The gleaming façade of the refrigerator tends to get a lot of attention and gets a good wipe with a damp cloth more than other areas of the hulking appliance. But the small ribbon of grate along the bottom of the refrigerator is more than decorative and can get choked with dust, pet hair and debris in a busy kitchen.
Kick Plate Routine Cleaning
The kick plate at the bottom of the Whirlpool refrigerator allows for airflow to the condenser coils. Wiping it down once a week can keep it clean in appearance, but behind the refrigerator's base grille may be clumps of dust, greasy wads of hair and other detritus. Cleaning the Whirlpool kick plate will keep the appliance running well and extend the life of the hardworking appliance.
Safety Precautions for Cleaning Appliances
Before removing the kick plate and working on or cleaning beneath the refrigerator, it's best to have all your supplies at the ready. When working under the fridge and close to the condenser coils, the appliance should be unplugged to reduce the risk of electric shock.
Having your supplies close at hand will reduce the amount of time that the appliance will need to be unplugged. A long-handled vacuum, condenser coil brush, damp cleaning cloths and a bowl of warm, sudsy water should be enough to clean the grille.
Types of Kick Plates
Before you go in tearing away the plastic base grille from the frame of the refrigerator, check for how it is attached to the Whirlpool refrigerator model you own. The Whirlpool refrigerator kick plate is typically located on the bottom of the appliance. But they can be shaped and attached in different ways, depending on the model.
For instance, the Whirlpool freezer door models most often have a base grille that is in two pieces. The freezer drawer Whirlpool models have a grille that runs along the base of the appliance.
Whirlpool Refrigerator Kick Plate
The Whirlpool cleaning guide recommends opening both doors on a side-by-side refrigerator before removing the kick plate. Grab the grille by either side and push in on the top of the grille and pull up the bottom at the same time. Lift the grille up and out of its nook to access the condenser coils or to clean under the appliance.
The list of Whirlpool refrigerator parts in the manual can help you locate screws or latches that keep the kick plate attached to the main frame. Some Whirlpool refrigerator models have instructions that the condenser coils and other electrical parts should only be cleaned by a certified technician.
Cleaning the Kick Plate
Cleaning the coils under the Whirlpool refrigerator twice a year can increase the appliance's efficiency by as much as 5 percent, according to Molly Maid.
Use a long-handled brush on a vacuum or a condenser coil brush made for refrigerators to remove the sticky bits of dust and dirt from beneath the fridge. Whirlpool makes condenser coil brushes for each of its models that are built to get into the specific crevices of that appliance.
Wipe down the coils with a clean, dry cloth. Wash the base grille in a bowl of warm, sudsy water. Use a toothbrush to get into the grooves of the grille. Dry the piece and parts under the refrigerator thoroughly before replacing the kick plate.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.