How to Defrost Your Freezer
If ice builds up in your freezer, it can reduce storage capacity, appliance life and energy efficiency. Not only does this cause inconvenience, but it can also cost you more money in the long term.
Want to address the problem sooner rather than later? Read our steps below to defrost your freezer with ease and prevent future ice build-ups.
Defrosting Your Freezer
- Turn off and unplug your freezer before you remove all your food. If you have a water or ice dispenser, be extra careful when pulling it out. And, if you have a fridge freezer without separate controls, you’ll need to remove food from your fridge as well.
- Wrap your food in thick newspaper and store it in cool boxes or bags – somewhere cold and away from direct sunlight. Or, why not ask a neighbour if you can borrow some freezer space?
- Take out freezer drawers and shelves and wash them in soapy water. Don’t force them out if they are frozen in place – you can remove them once the ice has started to melt.
- Now your freezer’s empty, why not take the opportunity to give it a clean? Try a solution of hot water mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda.
- Place towels inside the freezer and newspapers underneath it to catch any water.
- Locate your appliance’s drainage hose – if it has one – as water will begin to trickle through as the ice melts. Position the hose so that it won’t drip onto your floor. You could also place shims under the front feet of the appliance to direct water towards the drain.
- Either leave the freezer door open or place a bowl of boiling water on a trivet inside the compartment to melt any frost. Steam will soften and melt the ice for faster results.
- Remove ice as it melts to speed up the process. Avoid using a sharp object to prevent damage or a gas leak. Instead, use a warm cloth or a plastic spatula.
- Make sure the freezer is completely dry once defrosted. Use towels to mop up any puddles of water to prevent refreezing.
- Plug the freezer back into the socket. Allow at least one hour for it to reach a safe temperature before returning food to the appliance. If your appliance has a ‘fast freeze’ setting, this can be used to speed up the waiting time.
When returning your food to the freezer, you’ll need to be extra cautious. Make sure you don’t refreeze food that’s already defrosted, as this increases the risk of food poisoning. You can refrigerate defrosted food, but only for up to two days.
Prevent Ice Build-Up in Your Freezer
You should defrost your freezer regularly (or as soon as ice starts to build up) to make sure it runs as efficiently as possible.
Luckily, we have some tips to reduce ice build-up and make defrosting a less regular chore:
- Wipe the walls of the freezer with oil to prevent ice from sticking to the surface.
- Check the seal of your freezer is in good condition – if it isn’t, it can cause frost. If you get an ice build-up shortly after defrosting, the seal may need replacing. Applying oil will prevent the rubber seal from drying out.
- Keep your freezer as full as possible to keep air cool inside. This means your freezer will use less energy, minimising running costs.
- Store your frozen food in airtight bags to reduce moisture in the freezer, which leads to ice.
- A more permanent solution is to buy a frost-free fridge freezer, which prevents ice build-up automatically.
So, follow our simple steps above, and your freezer will be good as new in no time at all! Remember – defrosting your freezer regularly means you can store more food, save money, and have a longer-lasting appliance.