How to Clean a Freezer's Condenser Coil

The condenser coils on your freezer dissipate heat, helping the unit to stay cool. The coils may become clogged with dirt, dust and other debris over time. The freezer must work harder to stay cool, which decreases efficiency and may shorten the lifespan of the appliance. Clean the condenser coils at least twice a year to ensure air can properly flow through the unit.

Keep your freezer running properly by cleaning the condenser coils.

Step 1

Unplug the freezer from the electrical source.  Cleaning the coils with the appliance plugged in may cause shock or injury.

Step 2

Locate the coils on the freezer.  They are thin, tube-like pieces that are sometimes connected with fins.

The coils will either be located in the rear of the freezer or at the bottom on the front.  Rear coils will likely not have a cover, while a grill may cover coils on the front of the unit.

Remove the grill by gently popping it off with your fingers.  Some grills may be held in place with screws that will require the use of a screwdriver to remove.

Step 3

Suck up loose dirt, dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner attachment hose.  Wipe down the coils thoroughly with a coil brush and vacuum again.

Step 4

Scrub away any buildup on the coils with a rag dampened with warm, soapy water.  Wipe over the coils with a dry rag to remove the moisture and residue.

Step 5

Replace the grill cover on the coils and plug the freezer back into the electrical outlet. 

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum cleaner with attachment hose
  • Coil brush
  • Rags
  • Dish soap


  • A coil brush is a long-handled brush specifically designed for cleaning coils. You can buy a coil brush at most home improvement centers.
  • If you have pets, the condenser coils may become dirty sooner from pet hair, so they should be cleaned more than twice a year.

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.

Photo Credits

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