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How To Remove Frost From the Evaporator Coil of a Fridge

How To Remove Frost From The Evaporator Coil Of A Fridge

The inner panel of your fridge that covers its interior’s back wall conceals the “Evaporator Coil.”

This metal coil plays a vital role in maintaining the right temperature inside your fridge. Sometimes, the coil can freeze, causing performance and cooling issues for your fridge.

On the upside, the most you’ll have to do (in most cases) is defrost the coil. I was wondering how to do it. Here’s a quick guide.

  • A refrigerator’s evaporator coils could freeze over, causing problems in functioning.
  • You can remove ice from the coils by three different methods.
  • Avoid chiseling away any ice that builds up on the coils.
  • Have your refrigerator regularly serviced to avoid ice accumulating on the coils.

Three common ways to remove ice from your refrigerator’s evaporator coil exist.

Depending on how invested you are in time and effort, you must consider each, so you don’t end up starting a process you’re not ready to complete.

How To Remove Ice From a Refrigerator’s Evaporator Coil

1. Thermostat Reset

Thermostat Reset

This option works best for people who probably won’t have time to stand around and wait for their fridge to warm up.

The process only requires that you reset the thermostat to make the interior of your fridge a little warmer.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Open your refrigerator and locate the thermostat setting.
  • Dial up the temperature so that you’re a fourth of the way from zero.
  • Place dry towels in and under your fridge to catch any meltwater.
  • You may also want to place a shallow catch basin behind the fridge right under the exit tube for the condensate.

2. Manual Defrost

Manual Defrost

Ideal for owners with more time, manual defrosting can be an intensive process that could call for your entire day. Ensure you have nothing else on your to-do list before proceeding with the manual defrost process.

Here is how to do it:

  • Open your fridge, locate the thermostat, and set it to zero.
  • Unplug the refrigerator.
  • Remove your food, containers, and other items from inside the fridge.
  • You can place perishable items in a cool box while you clean.
  • Wipe away excess moisture from inside your refrigerator.
  • Keep the door open to encourage warm air to enter the compartments.
  • Again, place dry towels and catch basins where you expect moisture to drip out.

3. Heat Defrost

Heat Defrost

This process is similar to the previous one, but you leave it plugged in instead of unplugging your fridge. This allows the blower fan to circulate warm air through the unit as the thermostat is set to zero.

The added blowing function helps to speed up the process of melting. Aside from that, every other step is the same as the previous step.

Do Not Chisel Away Frost and Ice

If you reveal the condenser coils, do not attempt to chisel away any ice built up on its surfaces.

The process could damage the coils and cause bigger problems for you and your fridge. The best way to eliminate ice build-up would be to allow it to melt away.


Ice on your evaporator coils can get in the way of proper functioning. However, if it’s a one-time problem, these steps should help you eliminate the pesky ice build-up.

If ice often forms on your refrigerator’s coils, you may want to check with a professional to see if your fridge is struggling with any damages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Frozen Evaporator Coils?

Lots of factors could freeze your evaporator coils. But the most common reason is a poor door seal. The gasket on your fridge door can degenerate over time.

When this happens, the door allows heat from the outside to enter its compartment. As the warm, humid air penetrates, it produces moisture in the fridge, clinging to the evaporator coils to become ice.

How to Prevent Refrigerator Evaporator Coils From Freezing?

The best thing you can do to keep the problem from happening is to maintain your refrigerator regularly.

Frozen evaporator coils point to potential malfunction and damage. So the best way to keep it from happening would be to maintain your refrigerator properly.

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