Refrigerator Always Icing Over – Solved In 5 Steps

air around fridge is warm

Is your refrigerator always icing over, and your food is frozen solid?

That’s got to be so annoying! Kitchen appliances are designed to make our everyday lives easier, but sometimes, an event like this can turn them into an inconvenience.

Having this happen is no fun. After all, who wants their groceries to look like they just climbed Mount Everest? What a disaster.

But don’t worry, you want answers, and you won’t leave without them. Below, you’ll find a list including 5 easy steps that will help you solve this problem permanently.

If your refrigerator is always icing over, make sure it’s level, check your temperature settings, and see if the air exhaust vent is not obstructed. If that fails, you can also try checking the condition of the door seal and making sure that the drain pipe isn’t clogged.

Keep reading to stop the ice age!

#1 Make Sure the Fridge Is Level

Let’s start off by addressing one of the most common ways to misuse a refrigerator.

It might not seem important, but believe it or not, keeping your fridge on a surface that’s not level, can bring about several issues.

spirit level inside a fridge
Make sure your fridge is level

In order to regulate its internal temperature, your appliance needs to be on an even surface. Failing to level it correctly can cause the internal climate to drop or raise, spoiling your food or freezing it solid. Moreover, this could easily explain why your refrigerator is always icing over.

Solution: The best way to correct this is by using a spirit level, which is a simple tool with an air bubble inside it. These days, you don’t even need to buy one, as there are apps that use your phone’s gyroscope to detect inclination. However, I’d still recommend getting a real one.

Call me old-fashioned, but when it comes to precision measuring, I don’t trust mobile apps that much.

Once you have your spirit level, use a ladder to place it above your refrigerator. If the bubble is perfectly centered, you’re good to go, but if it’s not, you’ll have to make some adjustments.

Provided your appliance has adjustable foot levelers, try increasing or decreasing the height on either side and measure again. It should take a little while to get things in line, but eventually, you’ll get there.

Assuming that your fridge does not have this feature, you can use a thick piece of cardboard and place it under the appliance’s feet until the spirit leveler’s bubble is centered.

#2 Check Your Temperature Settings

Next, let’s cover something that might seem too obvious to miss but causes a lot of problems to thousands of people every day.

If your refrigerator is always icing over, you might have moved the temperature knob at the top by accident. This happens much more frequently than you think, as something as simple as carelessly taking out a jug of juice could move the thermostat dial.

Adjusting fridge temperature
Make sure your dials are set in the right position

In this situation, one of two things can happen. You can either notice that your fridge is way too cold, or not cold enough to preserve the food inside it – both of which are terrible scenarios.

Solution: Depending on the model you own, there might be a recommended setting to keep things normal. My fridge works best when set at “3”, but yours might need a higher or lower number. You’ll have to go through a trial-and-error process and make sure the dial is in the correct position once you’re comfortable with a setting.

#3 See if the Air Exhaust Is Obstructed

Yet another reason why your refrigerator is always icing over is a blocked exhaust vent. Funnily enough, this one’s not located in the fridge part of your appliance, but rather in the freezer (in most models). Storage space is important, yes, but not when it means blocking the exhaust on your refrigerator.

When there’s not enough air flowing to this vent, you’ll spot frost all over your food, and sometimes even large puddles beneath the unit. This mainly happens due to a constant process of freezing a thawing that won’t stop until you move some things around.

Solution: Planning ahead is always a good idea when it comes to organizing your fridge correctly. When you buy your groceries, place them around the vent to make sure it’s always clear and free to move air around as needed.

I know it sounds like a hassle, but look at the bright side. All those hours playing Tetris as a kid will finally pay off!

#4 Check the Door Seal

Refrigerators might not seem overly complicated, but what if I told you that every single component can make or break the way the appliance works? In fact, something as apparently unimportant as the door seal could explain why your unit is always icing over.

How so? I’ll elaborate.

In order to keep your food at a steady temperature and prevent leaks or frost, your refrigerator needs to be isolated from the rest of your home’s environment, as it’s prone to sudden temperature changes and other elements. When the door seal is broken or placed incorrectly, it’s impossible to keep external factors at bay.

Dirty fridge door gasket
Regularly inspect your fridge’s gasket.

Since the air in your home is more humid than that inside your fridge, it will start turning into ice as it reacts to your appliance’s cool temperatures, causing the situation you’re currently experiencing.

And to make matters worse, a bad seal could also cause all your food to go bad, as it’s not being properly refrigerated.

Solution: Sometimes, you don’t need a replacement. In some cases, the seal has simply come off a little and needs to be put back in place. To do this, simply:

  1. Open the refrigerator’s door and look at the seal (it runs along the edge of the door).
  2. Analyze its positioning from the bottom to the top and look for any irregularities.
  3. If you see anything out of place, simply realign it with the rest of the seal’s natural position.
  4. Provided you spot any damage or breakage, you’ll have to get a new door seal.

This might sound challenging, but it’s actually super simple. First, I’d call your manufacturer directly to see if they have the replacement you require, and then I’d ask about the cost of the part and the service. Once you have that information, go to Google and search for “<Your Refrigerator’s Make And Model Goes Here> Door Seal”.

Weigh the price differences and repair time and make your decision based on that. Replacing a fridge’s door seal is very easy, so I personally wouldn’t recommend paying a professional to do it.

#5 Unclog the Drain Pipe

Last, but not least, let’s talk about the drain pipe.

Having this part of your appliance clogged can be disastrous, as it can make it ice over constantly and leave huge water puddles beneath the unit every day. Your refrigerator’s drain pipe is designed to get rid of any excess water coming from your food or the appliance’s chamber, and while it does a great job in most cases, sometimes frost can affect it.

As you can imagine, when the water passing through this section gets frozen, it immediately blocks it, causing any additional liquids to sit there or remain on your food. Over time, this can become an issue that would explain why your refrigerator keeps icing over.

Solution: Usually, the ideal scenario is prevention. But, if the issue is already present, fixing it is very easy, so don’t worry.

First, read your user manual or go to your manufacturer’s website to get an idea of where the drain pipe is located on your model. Once you have that information, clear the area and place your food on ice to keep it from going bad while you address the situation.

After spotting the drain pipe’s hole, boil some water in a pot and use a syringe to inject some of it into the fridge’s pipe. Depending on how clogged it is (how much ice is blocking the free flow of humidity), you might have to only do this a couple of times, or several.

The best way to check whether the issue is resolved is by pouring some more water down the drain pipe and listening carefully. If you hear the liquid flowing all the way down to the bottom of the appliance, you’ve successfully cleared the obstruction.


That about covers it.

When your refrigerator keeps icing over, something as simple as storing your food in a cool environment can be a challenge.

Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned in this piece, addressing the most common causes behind this situation is very easy and quick. More often than not, simple actions, like unclogging the drain pipe, or making sure that the unit is level, will get everything back to normal.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article piqued your interest and answered your most burning questions, please check out our other wonderful resources below.

On our site, you’ll find great tips for most common appliance issues, such as a chemical smell on your refrigerator, or a clicking dishwasher.

Have a great week!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more