Having an iced up freezer is not only inconvenient, but also more expensive to run.
That is due to inefficient electricity usage and higher wear and tear on the compressor.
You can read more about it here.
The only way to fix this is to defrost your freezer.
There are many different tips and tricks floating around on how to do this.
Many of them are unfortunately doing more harm than good.
We will cover some of the safer methods to get rid of that unwanted ice.
Lets do some defrosting!
In this article I will discuss:
Preparations to do beforehand
Although these methods differ, there are some universal steps you should take before you start.
Switch off the freezer
The first thing you should do, and don’t forget this, is to switch off the the freezer.
You wouldn’t think so, but many people forget this step when they’re in a hurry.
With the newer models of freezers running so quietly it is possible you won’t even notice the freezer is still running while cleaning it.
This step is not only necessary to save electricity, but also to ensure safety and prevent accidental electric shock.
Be sure that you switch off the unit and unplug it from the power outlet.
Get some rags ready
Defrosting a freezer can cause a surprisingly large water spill.
Get old rags or towels ready and lay them out on the floor where water is most likely to run to.
When you defrost your freezer in your home, this step is especially important to keep large quantities of water away from carpets, furniture and more importantly, power outlets.
It helps a lot when your freezer has a drain plug.
That way the water can be collected easily into a container and disposed of.
A pipe or hose can be connected to some of these drain outlets.
That makes it even easier to get the drained water exactly where you want it to go.
Empty your freezer
Empty out your freezer and if possible, store the frozen goods in another freezer.
This is the reason why it’s important to plan further ahead when you consider defrosting your freezer.
That way you can run down your frozen supplies as much as possible.
You won’t struggle to find lots of extra freezing space somewhere else for your frozen goods while your freezer is switched off.
If you do have excess frozen stuff and no extra freezer space somewhere else, use what you have at hand to insulate the products.
You will be pleasantly surprised how long you can keep food frozen with an icebox and some newspapers!
Just wrap the items in newspaper and stuff them in a cooler box.
That will keep them frozen long enough for you to defrost the freezer.
Methods to defrost your freezer
With the necessary preparations out of the way, it is time to defrost your freezer.
Leave and forget
The first way to defrost your freezer is absolutely the safest.
And it also takes the longest.
Yes, it’s the “open the lid and leave” method.
And it basically goes like this: open the lid and leave.
When you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, all you need to do is open the lid of the freezer and keep it open until all the ice has melted.
That takes some time, unfortunately. And it takes even longer when it is cold.
But it’s the method that has the least amount of risk involved.
That is because you are not using an external heat source to quicken the thawing process.
So less chance to damage the walls and cooling coils of the freezer.
Use a fan
This method is just a variations of the leave-and-forget method above.
The only difference is that you’re using a fan to circulate the air in the freezer better.
That means the air inside the freezer that has been cooled down while thawing the ice, gets replaced by new warmer air from outside the freezer.
This will raise the average temperature in the freezer, counteracting the cooling effect of the ice, and speed up the thawing process.
Use a blowdryer
The extreme version of using a fan.
A blowdryer will definitely melt the ice faster. There are just some aspects you need to consider first.
If the ice is really thick, you are much better off just doing the leave-and-forget method.
It will take just too much time and electricity to melt all that ice with a blowdryer.
And you have to sit or stand there and hold it all the time.
If the ice layer is really thin, then go for it.
Be careful, though, not to damage the side walls and coils of the freezer with too much high intensity heat.
Be sure to keep the hair dryer a fair distance from the ice you are melting.
Remember, it is an electrical appliance being used around water, be extra vigilant.
Use a scraper
You can use a plastic scraper or spatula to try and scrape off the ice.
It’s best when you can get the utensil in between the ice and the sides.
That way you can wedge it in deeper and break the ice from the side walls.
It is, however, better to use this method together with one of the others to speed up the process.
A large pot full of boiled water inside the closed freezer makes a big difference.
The steam will raise the temperature by a fair bit and speed up the melting process.
You do, however, need to replace the boiling water every now and then as it cools off inside the freezer.
It is also very important to put the pot on something like a wooden cutting board to prevent damage to the freezer where the bottom of the pot would have rested.
Hose it off
Last but not least, the trusty method of taking the freezer outside and giving it a good hose-off.
You will be able to melt the ice really quickly.
You do, however, need to pay very careful attention to not get water into the electronics and compressor of the freezer.
Seeing as the freezer is already outside, you may as well give it a good clean on the outside as well!
There may be some prescribed methods out there as to how to defrost a freezer.
And there are some really good and creative ones.
But at the end of the day the main goal is to raise the temperature inside the freezer to melt the ice, without damaging the freezer.
If you have a way of doing it, go for it!