How to Clean the Evaporator Tray of a Whirlpool Refrigerator

The evaporator is a part of your Whirlpool refrigerator's cooling system. It works with other parts, such as the compressor and condenser, to keep your foods cool. The refrigerator's normal defrost cycle takes care of icy build-up on the evaporator coils. The frost normally melts into the evaporator tray and down through a drain. However, if the evaporator tray is blocked by debris or ice, the defrost water from the coils will have nowhere to go, and may overflow into the refrigerator compartments. Cleaning the evaporator tray is easy and doesn't require repair service.

Remove all food from your freezer, and temporarily store it in a cooler. Remove the icemaker tray, and set it aside.

Unplug the refrigerator.

Check the bottom portion of the freezer for crumbs or debris. Wipe the walls and bottom tray of the freezer with a washcloth and mild, soapy water. Crumbs on the bottom tray of the freezer may work themselves into the evaporator tray and cause a blockage.

Lift the shelving out of the freezer and set it aside.

Remove the false bottom tray from the freezer by unscrewing the bolts. Lift the tray out, and set it aside. You may see a sheet of ice covering the evaporator coils.

Remove the false back from the freezer, and set it aside.

Pour hot water over any ice build-up present on the evaporator tray, and allow the water to flow out through the drain hole. Repeat the process until the ice has melted and you can easily remove and dispose of large chunks of ice by hand.

Dry any icy build-up on the evaporator coils with warm air from a hair dryer. Be careful when working with the electric hair dryer around water.

Wipe the bottom of the evaporator tray with mild soapy water, and dry with a towel.

Replace the freezer back and bottom freezer tray, secure the screws and replace the shelving in the freezer. Plug in the refrigerator. When it has cooled sufficiently, refill your freezer with your stored frozen food items.


Regularly dust the top and back of your refrigerator and the coils of the front bottom area of the refrigerator. Not only does keeping these areas clean increase your refrigerator's energy efficiency, it reduces accumulation of dust and debris inside the refrigerator.


Whilrpool warns users to never use abrasives or harsh chemicals. Use mild, soapy water and a soft sponge for cleaning all internal and external surfaces

Things You'll Need

  • Cooler
  • Washcloth
  • Mild, soapy water
  • Screwdriver or socket wrench
  • Hairdryer
  • Towel
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About the Author

Daniella Lauren has worked with eHow and various new media sites as a freelance writer since 2009. Her work covers topics in education, business, and home and garden. Daniella holds a Master of Science in elementary education and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Pensacola Christian College.