How to Defrost a Freezer Quickly and Efficiently

Refrigerators and freezers are one of the most important appliances nowadays. It is not a luxury but a necessary item to make life a little bit easier in modern days. There is a wide variety of models in refrigerator that are not frost free and requires manual defrost for its operation. It is important to know how to manually defrost the freezer quickly and efficiently.

How Often Should You Defrost Your Freezer

The frequency of depositing depends on the usage of the freezer. But it is recommended to defrost freezer once in a year. When the ice on the freezer wall grows to quarter inch to half inch thick then it is time to manually defrost the freezer.

Ice that builds up on the wall of the freezer comes from the moisture of outside air. So if you do not keep the freezer door open for a long time and the frequency of opening the freezer door is less then less moisture enters into the freezer compartment. As a result the build up of ice is also less and takes longer to grow up to a quarter to half inch thick.

There are some important safety requirements before defrost in the freezer manually. First of all, turn off the power supply and unplug the refrigerator from main supply. Remove all the food items from the freezer and refrigerator compartment.

Preparing The Freezer for Defrosting

When you make a schedule for defrosting the freezer, you need to prepare the freezer for defrosting before the date. Make the plan before a week or so and try to consume all the frozen foods from the freezer within that time and empty it before defrosting. In that case, you wont need to worry about storing frozen foods when you defrost the freezer. If it is not possible to empty the freezer by consuming foods, then move the food in a cool location when defrosting the freezer.

If your freezer is empty before defrosting, then you can increase the temperature of the freezer using the temperature setting regulator for freezer of your refrigerator. Keeping it like that for one or two hours will make the frosted ice to melt quicker when you defrost the freezer.

You need to remove all the shelves, drawers and removable parts from the freezer compartment as well. Some of the shelves may not come out easily as they get stuck in place by ice. Do not force it to come out. Leave it until the ice melts.

Some freezers have draining hoes at the bottom of the back side of the refrigerator. Check if your refrigerator has one and if it is there, put the end of the draining hoes in a bucket so that water can drain to the bucket through it.

Checklist for Defrosting

Following is a checklist that you can follow to make the defrosting of your freezer a bit easier and faster.

  • Take all the necessary items with you. This includes some old bathroom towels, buckets, sweeper mop, spatula for scraping out the ice, sponge etc.
  • Move all food from the freezer to a cool place.
  • Turn off the power supply of the refrigerator/freezer and unplug it from main supply.
  • Remove the shelves, drawers and all the removable parts from the freezer.
  • Open the door of the freezer to keep the ice melt.

Defrosting the freezer

There are several ways to defrost the freezer. The most straightforward way to defrost the freezer is to open the freezer door after unplugging the freezer from main supply and keep the door open for some time to get the ice soften using outside temperature. The time required to get the ice soften will depend on the outside temperature. If it is summer, the ice will be soften soon than the winter.

After some time, use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the ice out of the wall of the freezer. Try to remove scraped ice out of the freezer compartment before it melts down to water. Use sponge to get excess water of the freezer compartment.

Put towels on the floor around the freezer to soak the water from the melting of ice.

This is the most easiest and reliable way to defrost the freezer. But there are other ways that could defrost the freezer faster. We will discuss some of the processes here. But you need to take extra precaution if you want to follow one of these. Otherwise you may damage the freezer.

Defrosting Faster Using Boiling Water

This method will make the defrosting much faster. But you have to be very careful when using this technique. In this technique, a pan of boiling water is placed inside the freezer and door is closed after ensuring all the activities mentioned in the checklist for defrosting above.

The boiling water from the pan makes the freezer cabin warmer and ice melts faster. You need to check if the water in the pan is cold and not and depending on the melting of ice, you have to change the cooler water with another pan of boiling water. When the ice gets thinner, then you can remove the pan and use spatula or a wooden spoon to manually scrap the rest of the ice out by hand.

If you use boiling water for defrosting, be sure to place the pan on a thickly folded towel inside the freezer cabinet. Otherwise the heat from the pan may permanently damage the interior of the freezer where it was placed.

