Why Does Ice Build Up in Fridge? Reason Explained

Ice buildup in fridge is caused by excess moisture in the air that freezes on the cold surfaces of the appliance. This can happen due to various reasons, such as faulty door seals, improper temperature settings, frequent door opening, or humid food items. Ice buildup can affect the performance and efficiency of your fridge, as well as damage your food and appliance. In this article, we will explain how to prevent and fix ice buildup in fridge using simple tips and tricks.

How to Prevent Ice Buildup in Fridge

The best way to prevent ice buildup in fridge is to reduce the amount of moisture that enters and stays in the appliance. Here are some steps you can take to achieve this:

  • Check the door seals regularly and replace them if they are worn out, cracked, or loose. Door seals are the rubber gaskets that create an airtight seal between the fridge and the outside air. If they are damaged, warm and humid air can leak into the fridge and cause condensation and ice formation. You can test the door seals by closing the door on a dollar bill and pulling it out. If the bill slides out easily, the seal is not tight enough and needs to be replaced.
  • Set the fridge temperature to 37 to 40 °F (3 to 4 °C) and the freezer temperature to 0 °F (-18 °C). These are the optimal temperatures for food safety and energy efficiency. If the fridge is too cold, it can cause frost and ice buildup on the walls and shelves. If the fridge is too warm, it can spoil your food and increase the humidity level. You can use a thermometer to check the temperatures inside your fridge and freezer and adjust the dials accordingly.
  • Avoid opening and closing the fridge door too frequently or for too long. Every time you open the fridge door, you let warm and humid air in and cold air out. This creates temperature fluctuations and condensation inside the fridge. Try to plan ahead what you need from the fridge and take everything out at once. Also, make sure the door closes properly and does not bounce back open.
  • Store food items in airtight containers or wrap them well before putting them in the fridge. Some foods, such as fruits, vegetables, cooked dishes, and leftovers, can release moisture and increase the humidity level in the fridge. By keeping them in sealed containers or wrapping them tightly, you can prevent moisture from escaping and forming ice on the fridge surfaces. You can also use crisper drawers or bins to store your produce and keep them fresh and dry.
  • Defrost your fridge regularly if it does not have an automatic defrost function. Some older models of fridges require manual defrosting to remove the ice buildup from the freezer and the fridge. You should defrost your fridge at least once or twice a year, or whenever you notice a thick layer of ice on the walls or the floor of the appliance. To defrost your fridge, you need to unplug it, empty it, and let the ice melt naturally or use a hairdryer to speed up the process. Then, wipe the interior with a clean cloth and plug it back in.
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How to Fix Ice Buildup in Fridge

If you already have ice buildup in your fridge, you need to remove it as soon as possible to prevent further damage and restore the normal functioning of your appliance. Here are some steps you can take to fix ice buildup in fridge:

  • Unplug the fridge and empty it. Transfer your food items to another fridge or a cooler with ice packs. You can also use this opportunity to discard any expired or spoiled food and clean your fridge thoroughly.
  • Locate the defrost drain and clear any blockages. The defrost drain is a small hole or tube at the bottom or the back of the fridge that allows the melted water to drain out. Sometimes, the defrost drain can get clogged with food particles, ice, or debris and cause water to back up and freeze in the fridge. You can use a wire hanger, a turkey baster, or a pipe cleaner to clear any obstructions in the defrost drain. You can also pour some hot water or vinegar down the drain to dissolve any ice or grease.
  • Remove the ice buildup manually or with a hairdryer. You can use a plastic spatula, a wooden spoon, or an ice scraper to gently chip away the ice from the fridge walls and shelves. Do not use any sharp or metal objects, as they can damage the fridge surface or puncture the refrigerant lines. You can also use a hairdryer on a low setting to melt the ice faster. Be careful not to overheat the fridge or get any water on the electrical components.
  • Dry the interior of the fridge with a clean cloth and plug it back in. Make sure there is no water or ice left in the fridge before you turn it on. You can also place some baking soda or activated charcoal in the fridge to absorb any odors and moisture. Then, refill the fridge with your food items and close the door securely.
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Ice buildup in fridge is a common problem that can affect the performance and efficiency of your appliance, as well as the quality and safety of your food. By following the tips and tricks in this article, you can prevent and fix ice buildup in fridge and enjoy a frost-free and fresh fridge. Remember to check the door seals, set the right temperature, limit the door opening, store food properly, and defrost your fridge regularly. If the problem persists or worsens, you may need to contact a professional appliance repair service for further assistance.