Soundproof a Refrigerator: 5 Proven Ways

Refrigerators can be very noisy, yet they are one of the essentials in every home. This article will reveal to you 5 proven methods that can help you to soundproof a refrigerator and remove that annoying buzzing noise. 

Products in a fridge

Believe it or not, but sometimes the noisiest part of your home can be the kitchen. Surprised? Well, take some time to think about it. Think about all the noisy amenities that it has: the sink, the washing machine, the blender, the cooker hood, and, of course, the refrigerator.

Sometimes the noise can be that loud that they might not leave you to sleep well or rest without hearing that buzzing noise. The easiest way to solve this is to soundproof the kitchen, but let’s face it, it can be too time-consuming and too costly. If that solution is off the table already then the best thing is to soundproof only those amenities that make the most noise.

As already mentioned one of them is the refrigerator. However, what you should do before soundproofing it is to make sure that it is not broken.

Things that could make the refrigerator noisy

It is normal to find ways to make your refrigerator quieter because it can be very distracting when you want to relax at home. However, before attempting to soundproof it, as already mentioned, it is worth trying to find the noise source. After all, this noise may mean something loose or damaged.

That said, refrigerators are usually noisy stuff. There is much going on inside to keep them cold and insulated, particularly when you have a fridge-. freezer combination. Some of the noises that a refrigerator produces are totally natural, so it is very helpful to recognize the cause before starting.

The compressor is one of the most common noise sources. It has a motor and a pump and moves the coolant in the entire cooler while driving warm air out of the refrigerator as waste.

It typically switches or buzz sounds and these sounds are totally natural. If you have a more contemporary energy-efficient cooler, the compressor is long and short, so don’t be surprised if it remains on for a while.

In general, the only noises to be alarmed when it comes to your refrigerator are those that are very loud and annoying. Yet surprisingly, one of the worst signs of a refrigerator issue is a complete lack of sound.

Common noise sources in a refrigerator

  1. The drip pan

Sometimes this triggers gurgling and sizzling sounds, dripping, and hissing. Again, these sounds are completely normal.

  1. Walls of the refrigerator

As the temperature increases, the inner walls of the refrigerator compartment have to expand and contract. This triggers a series of perfectly natural clicking, cracking, popping and creaking noises.

  1. Turbo

The compressor itself will whirl, hiss, and drip, which is totally natural again. Different fluids circulate inside the system and they sometimes can be very noisy.

  1. Ice maker

This can make a large variety of enjoyable and occasionally disturbing sounds, including rumblings, clicks, and scratches. Again, they are entirely normal and only happen when the ice is made.

Methods to soundproof the refrigerator

Place a mat under the refrigerator

Sound deadening mat to soundproof a refrigerator

One of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to reduce the volume of your noise of the refrigerator is to place a mat under it. If you want to soundproof the refrigerator more effectively then a usual rug is not an option.

In fact, there are some mats that are specifically made for this purpose i.e. sound deadening mats. Although very often you can see them in cars, you can still use this type of mats as a method for soundproofing the refrigerator. This sound deadening mat on Amazon could be the perfect solution.

The mats are made from butyl rubber, which is a very thick and elastic material. This material is perfect for sound waves and vibrations absorption.  In general, the mat is less than one inch thick, but it does an outstanding job.

Soundproof the wall behind as a way to soundproof the refrigerator

Acoustic panel

One of the main problems when trying to make a refrigerator quieter is that the things you can do are very not so many. The rear of the refrigerator has the coils from which the fluids release excess heat energy.

Yet that also means that you can’t cover them as a way to soundproof the refrigerator. It will overheat the refrigerator, which would overwork and break down the compressor. Of course, this is not the goal, right?

Rather than applying soundproofing to the back of the refrigerator, attach it to the wall. When there is not much distance between the wall and the refrigerator, this would do a great job. Yet, keep in mind that some noise might still leak because sound waves are really strong.

The most important thing if you decide to go with this method is to use a combination of sound blocking and acoustic treatment solutions. This will help you to effectively soundproof the refrigerator as it would act as a double solution.

Keep in mind that the compressor of the refrigerator produces airborne sound this means that you should look for solutions that will trap the sound waves and keep them away from bouncing off the wall.

I would first suggest you get acoustic foam paneling like this one on Amazon. Also, make sure to check out the following video to see how you can install them:

Install a MLV

Another thing that is worth giving a shot is Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV). Remember that you can use MLV under the refrigerator and only on the wall. The best thing from installing MLV is that it will stop any impact noises that might happen and also it prevents leaking of vibrations caused by sound waves.

