How to Reduce Refrigerator Noise (Rattling, Buzzing, Gurgling)

Is your fridge making a rattling or buzzing noise for which you do not know where they are coming from?

Do you feel like it is scolding you when you get up for a snack in the middle of a night?

It is not something that one wants and buying a new fridge can be a great investment, sometimes even impossible to do at a certain moment.

So, there must be a way to soundproof and/or fix your noisy fridge, right? Of course there is!

If we can soundproof backyard fences or block our partner’s snoring noises, why couldn’t we soundproof a fridge?!

A long time ago, when my husband, my boyfriend at that time, first moved in together in a small rented studio apartment, there was a noisy fridge in it, but we couldn’t afford to buy a new one or move to another place again.

However, sleeping was hard, and earplugs were not that comfortable back then.

We had to find a way to fix it or insulate it. It wasn’t easy at first since we knew nothing about soundproofing, but we finally managed, and now I am writing for all of you who ever had the same problem.

You will find some of the common reasons for a noisy refrigerator and how to fix them in the text.

So, let’s get to work!

how to reduce refrigerator noise

Reasons for Your Noisy Refrigerator and How to Solve Them

Whether you have an old or a new fridge, it is certain that it will be making some noises.

Since your fridge needs to be turned on at all times, the noises coming from it will be constant. But this simple buzzing is just normal, and after some time it won’t even destruct you anymore.

Look at it as you would on popular beneficial white noise.

Most of the noises coming from refrigerators are just normal sounds of your fridge operating, and there need to be no worried about this.

However, sometimes the noises coming from it are not that subtle, and some adjustments need to be made in order to fix them.

Here is the list of quite a few types of noise and reasons for the loud refrigerator. Of course, there will be a word about how to simply fix them.

Hissing, Dripping and Water Dribbling Noises
  • The cause of this type of noise would be the flowing of oil or refrigerant inside of a compressor.
  • There is no worry about this one since it is just the normal sound of your fridge working.
Noises of Sizzling, Gurgling, and Water Running
  • These sounds are commonly heard when the ice is melting and the water from the melted ice is dripping onto the draining pan.
  • Again, there is no need to worry about these sounds, since they are normal and just a part of a normal functioning fridge.
Clicking and Buzzing Noises
  • This is what happens when the valve is opened (or closed) to let the water enter the ice maker.
  • Since this is something that a fridge does, you can just ignore it, but if you do not need ice, or if it is not at all connected to a water line and you probably just forgot to turn the ice maker off, that is what you will need to do.
Clatter Noises
  • This is the sound of ice cubes being made and falling into their storage.
  • Move along, nothing to see here. Just a normal sound of ice being ready to cool your drink on these hot summer days.
Creaking, Cracking and Grinding Noises
  • These are the sounds of already prepared ice cubes being pushed through the mold.
  • Again, just eager ice cubes, nothing alarming.
Repetitive Clicking Noises
  • This is the sound of evaporating valve taking care of temperature cooling.
  • This is a normal sound of your fridge cooling, and you can just get used to it.
Noises of a Compressor that is Running for Too Long 
  • This is what happens on fridges that have highly efficient compressors; they run for longer and much slower.
  • This is normal and it means that your compressor is running efficiently.
Popping Noises
  • This sound is the sound of a fridge’s inside walls expanding and contracting due to the temperature changes.
  • This is a normal sound that you shouldn’t worry about.
Rattling and Banging Noises
  • It is most probable that you have some items on the top of your fridge that could be jumping around a bit.
  • Check if there are items on top of it, and remove them. If not, you might think of contacting a repairman.
Whirring and Pulsating Noises
  • This is the sound of the compressor and fans inside of a fridge adjusting for the normal performance.
  • It is just a normal sound of your fridge functioning well.
Vibration Noise
  • It is possible that the fridge is not leveled to the floor properly.
  • Adjust the legs of your refrigerator to make it stand on the floor solidly with all four legs.

Now, I know that it sounds like there is a lot of noise to keep an eye (or ear) on, but most of these are just normal sounds, and you probably wouldn’t even notice them; unless you start reading about them which would bring your full attention to it. Just like breathing.

How to Reduce Refrigerator Noise 

Now that you know about some simple noises that are coming from the fridge, let’s go onto the soundproofing.

I should also mention that, if you hear some noises that you haven’t heard before, you might have someone give it a look.

1. Identify the Cause of the Noise

In this step, you will have to listen to where the sound is coming from.

Since there are a lot of sounds coming from a fridge, it might be a little tricky, but again, pay the biggest part of your attention to the new sounds or ones that are not listed as normal above.

a. Vibrations from the floor

The thing that I already mentioned would be to try and make the legs of your fridge even, so that it stands on the floor firmly, and not cause any jumpy vibrations.

Another thing that you can do is place some rubber matting underneath your fridge since it is very good with absorbing vibrations and overall noise. Be sure to measure the size of the mat you will need for placing under the fridge.

The final thing that I would suggest as a solution to this problem is those anti-vibration pads that can be easily cut and placed underneath the legs of our fridge.

For the best results, you can use both these anti-vibration pads and rubber matting.

b. Compressor and Fan Noises

If there is a lot of noise coming from either of these, they should probably be replaced.

If it is the fans, they can be simply replaced for an affordable price, but if it is the compressor that’s making you these problems, you might consider buying a new fridge.

And if it seems that everything is fine with the fridge, but the noises are still coming from it, these would probably be some of the normal sounds that I have mentioned previously.

c. Loose handles and Door

This is another problem that causes rattling sound, and it is very easy to identify and fix. Just screw them back on or replace the handles if needed and they will be as good as new.

2. Place the Fridge inside of an Alcove (covered with Acoustic Panels)

Finding a new place for your fridge you fridge can sometimes solve a lot of the problems.

The best place would be a dent in the wall that you can cover with some acoustic foam panels like these later on.

Placing these panels on the walls and ceiling of the alcove will help in reducing the noise coming from your fridge, but it will not reduce it completely.

These panels are good at absorbing unwanted sound and dampening the vibrations coming from a fridge.

fridge making rattling noise

3. Build a Wooden Case for Your Fridge

In case you don’t have an alcove to put your fridge in, you can try and build an artificial one in a form of a wooden case.

But you have to keep in mind that some place should be left empty for a fridge to function and ventilate normally, and even more if you want to add some soundproofing acoustic foam panels.

Not exactly the same, but of a similar concept, here is a guide on how to build a soundproof booth.

4. Soundproof Inside of your Fridge

The last thing that you can try is to soundproof your fridge from the inside, and the easiest way to do that would be to cover it will mass loaded vinyl.

Since it is has shown to be very good at blocking the sound, it can stop the sound from coming outside of the fridge.

If you can access the motor of the fridge, you can cover that one as well.

Also, you can place the mass loaded vinyl on the wall behind and/ or around your fridge instead of acoustic panels, and a piece of it underneath the fridge as well.

That will stop the noise from escaping underneath it.

On Soundproofing the Fridge

All of the fridges make some noises, that is normal. And it is quite possible that you will never be able to completely insolate it, but you will be able to reduce these noises with the steps suggested.

In most of the “loud fridge” cases, step 1 would be good enough the solution and you wouldn’t even need to go further.

Prevention is always the best cure and whether you have a loud fridge or not, I would definitely suggest placing a mat underneath it.

I hope that you can have a good and peaceful midnight snack next time you crave it!