Mini-fridges are useful in college dorm rooms, game rooms and other locations 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. Mini-fridges can develop multiple issues that disrupt their operation and require troubleshooting.
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 allow the ice to melt. 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.
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.
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.
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.