Refrigerator - Interior Moisture

Refrigerators work to remove moisture that is naturally present in the air inside of the unit. If there is too much moisture (condensation) present for the refrigerator to remove, the moisture will build up on the interior of the refrigerator. Moisture (in the form of frost or ice) can also build up in the freezer compartment.


The following is a list of reasons for moisture build-up:

  • Initial start-up: When the refrigerator starts back up after being shut down for a time (installation, moving, etcetera), moisture may build up inside. This is normal and should go away after about 24 hours or once the set temperature is achieved and stabilized.

  • Frequent door openings: If the doors are opened frequently, warm and/or humid air enters the refrigerator. Try limiting openings in extremely hot or humid weather.

  • Doors not closing completely: If the doors do not close completely, warm and/or humid air will collect inside. Please check the following:

  • Defrost Cycle: Due to the warm air temperatures generated during the defrost cycle, it is possible to see moisture forming on the shelves and side walls of the freezer. This moisture is caused by the warm air coming into contact with the colder temperatures in the refrigerator. This will disappear after the unit completes the defrost cycle and goes back into normal operation.

  • Open containers: Open containers of food or beverages will transfer some of their moisture into the air inside the refrigerator. Make sure all containers are covered or sealed.

  • Moisture laden food: Foods that contain a great deal of moisture such as lettuce, celery, etcetera, can be wrapped in paper towels or placed in the vegetable bins that have been lined with paper towels.

  • Moisture in bins: Moisture may build up inside of adjustable humidity control or convertible temperature control bins if they are not set correctly. Incorrect settings can also result in frozen vegetables.

    • Humidity Control: Higher for vegetables; Lower for fruits

    • Temperature Control: Warmer for vegetables; Colder for meats

  • Manual Defrost or Cycle Defrost Refrigerators: Frost and ice buildup is a normal occurrence. When the ice is 1/4 inch thick or more, it is time to defrost. See the Owner's Manual that came with the refrigerator for defrosting instructions. Download a copy of the Owner's Manual.


View a short video about moisture in Bottom Freezer style refrigerators: