With the mention of spring cleaning all around, it really brings up a push of motivation to tidy things up around the house. It is the time to detox everything and some of the most important household appliances are forgotten in this cleaning purge. No matter what kind of freezer you own, whether it be a deep freezer or a fridge/freezer combo, this is a good time to defrost it and freshen it up this spring with these defrosting freezer tips.

Defrosting Freezer TipsDefrosting Freezer Tips

Some defrosting freezer tips include always prepping your freezer, waiting patiently, steaming away the ice or use rubbing alcohol and a hot towel.

How Often Should You Defrost?

It is recommended to keep an eye on the amount of ice build up your freezer collects to determine when to defrost your unit. When the ice gets about more than a quarter inch in thickness, it is time to clear it out. Another general rule is to do this chore about once a year if your freezer doesn’t collect that much ice so that you can maintain the efficiency of your freezer. Clearing ice build up allows for better energy efficiency and hold the best environment for frozen food quality.

Always Prep Your Freezer

Prepare your freezer for proper defrosting by turning it off or unplugging it. If you have a stand alone or deep freezer, you can just turn pull the plug on it and continue with whatever method you like. However, if you have a freezer/refrigerator combo, there may be a defrost setting or a button that can allow you to defrost the freezer without turning off the fridge at the same time.

Take out all the food and store it in a cooler. This way, you can weed out any bad food or give away food you don’t even like that is just sitting in your freezer for some reason.  

Wait Patiently

One method of defrosting your freezer would be the good ol’ waiting game. Unplug your freezer after emptying it out, open the door and wait for all of the ice to melt. This way takes the longest, but it is the simplest as you don’t have to do much more work or pay any attention other than wiping up the water from melting ice every once in a while. You can just open it up and walk away, then check on it every half an hour to clean up until it’s fully melted.

Speedy Melting Methods

Steam Away the Ice

  • Turn off the freezer and boil some water on the stove while you clear out the freezer of its contents.
  • Put a baking sheet tray on the bottom of each shelf (if your freezer has multiple shelves) and fill it up with the boiling water with caution. If you have a trivet that you can place down, you can put the whole pot of hot water in the freezer if there is enough space.
  • Close the freezer door and lay some towels down on the floor while you wait 5 minutes for the steam to loosen up the ice.
  • After waiting, take a wooden spoon or spatula and try to scrape some of the ice away. If ice is still very stuck, boil more hot water and try again.

Rubbing Alcohol and Hot Towel

  • If there is just a thin layer of ice in the freezer, this method may be the best quick method to use.
  • Dip a small kitchen towel (using tongs) into boiling water
  • Add rubbing alcohol onto the towel and place it somewhere along the edge of the freezer.
  • This will loosen up some ice which you can then wipe away easily and continue along for the rest of the freezer.

Unsafe Techniques

This are very common tips that although may be quick and easy, are not very safe methods at all.

Hot Spatula

I don’t know who thought of this method, but tons of people are doing it and just think it’s the best method to efficiently defrost a freezer.

Basically, you heat a metal spatula, either in the oven or over open flame and you grab it wearing a oven mitt and just scrape away at the ice in the freezer.

First of all, you can burn yourself and it will hurt so much. The hot metal spatula can melt or burn through a cotton or silicone oven mitt. Hopefully you don’t drop the spatula on your feet or anything else that you could burn and scar forever.

Secondly, it is not the best idea to use metal to scrape along your freezer. This could cause some serious damages to your shelving or walls. You can also risk hitting and damaging any freezer coils and breaking the unit altogether.

Blow Dryer

This method is also very popular, yet holds many risks. Using the hair dryer is safe as long as you:

  • Don’t stand too close to the freezer, as the coils can react against the heat causing them to crack or break
  • Make sure the outlet, plug or blow dryer are nowhere near any water
  • Do not rest the blow dryer inside the freezer
  • DO NOT stand in any water or any wet towels
Bottom Line

Defrosting freezer tips will really come in handy during spring cleaning time. No matter what kind of freezer you own, cleaning it out and defrosting all of the ice build up will be best for your food quality and freezers energy efficiency. Make sure that you are clearing out your freezer in the safest most efficient way for you. Don’t put yourself at risk for an extra 20 minutes.