Mini Fridge Ice Build Up – How to Stop It

Mini Fridge Ice Build Up

After using the mini fridge for a while, ice build up inside the fridge and it may make you worry. Many people know the reason, but they choose to ignore it, or they might think this is normal and do nothing about it.  As a result, it might cause some serious damage to your fridge in the long term if you let that ice really build up. Here is some information that can help you.

Your mini fridge has ice build up – Why?


You may not notice, but when you immediately place improperly sealed food or hot food into your fridge, you’re increasing the humidity in your fridge. This will slowly turn to ice, which causes ice buildup.

Furthermore, this ice can block vents and make your fridge work improperly, leading to increasing temperatures inside your fridge. As a result, your food may not stay frozen as you want it to be.

To avoid this, remember to always let hot food cool down before putting it in the fridge, and make sure all the food is sealed properly.

Improperly sealed food or hot food in your fridge can cause ice build up
Improperly sealed food or hot food in your fridge can cause ice build up

Open door frequently

Have you ever opened the fridge and forgot to close it? When air from the outside comes into the fridge, it slowly turns to ice. Not only does this put stress on your fridge, but it can also lead to higher electricity bills. So be sure to minimize the time you open the door.

Temperature setting

The lower the temperature, the less it is for water vapor to condense. Therefore, by keeping your freezer at 0 degrees, you can prevent ice from forming on your food.

How to defrost?

Empty out your fridge

As you take out each item, check for expired food, and throw it into a trash bag. This is a good opportunity to clean your fridge and get rid of items that are no longer safe to eat, and then you can rearrange your fridge later. You should consider doing this before shopping to save time.

Take out all the items in your fridge
Take out all the items in your fridge

Unplug and open the door

First, unplug your fridge. If possible, you can move the fridge a bit, so you can clean behind it. Next, Open the fridge door to allow warm air to melt the ice.

Apparently, you will wonder “How long does it take to defrost a mini fridge?”. This melting process will take you 8 hours, or maybe overnight. If you’re not in a rush, this is your best option to defrost your fridge completely.

One more thing, you should consider placing towels around the base of the fridge, this helps collect the melting water.

Patience is the key during this step. Check the progress a few times and replace the towels when needed.

Speed up process

After knowing this melting process will take you 8 hours, you will wonder “How to defrost a mini fridge quickly?”, “I can’t wait 8 hours, there must be a quicker way”.

Let me show you how:

  • Put a pot of hot water inside the fridge. The heat will help the melting process become faster. In addition, the melting ice and water will fall into the pot. But, you should place a towel on the floor in case the water in the pot is full and pour out.
  • Place the fan in front of the fridge. You should turn the fan on maximum to actually speed up the process. The wind from the fan will help you do the rest, but don’t forget to place the towel or a bucket on the floor to catch the melting water.
Further reading:  Is It Safe to Eat Freezer Burned Meat or Fish?
Use a fan to defrost faster
Use a fan to defrost faster

How to prevent ice build up in your full-size unit or mini fridge?

Clean your fridge regularly

Don’t over think, just clean your fridge regularly, a simple way but very effective. You should clean the fridge once per week. Therefore, the process will be faster, and your food will be less likely to spoil.

Set up the right temperature

Setting the right temperature for your fridge is very important for keeping your food safe and fresh. The recommended temperature is around 37°F (2-4°C). Check the user manual that came with your fridge to set the right temperature. This temperature range is ideal for food safety and freshness.

Keep in mind that the room temperature can affect the temperature of your fridge. During hot summer months, you may need to adjust the temperature slightly lower.

Setting the temperature too low (below 37°F) can lead to food freezing. If you notice food items freezing, set the temperature slightly higher. Remember to maintain the right temperature in your fridge.

The recommended temperature is around 37°F (2-4°C)
The recommended temperature is around 37°F (2-4°C)

Keep your fridge full

Keeping your fridge full can help maintain a more stable temperature and reduce the ice buildup.

A full fridge maintains coldness better than an empty one because the mass of the food and containers helps stabilize the temperature. When you close the door, the cold air inside is less affected by the warmer room air. When you open the door, less warm, humid air enters the fridge, which help a lot against ice build up.

While it’s true that a full fridge is more energy-efficient than an empty one, it’s important not to overfill it. Overcrowding can affect the refrigerator’s ability to maintain a stable temperature.

Mini fridge defrost button

Not all mini fridges have a defrost button, as it’s more common in larger refrigerators and freezers. In many mini fridges, defrosting is typically a manual process, and you may not find a specific button for it.

If your mini fridge has a defrost button, it’s essential to refer to your appliance’s user manual for specific instructions on how to use it. The location and functionality of the defrost button can vary between different brands and models of mini fridges.

Once you’ve located the defrost button, press it to start the defrost cycle. In some fridges, pressing the button to start the defrost cycle, while in others, you may need to hold it down for a few seconds.

After pressing the defrost button, the refrigerator will enter a defrost cycle. During this time, the compressor will stop running, and it will get warm to melt any ice buildup. This process typically takes 20-30 minutes. After the defrost cycle ends, check to ensure that the fridge is cooling normally.

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Can I use a knife to remove ice from the fridge?

The answer is NO. If you do that, you will injure yourself or damage the fridge.

Can I use a hairdryer to melt the ice?

Yes you can, but you have to hold that hairdryer for a long time and in many cases, check that your fridge has Styrofoam insulation first. If it has Styrofoam insulation, it might melt.

Final thought

Maintaining your mini fridge free from ice build up is very important for its performance. By understanding the causes of ice build up and following us in this topic, you can effectively defrost your fridge and keep it running efficiently.


Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing the kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.