Refrigerator Care

How to Care for Your Refrigerator

Your hardworking fridge needs routine attention. Here’s what you should do to keep it happy and healthy.


Refrigerators are hardworking appliances that run 24/7 and deserve some TLC which could help you avoid the service and repairs by a professional. But other than clearing out smelly food, how much time did you devote to refrigerator maintenance last year?

If you want your fridge to live a longer life, typically 10 to 15 years, show it some care and perform these simple servicing tasks.

Monthly Maintenance

Empty Ice: Ice can absorb freezer odours and form solid blocks in the bottom of trays. To keep ice loose and smelling good, empty ice bins monthly and start fresh; put an open box of baking soda in the freezer occasionally.

Every Three to Four Months Maintenance

Inspect door gaskets/seals: Dirty and worn out or torn gaskets prevent refrigerator doors from closing tightly allowing warm air into the fridge and put stress on motors. Clean grimy gaskets with soapy water and dry completely. If seals are loose, their embedded magnets should be either replaced or re-magnetized.

Gaskets can sometimes be re-magnetized by running a strong magnet along the gaskets or seals back and forth about 30 to 50 times.

Clean condenser coils: Condenser coils in the back of your fridge cool and condense refrigerant, releasing heat. If they’re clogged with dust and pet hair, they stress the compressor and waste energy.

Every three to four months, vacuum the condenser coils and fan using a brush attachment. Then, clean back coils and sides with a refrigerator coil brush that can slip into hard-to-reach places. Families with shedding pets should clean the coils monthly.

Level it: Fridges that aren’t completely level rock side-to-side and back-to-front could result in the fridge doors not closing properly. This puts undue strain on motors (compressors) and causes condensation inside. To check, place a level on the top of the refrigerator. Then rotate your fridges adjustable feet until the fridge is level.

Every Six Months Maintenance

Replace water filter: To ensure clean water and ice, and to prevent clogs and leaks, replace the water filter. Check your owner’s manual for the location of the filter and directions on how to remove it. After you’ve put in a new filter, run a couple of litres of water through it to remove any residue in the filter.

Clean the drain hole and drip pan that remove condensation: Clear away food and mineral deposits, then scrub drain pan. (Check your owner’s manual for instructions.)

Day-to-Day Maintenance

Cover food to prevent odours from migrating throughout the fridge and freezer.


Occasionally put an open baking soda container or a small open bottle of vanilla essence in the fridge to clear away unwanted smells.


Maintain an adequate amount of clearance on the sides and back of the fridge to allow sufficient ventilation and prevent the unit from running to warm.


These are simple tasks that can make a big difference to the longevity of your refrigerator.


For any further questions feel free to contact Bergens Appliance Repairs, Randburg.