What Can Cause Too Much Moisture on the Interior of a Refrigerator?

Updated April 17, 2017

Having a little bit of moisture on the interior of a refrigerator is completely normal, depending on levels of humidity. However, if you notice a moisture build-up in a particular location of the refrigerator or if there are signs of excess moisture, these may be indications of a larger problem. Understanding the causes of moisture in a refrigerator will not only save your refrigerator, but in some cases, your produce.

Frequency of Opening Door

Opening the refrigerator door too frequently can cause moisture to build up on the inside as well as along the shelves and side door compartments. Each time the door opens, humidity from the surrounding air is granted access into the refrigerator. It is this humidity that may be one of the causes for the increase in moisture within the refrigerator. The more frequently the doors are opened, the more moisture is allowed to build up and at a faster rate.


The external environment also plays a role in moisture build-up within the refrigerator. Several factors may affect the degree of humidity, such as location, season and how well air-conditioned the home is. It is completely normal for there to be some condensation in the refrigerator if you happen to reside in a more tropical location with naturally higher humidity, during specific months of high humidity, or if there is no air conditioning unit within the home to combat the level of humidity.

Blocked Air Vents

Connecting the freezer and refrigerator compartments are air vents that allow air to circulate. They also help control the temperature and prevent the build-up of moisture. Blocking the air vents will inhibit them from working properly. For instance, if large food items are placed in front of the air vents, this may cause a blockage in which the air flow is not able to function as it should. Removing items directly in front of the air vent should correct the problem.

Inefficient Gasket Seal

If you notice that the condensation is primarily located on the ceiling or along the edges of the refrigerator door, this may be an indication that the gasket seal is at fault. The gasket seal prevents external air from entering the refrigerator while the door is closed. If the seal is weak or if there is a gap or tear, air can leak into the refrigerator causing a moisture build-up along the door and ceiling.

Crisper Bins

If the crisper bins in the refrigerator are showing signs of having a moisture problem, the cause may be placing produce in the bins without allowing them sufficient time to dry. Not only will placing wet fruit or vegetables in the crisper bin cause a build-up of excess moisture, but that excess moisture will also cause the produce to prematurely spoil.

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About the Author

Stephanie Lee began writing in 2000 with concentration on food, travel, fashion and real estate. She has written for Amnesty International and maintains three blogs. Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Irvine, and an M.B.A. from Concordia University.