Your freezer is a vital appliance in your kitchen, and you need to make sure you can maximise the storage space. As frost builds up in your freezer it not only reduces the available space but can increase your energy bills as it lowers the appliance’s efficiency. Fortunately, some modern freezers have a self-defrosting function. However, if your freezer doesn’t, how can you do a quick defrost, so it’s back to fully functioning as soon as possible?
When should you defrost your freezer?
If the ice build-up in the freezer is half a centimetre or more, then it is time for you to defrost the machine. As well as this it is also worth defrosting your freezer at least once every year. The first thing you need to do when defrosting your freezer is to unplug the appliance. Unplugging the freezer before defrosting is essential for the safety of you and the appliance.
Best ways to defrost your freezer
1. Use a hairdryer
If you want to defrost your freezer quickly, then it can be worthwhile using a hairdryer to melt the ice. If you choose to use a blow dryer or hairdryer, make sure there is no standing water and make sure the dryer doesn’t directly touch any water or ice.
You need to be prepared for quick melting ice so have something on the base to catch any ice and water and have towels on hand to mop up any water spills. For the fastest defrost aim the hairdryer behind the ice, parallel to the sides of the freezer, so the ice melts off the freezer and comes away in chunks.
Be careful not to use the hairdryer for too long so that it doesn’t overheat. It is also important to make sure the hairdryer doesn’t direct too much heat to the sides of the freezer as it could damage the plastic.
2. Pans of hot water
Another method to quickly defrost the freezer is by putting pans of boiling water on the shelves in the freezer and closing the door. The heat and steam created will help to loosen the ice, after waiting twenty minutes or so, you can then carefully scrape away the ice.
Make sure the pans aren’t too hot as the may damage the shelves. It is worthwhile placing the pans on thick towels in the freezer. Also, you need to make sure only to use containers that can fit inside the freezer when the door is shut.
If there is a great deal of ice build-up, then you may need to replace the pans with more boiling water to maximise the heat.
3. Use a fan
If it is possible, you can set up a desk fan facing into your freezer with the freezer door propped open. This works well in the summer months when the fan can direct warm air into the appliance. This is a great way to speed up the defrost without requiring too much effort from you. Just make sure the cables and fan are away from the water, and that you have a water trap in place to catch the ice melt.
4. Just wait
If you have time on your hands, then the easiest method to defrost your freezer is to unplug the appliance, prop the freezer door wide open and wait. However, if the room is cold, this may take a considerable amount of time to do, but it is by far the safest way to defrost your freezer.
5. Vacuum with a wet/dry function
By switching your vacuum to the blow setting and using the smallest nozzle, you can focus on the ice to loosen it. A hairdryer works better as it blows heat. However, a vacuum cleaner can still speed up the defrosting process.
Once the ice has melted, you can then use the vacuum to suck up the water only if the vacuum cleaner has a wet function. Make sure to be careful if you use this process so that no water enters the electrics of the vacuum cleaner to reduce the risk of electrocution.
6. Alcohol and a hot cloth
If you have time, then this method works well as long as you don’t mind the elbow grease. Heat up a cloth in hot water and then pour rubbing alcohol on the cloth. You can then place the cloth onto the ice, wiping around the edges to loosen and remove each patch of ice.
If there is only a thin layer of frost that needs removing, then this may be the quickest option to use.
7. A hot metal spatula
Wear an oven mitt and then heat a metal spatula over a heat source and then press the spatula on the ice to melt it and break up the ice. Do not use the spatula to scrap the ice as the heat can damage the inside of the freezer.
If possible, use another method as this can lead to burns of you and the freezer unit. However, it does work quickly if you only need to remove one or two patches of ice.
Your freezer is likely to have come with an ice scraper, and this is the best device to use as it will be plastic which will minimise damage. Chipping away at ice can be dangerous as sharp fragments of ice can fly out and cause injury. Ideally, you’ll use this method alongside another practice to speed up the process.
When the freezer is defrosted…
Mix one tablespoon of baking soda in hot water and then place a sponge in the liquid and sponge it over the inside of the freezer until you are happy that it is clean. Wipe the freezer walls, floor and shelves with a towel and plug the freezer back in so that it can start to cool.