How to Troubleshoot a Refrigerator Crisper

Refrigerator crisper drawers are designed to keep fruits and vegetables fresh and crisp as long as possible.
The crisper drawer, usually located in the lower half of the refrigerator, works by trapping moisture inside, which prevents the vegetables from drying out prematurely. If the vegetables or fruits in your refrigerator crisper are wilting or going bad too soon, it is time to troubleshoot the crisper drawer to determine the source of the problem.

Step 1

Check the crisper drawer's moisture-setting dial, if your model has one. Change the moisture setting depending on the type of food the drawer contains. Set the dial higher for vegetables, which require more moisture. Turn the dial lower for fruits, which need less moisture.

Step 2

Examine the crisper draw to see if it is at least two-thirds full of fruits or vegetables. If the drawer does not contain this much food, it will not perform as well because there is too much dry air space inside it. Place a wet paper towel in the drawer to supply additional moisture and remedy the problem.

Step 3

Check the temperature of the crisper compartment, using a refrigerator thermometer. Look for a temperature of 34 to 40 degrees to keep fruits and vegetables longer. Call a repair person if the crisper compartment's temperature does not remain at this temperature.

Step 4

Prevent leafy vegetables from wilting too fast by placing them in plastic storage bags before putting them in the crisper drawer. Wrap all other foods to prevent food odors from being absorbed.

Step 5

Prevent foods from freezing inside the crisper drawer. Fill the drawer no more than three-quarters full to allow air circulation. Rearrange the food if freezing occurs, so large items are equally dispersed among smaller items to create air gaps.

Step 6

Look for condensation or moisture buildup inside the crisper drawer. Turn down the moisture setting little by little until the moisture stops forming. If your refrigerator does not have a moisture control, dry all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before placing them in the crisper drawer.

Things You Will Need

  • Paper towel
  • Refrigerator thermometer
  • Plastic storage bag


  • Refrigerator thermometers are available at home improvement stores.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.