How to Defrost a Mini Fridge

Charity Tober

Mini refrigerators are an energy-efficient choice to keep small amounts of food and drinks cold in minimal living spaces such as apartments and dormitories.


In the event of moving or excessive ice buildup on the walls of the ice compartment, a mini fridge will need to be defrosted either manually or with the defrost push button.

Defrost Mini Fridge Manually

Mini fridges without a defrost button will need to be defrosted manually. Remove all contents from the fridge, ensure the drip pan is under the freezer compartment and then unplug the unit. The process will take a few hours; keep the fridge door open to accelerate the process. Keep an eye on the drip pan as it will fill with water; empty and replace as needed. When the freezer is completely defrosted, empty the drip pan and wipe down the interior of the unit. Plug the fridge back in, reset the temperature and replace the contents.

Defrost Mini Fridge With Button Setting

Some mini fridges feature a defrost push button -- located on the user control panel with the temperature controls -- that should be used when the ice buildup in the freezer reaches 1/4 inch or more thick. Remove all contents from the freezer, ensure the drip pan is in place and then push the defrost button. The process usually takes a few hours and the fridge will automatically restart when the defrosting is finished. Empty the drip pain and wipe down the interior as needed.