


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  11. [v161473_b01]. 14 July 2020.
  14. [v161473_b01]. 14 July 2020.
  17. [v161473_b01]. 14 July 2020.
  18. [v161473_b01]. 14 July 2020.