The drip pan is the part in your refrigerator that catches the melted ice and liquid from the defrost drain in your freezer, thus avoiding leaks on your kitchen floor and preventing any possible damages. You might not even know that such a part exists in your fridge, which is actually not surprising. However, the drip pan should be cleaned about once every three months in order to prevent the accumulation of mould and unpleasant smells.

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So if you

  • Are noticing that your fridge has started to smell.
  • Want to learn how to clean your refrigerator’s water drip tray.
  • Don’t know where your refrigerator’s water drip tray is located.

Then this post is for you.

How to locate your refrigerator’s water drip tray

How can you locate your refrigerator’s water drip tray? Well, you can easily do that by checking the fridge’s manual if you still have it. If not, check online on the manufacturer’s website – it might be available there. Normally, the drip pan is fitted at the front or rear of the fridge. 

Carefully reading the instructions could also help you find out if the drip pan is removable. In case it is, you’ll be able to dismantle it and clean it outside of the appliance, which will make your job a lot easier. If it’s fixed, you will have to clean the drip pan while it’s inside the fridge.

Accessing the Drip Pan

There are a few important steps you should follow in order to access the drip pan. First, you should start by disconnecting the water and power supply. This is perhaps the most important part of the process if you need to access the back panel of the fridge. This way you eliminate the possibility of causing a leak or electrocuting yourself while trying to get to the drip tray. If you have any food in the fridge, take it out and safely store it somewhere in the kitchen. If you’ve decided to deep clean the entire refrigerator, you should store any food prone to spoiling fast in another fridge or a food container.

If the drip pan is in the rear of the appliance, you should unscrew the back panel. Make sure you have all the tools and equipment needed before continuing further. You won’t need a lot – just a screwdriver or a hex wrench. When you’re done unscrewing the drip pan, place the screws and bolts in one place, so you don’t end up losing them. If you are unable to remove the drip tray from the fridge, which is a possibility since some of them could be quite difficult to take out, then you can clean it as it is.

If the drip pan is in the front of the fridge, start by removing the kick panel. It’s positioned at the bottom of the refrigerator and you can easily pull it out by sliding a putty knife between the appliance and the kick panel itself. Once you remove it, locate the drip panel and try to pull it out. If you find it difficult and need to use force, this might be a sign that the drip panel is not removable, in which case it’s best to give up in order to avoid damaging your fridge.

How to clean a removable fridge drip pan

1.    Start by removing the water from the pan – there probably won’t be a lot of water since the heat from the fridge’s compressor causes most of it to evaporate. Still, if there’s any left, you can pour it down the sink or remove it by using a wet and dry vacuum.

2.    Thoroughly apply a cleaning solution –  mix 1 part bleach and 2 parts water, spray the solution on the entire drip tray surface and let it settle for a couple of minutes. If you’re not a fan of bleach and prefer something eco-friendly, you could use white vinegar instead.

3.    Scrub the drip pan – make sure you remove all the nasty built-up grime and residue. There might be some mouldy bits as well, which you’d want to scrub well in order to achieve the best results.

4.    Wipe the fridge’s drip tray – once you’ve scrubbed all the accumulated dirt off, proceed to wipe thoroughly with paper towels or a cleaning cloth.

5.    Rinse well with warm water to remove all of the cleaning solution and residue.

6.  Wipe/dry the drip pan – as a final step, wipe and dry the pan with a clean cloth. As an alternative, you could leave it to air-dry for about 30 minutes. This is a very important step since if you fit the pan while it is still wet, there is a high chance that mould will develop again over time, and with it comes the unpleasant odour.

Cleaning a Non-Removable Drip Pan

This one is a bit trickier. Since you are unable to get the drip pan out of the fridge, you will have to clean it while it’s inside. You can do that by using a flexible claw grabber. Take a cleaning wet wipe and place it inside the claw. Then, put the claw grabber inside the drip pan and proceed to carefully wipe it to remove the accumulated grime, dirt and mould. After a couple of minutes, check on the wipe and if it’s dirty, replace it with a new one and repeat the process. It might take a few times before the wipe comes out of the drip pan clean – evidence that you’ve done a great job.

Leave it to the professional cleaning specialists

In case you don’t feel up to the challenge, don’t have the time or simply prefer to leave this to the professionals, you can trust the Fantastic experts, who will clean not only the pan but the entire fridge to perfection in the blink of an eye. Leave the tasks to us and enjoy your chore-free life!

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Takeaways

  •  The drip pan or tray should be cleaned at least once every three months to ensure it’s in proper hygienic and working condition.
  • Regular cleaning of the drip tray will prevent the buildup of dirt and mould and the development of an undesirable smell over time.
  • Cleaning the drip pan will also keep your fridge in better shape overall.

Image source: Sashkin/shutterstock.com

  • Last update: November 10, 2020

Posted in Cleaning Guides

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