Mini Refrigerator Problems

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A mini refrigerator can hold a large amount of small items.
Image Credit: Pawel Wewiorski/Moment/GettyImages

A mini fridge leaking water or otherwise not performing well can put a damper on its use in a college dorm room, game room or other location where size and convenience are considerations. A mini-fridge typically stores beverages for parties, but it can also be used to hold small amounts of food. If you troubleshoot mini fridge problems, you may be able to resolve the problem quickly and easily.


Mini Fridge Leaking Water

The mini-fridge, with its propensity for building up frost, can also leak a lot of water if you're not careful. Condensation can build up, especially if the fridge is full since the air will not flow through the fridge as effectively and condensation will build up in pockets throughout the fridge. In addition, a mini-fridge has the usual risks of any fridge regarding leaks in hoses and connections that need to be monitored. Placing the fridge on a mat can help protect the floor in the event of a leak, and the fridge should always be kept on a level surface.


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Mini Fridge Ice Build Up

Most mini-fridges do not have a self-defrost feature, and many have a very small freezer section near the top of the fridge. As a result, this will build up a thick layer of frost over time that needs to be thawed before it blocks access to the freezer entirely. The frost builds up faster if the freezer is full since the moisture builds up and freezes around the edges, and then that ice expands.


You can counter this by emptying and unplugging the fridge temporarily to defrost the freezer, which allows the ice to melt. NewAir recommends moving the food in your mini fridge to another refrigerator while the appliance is defrosting so that your food won't spoil. Use a hairdryer to speed up the defrosting process. Place a container under the freezer section to catch water as it drips out then wrap towels around the base of the fridge to absorb any water that leaks during the defrosting process.


Mold in a Mini Fridge

Mold will start growing in a mini-fridge if it is not wiped out on a regular basis as it's a prime breeding ground with its moist and dark interior. Not only will mold grow on food in the fridge over time, but the walls and floor of the fridge are also susceptible to mold growth, which will lead to a musty smell in the fridge. Cleaning the fridge out regularly will keep this from happening.


A 50/50 solution of warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle is useful for removing mold from a mini-fridge and getting rid of the smell since vinegar will kill mold and acts as a natural deodorizer.

Mini Fridge Not Cooling

If the mini-fridge stops cooling effectively, there are several reasons for this. If the fridge is overstocked, it may not be closing properly, and without a proper seal, the fridge cannot contain cold air. Since the fridge is also so small, it is easy to hit the thermostat dial without realizing it so check the thermostat to verify that it is on the right setting. The fridge could also be unplugged or be experiencing a loss of power.



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