Mass loaded vinyl to soundproof a refrigerator

So how can you install MLV?

  • Get a medium-density fiberboard. Cut it so it could match the same size as your refrigerator, yet still leave few inches extra on every side.
  • Attach the MLV to the fiberboard with glue or nails. Make sure to seal the edges with acoustic sealant.
  • The next step is to cover it with a layer of acoustic foam. The most important thing when doing this is to not ruin the structure with glue by blocking the holes. That way it couldn’t trap the sound waves well
  • Attach it to the wall behind your refrigerator and you are good to go!

You can also “steal” a few tricks about soundproofing a wall from this article.

Soundproof the refrigerator with a shelving unit

Building a shelving unit around the refrigerator is another solution that might help you to soundproof the refrigerator. Obviously, this will still require space so make sure you have enough. The idea is to create a unit around the fridge to add more mass to the area in order to absorb and block as much noise as possible.  If this solution is done properly, it can be fairly efficient.

The trick is to make the room around the refrigerator soundproof, just as I mentioned above.  Of course, make sure you are still leaving some space for proper airflow. Basically, all you do is build an alcove in which you can keep and soundproof the refrigerator. To learn more about it you should perhaps take a look at this article.

The greatest benefit of creating a shelving unit is that you can always fill the cupboards with heavy and dense objects. This will help you to soundproof the refrigerator even better.

Install soundproofing materials to the inside of the refrigerator

Opened refrigerator

Remember that this might not be the best solution as it will take some space of your refrigerator that you can use for food and staff, but it can work. So if you do make the decision to give this a chance then installing an MLV is the option you should go with.

As already mentioned, it is good soundproofing material because it is very dense and heavy yet it is still thin. This is great because it won’t take too much from the inside space of the refrigerator.

The first thing you should do is to turn off the refrigerator and leave it to defrost so you can have a clean and dry surface. Then cut the MLV in a few small pieces and apply it on the inside of the refrigerator with glue.

The bad thing is that it can affect the temperature so keep that in mind and check it out occasionally.

Last, but not least, I would recommend you to try out this MLV on Amazon.

Soundproof the refrigerator by placing in in an alcove

Fridge in an alcove

First things first, what is an alcove?

An alcove is a tiny attached section of a room. The section is partially enclosed by small walls.

An alcove might actually be the best method that might help you to soundproof the refrigerator. It might be this way because the sound waves are always trapped in smaller spaces and can’t bounce around the kitchen.

Another reason why it is so great is that unlike the method where you should soundproof the wall behind the refrigerator, an alcove will also soundproof the sides as well.

You can also use this with other soundproofing materials such as acoustic foam or MLV. However, remember that this way the refrigerator will have a harder time losing waste heat energy and could break down easier.

Additional tips to reduce the noise of the refrigerator

Move it to another location

This won’t cost you money or time, but it will definitely take some space from another room. What’s even worse is that it might not be that convenient because after all refrigerators belong to the kitchen.

Yet if you have tried everything or are not willing to try the previously mentioned methods then just do it. Move it to another location.

Level out the legs of the refrigerator

Refrigerator legs
Photo credit:

A refrigerator on an uneven or low floor can create a lot more noise than normal. Most of this noise is in vibration, and the texture of the floor makes such a significant difference. It is therefore worthwhile doing something about this issue.

The first move I will take is to test the legs of the fridge. Nearly all refrigerators have flexible legs so that they can be mounted autonomously. This is a big aid for uneven surfaces and could almost instantly solve your problem.

Similarly, these legs may become loose or shift around over time as a result of movements and general usage. And, even though you set them right when you first set up the fridge, it would be worth it to be tested again.

The best way to do that is to send a little rattle to your fridge. If it moves, you have to adjust it accordingly.

Clean the condenser coil of the refrigerator

Dirty fridge condenser

Alright, this is not something you should do by yourself if you don’t know much about mechanics. But if you do then maybe it’s something worth doing because condensers tend to be a super load when they are old and dirty.

For a little guide, check out the video below:


Final thoughts

The sounds that the refrigerators produce can be very annoying. However, just like anything else, there are many ways to solve that issue. If you are not willing to replace it with a new one then hopefully some of these methods helped you out to reduce the noise and finally get some peace!


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