If you have noticed that your refrigerator has developed thick layers of frost on the inside, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to try to fix the problem yourself. Good news; there is! Use the following two steps to defrost and clean your refrigerator.
Step 1: Unplug And Defrost Your Refrigerator
The first step involves manually defrosting your refrigerator to get rid of any existing ice. This is done by unplugging the refrigerator to let the frost melt, then cleaning and drying the surfaces. Unplugging the unit for several hours may also reset the automatic defrost cycle, allowing the appliance to prevent the build-up of any future ice.
Before you can complete this step, you must remove any food from your refrigerator. You may want to ask a neighbor if you can keep the perishables in their refrigerator since you will be without your unit for at least 8 hours. If not, buy inexpensive styrofoam coolers and bags of ice to keep your food from spoiling.
After removing the food, unplug the refrigerator and open the door. Place a plastic tub and towels at the bottom to collect the melting ice, and keep the door open until the frost has completely melted. Then, wipe any moisture off of the interior walls, let them air dry, and go on to the next step.
Step 2: Thoroughly Clean The Coils
Once the refrigerator is dry, the next step involves thoroughly cleaning the coils on the back and bottom of the appliance. If the coils are extremely dirty or have grease stuck on them, they may be overheating, making them unable to heat up to the right temperature for the refrigerator's defrost cycle to melt the ice.
To clean the coils, you must first use a vacuum cleaner with a dust attachment to remove any visible dust and dirt from the coils. Then, use a crevice tool to reach the thin areas between the coils.
After you have removed the visible debris, mix together a cup of white distilled vinegar and four cups of water in a bucket. Use a lint-free rag to wipe the coils, then let them air dry. Plug in the unit, and let it cool completely before putting your food back.
After completing the above steps, you may find that your refrigerator still frosts up after running for a day or two. If so, you will want to contact an appliance service that specializes in refrigeration repair to examine the unit and discuss with you the next course of action.