Tips To Keep Your Refrigerator Looking And Working Like New

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / Simone Hogan

Buying a new refrigerator is an exciting, albeit expensive, time in any homeowner’s life. These days, new refrigerators are almost as smart as a computer and can perform all sorts of new tasks. While modern refrigerators make things easy, they can also cost a fortune. This is why it is more important than ever to maintain your refrigerator and help keep it looking and working like new.

To make sure your refrigerator continues to look and work like new for many years, you should stick to a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule. Make sure you inspect, clean, and repair gaskets regularly. Try to keep the refrigerator about three-quarters full and keep the doors shut as often as possible to maximize energy. Clean coils regularly and don’t crowd the vent or keep it close to heat sources.

There are several practices you should follow to ensure your new refrigerator continues to look new. The good news is you don’t need to be a refrigerator specialist or even savvy in the tool department to perform most of these tasks. As long as you can keep to a schedule and treat your new refrigerator with care, then you have all it takes to keep it looking good and working well for many years.

Keep reading to uncover all of our top tips to keep your refrigerator looking and working like new.

12 Tips To Keep Your Refrigerator Looking And Working Like New

1. Stick To A Regular Cleaning Schedule

One of the best ways to keep your new refrigerator looking and working like new is by keeping it clean. This means you must wipe up spills as they occur, and also perform regular deep cleaning. Sticking to a cleaning schedule is the best way to ensure your fridge is well cared for.

When you let spills linger, mold can gather, and you can even notice corrosion and rust, which will significantly cut down on the lifespan of your fridge. It will also make it look old much faster than if you keep it clean and free of spills.

2. Keep The Refrigerator Level

One tip to keeping your refrigerator running great for many years is a simple balancing act. It is very important to keep your refrigerator level. If your fridge is not level, it can put unnecessary pressure on the doors, hinges, and gaskets. This can make it hard to close the doors and damage the parts of the fridge that are under stress.

3. Inspect And Clean Gaskets Diligently

The gaskets on your fridge help lock in the cold and freshness. Without them, your new machine would constantly be working overtime to keep your food cold. Your fridge won’t last nearly as long if it doesn't have well-maintained gaskets. Wipe them down every time you clean the fridge, and inspect them for cracks or other vulnerabilities. Make sure you repair any cracks as they appear.

4. Don’t Overfill (Or Underfill) The Shelves

Another key to keeping your refrigerator pristine is to keep it filled with just the right amount of food to help keep the unit cold, but not so full that it struggles to circulate cold air. The golden rule for refrigerator fullness is to keep it about three-quarters full.

Having cold food in your fridge helps keep the unit cold. If your fridge is empty, it has to constantly work, and this can also cause your refrigerator to freeze your food. If the fridge is too full, then it will have to work extra hard to circulate cold air.

5. Keep Your Fridge Away From Heat Sources

Be mindful of where you place your refrigerator when you first install it, or when you are drawing up plans to remodel your kitchen. You want to make sure it is far away from any appliance that generates heat. This includes your oven, radiator, and other high-temperature appliances. Your refrigerator needs to cool off, and having it in a hot area will only exhaust the machine and make it harder for it to perform optimally.

6. Regularly Inspect And Clean the Coils

It is easy to neglect your refrigerator’s coils. They are, after all, hiding from sight in most cases as they are located in the back of your refrigerator. While these coils might be out of sight, they should not be out of mind if you want to keep your refrigerator working like new for a long time.

Clean coils are happy coils. The more dirt that collects on this exposed cooling apparatus, the harder your fridge has to work. Clean these coils regularly to optimize your refrigerator’s performance.

7. Don’t Crowd The Vents

Just as it is important to keep the exterior of the fridge clean and clear of any heat-producing machines, it also shouldn’t be crowded against other things.

Make sure there is space between the wall and the back of the fridge. There needs to be space for vents to work. If there is limited space, the vents will have to work extra hard to suck up and expel air. This forces your fridge to work harder and can reduce its longevity, which is the last thing you want after buying an expensive new refrigerator.

8. Keep Your Food In Covered Containers

Another top tip to help keep your refrigerator looking and working great for a long time is to store food inside it after you have placed it in a sealed container. If you put unsealed food in the fridge, there is a much higher chance that it can spill. This can lead to mold and other issues.

Furthermore, if you place warm food uncovered in the fridge, you will heat the unit and add moisture. This can cause mold and bad smells, none of which are good for the longevity of your fridge.

9. Place Liners On Glass Shelves

One quick, cheap, and easy way to keep your fridge looking new is to place protective liners on the glass shelves inside the fridge. Most refrigerators have glass shelving. While this helps you see things and makes it easy to clean, the glass can also break. It can help to put liners in your crisper or other drawers to prevent cracking.

10. Defrost The Freezer (And Fridge) As Needed

Another easy way to maintain your refrigerator and keep it working smarter, not harder, is to defrost it from time to time. As a rule of thumb, as soon as you notice ice buildup in the back of your refrigerator or a sheet of ice in your freezer, it is time to unplug your fridge and allow it time to defrost. Ice buildup can harm the way your fridge functions, not to mention reduce the amount of usable space inside the fridge.

11. Don’t Leave The Refrigerator Door Open Long

The cardinal rule for refrigerator usage is to keep the door open as little as possible. The more you keep your refrigerator door open, the harder your refrigerator has to work. This also means the more you open your fridge and the longer you keep it open, the higher your electricity bill will be. Keep the door shut to keep your fridge and electric bill happy.

12. Get Your Refrigerator Serviced As Recommended

Lastly, it is important to remember that the best way to avoid a costly refrigerator repair or replacement is to get periodic and inexpensive refrigerator maintenance. Do not wait until your fridge is on the fritz, or blowing hot air before you call a refrigerator repair person. Consult your manual for best practices, and schedule routine maintenance on a recommended basis.

Summing Up How To Keep Your Refrigerator Working Like New

Purchasing a new refrigerator is a great way to make your drab kitchen look new and state-of-the-art. But keeping your refrigerator new and pristine requires a bit of work.

Make sure you clean your fridge regularly and schedule routine maintenance. If you notice ice building up in the freezer or fridge, defrost the unit. Clean the gaskets and coils regularly, and don’t crowd the vents. For optimum refrigeration, keep the unit filled as close to three-quarters as possible, and always keep food in sealed containers.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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