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The Do's and Don'ts When Defrosting Your Freezer

Seeing unsightly chunks of ice crowding your frozen goods is a clear indication you need to defrost your freezer. However, you don’t need to wait for ice to cover your food before doing something about it. Like many appliances, your refrigerator will only work efficiently if it is properly maintained. This includes taking care of your freezer by defrosting it every now and then. Remember, this is where you store your food, so it’s important to keep it clean and functioning optimally all the time.

Why Do You Need to Defrost?

After you buy a refrigerator online, its freezer efficiently maintains the temperature inside—which keeps bacteria from growing in your food. However, this may be affected over time as ice buildup jams the door and may eventually damage your appliance. Aside from food safety, maintaining your freezer also provides you with more space to store your food. If you allow frost to build up and don’t defrost your freezer, it uses more energy, leaving you to deal with a higher electric bill. Ideally, you defrost the freezer at least once a year or when the ice thickness reaches a quarter inch or half an inch.

Things You Should Do When Defrosting

Defrosting your freezer is not an easy task, but it can really improve your fridge’s energy consumption. As you begin this maintenance project, here are some things you need to keep in mind.

  • Do prepare. Grab what you will need beforehand, including an icebox or a cooler to store all your frozen goods while you are defrosting the freezer. Also, prepare the area around the freezer. Push towels around the bottom of the appliance to help soak excess water. You may also use a baking pan to catch any liquids.
  • Do speed up the melting. Place a bowl of hot water inside the freezer to help melt the ice faster.
  • Do clean it thoroughly. Once you have defrosted the unit, take out all the freezer compartments and clean the inside with soap and water. Rinse the soap and wipe it down to make sure the interior is completely dry. While you are doing this, let the compartments to reach room temperature before washing them. Then, allow them to dry before putting them back in the freezer. If you are having a hard time removing stains and grime, use a little white vinegar or anti-bacterial spray.
  • Do turn off the appliance. Save up energy while you are defrosting the freezer by switching off and unplugging the refrigerator.
  • Do organize the contents. Before you put back all the frozen goods, use this time to check if you need to throw away food that’s been sitting in your freezer for a long time.


Things You Should Avoid Doing

To successfully remove the ice building up inside your freezer, you also need to take note of the following.

  • Don’t close the door. Keep the door open while you are defrosting as you’ll need all the heat you can get to hasten the process.
  • Don’t use sharp objects. Avoid using knives, ice picks, or other sharp objects to crack chunks of ice, as this may damage the internal surface. Instead, use a plastic spatula to scrape them off.
  • Don’t use a hairdryer. It may be tempting to use a hairdryer to melt the ice quicker, but this isn’t safe. Remember, there is melted ice around you and you may risk getting an electric shock.
  • Don’t forget to wipe the door. Keep everything clean, including the seals of the freezer door. Wipe it down with a clean towel to remove any food stuck on it.  
  • Don’t stuff it until it’s full. As you organize the contents of your freezer, make sure to leave some room for air to circulate to properly maintain the temperature. A jam-packed freezer is not ideal.


These are some of the things you need to remember when doing your regular freezer maintenance. Defrosting and cleaning your freezer may be a time-consuming task, but you will benefit from it.