Defrosting With Blow Dryer

This is another trick to defrost the freezer faster. After performing all the activities mentioned in the defrosting checklist mentioned above, use a hairdryer to defrost the freezer. The hot air from the dryer will help melt the ice faster. When the layer of the ice becomes thin, use a spatula or a wooden spoon to manually scrap the rest of the ice out by hand.

If you use a blow dryer to defrost your freezer, make sure that you are standing away from the water on the floor that comes from melting of ice and the cord of the dryer is not in contact with any water. Also make sure that your hands are dry. Wearing a plastic flip flop will be safer while doing this as your body will not be in direct contact with the ground.

Things to Avoid During Defrosting

Defrosting a freezer takes time. So please make your schedule free for defrosting the freezer. Defrosting is important to make the freezer work efficiently. Otherwise, all the parts of the refrigerator will not chill equivalently and the efficiency of your unit will decrease which will cost you more electricity bills. So, do not hurry while doing the work. If you try to finish the task quicker, you may damage the freezer.

Do not use any sharp instrument, knife or metal spoon to scrape the ice in the freezer. It will make permanent scratches on the wall of your freezer. Instead use the spatula provided with your refrigerator or any wooden spoon if you lost the spatula.

Double check that you have unplugged the freezer from power supply socket. Do not try to defrost the freezer while the unit is on. Avoid wet floor while defrosting. You can put some old towels around your refrigerator so that they can soak the water that comes from melting of ice. Also remove loose ice before melting. You can also use sponge to soak excess water from the floor.

While removing the shelves for defrosting do not force it to come out if you feel that it is stuck. Leave it for a while. It will come out easily once the ice that stuck it in place melts a bit. Forcing the shelves to come out may damage the compartment.

Defrosting Without Turning Refrigerator Off

It is not recommended to defrost the freezer without turning it off. However, it is possible if the frosted ice layer is thin. You can use a blow dryer to defrost the freezer even if it is on. But it will take more time and electricity consumption of your freezer will be very high during that time.

If the freezer is turned on, the temperature sensor will read higher temperature as the door will be open during defrosting. The hot air from blow dryer will make the temperature even higher. The compressor will run at its highest potential to cool down the freezer. As a result, the consumption of electricity by the compressor will be maximum. So electricity bills will be higher. On the other hand, the consistent load on compressor for prolonged time will reduce its lifespan. So, you should not try to defrost the freezer without turning it off.

Self Defrosting vs Manual Defrosting

Direct cool and Frost Free are the two cooling types found in refrigerators used in household. The direct cool refrigerator accumulates ice inside the freezer compartment. Whereas the frost free refrigerator as the name implies do not accumulate ice inside the freezer compartment. Frost free refrigerator has self defrosting mechanism which prevents the formation of ice inside the compartment.

Direct cool models chills through natural conversion. It cools the air and food items inside the compartment instantly. As a result of natural conversion, ice accumulation occurs inside the refrigerator cabin. So, manual defrost is required for smooth operation of direct cool models.

As the name implies, frost free refrigerator do not require any manual defrost as it resists the accumulation of ice inside the freezer. The ice accumulation is melted using different techniques by different brands. Self defrosting is one of the mechanisms used by frost free models for defrosting the freezer. In this technique, the freezing cycle switches on/off periodically to prevent accumulation of ice inside the freezer compartment. Water from the melting of ice discharges through a hose at the back of the refrigerator and accumulates on a drip tray. The tray is situated at the base of the refrigerator. Generally, there is no need to empty the water tray manually as the accumulated water evaporates on its own. The melting happens without interfering the natural cooling cycle of the refrigerator.

Direct cool refrigerator requires manual defrosting. The moisture from the outside environment enters the cabinet when the freezer door is opened. The moisture condensed inside and frost as ice on the wall of the freezer. To maintain efficient operation of the freezer, we need to defrost the freezer manually following any process described in the defrosting the freezer section.

Defrosting A Single Door Refrigerator

Defrosting a single door refrigerator is generally the same as the process described so far. Most of the single door refrigerator comes with auto defrosting switch which will defrost the freezer without human intervention. If there is no such mechanism, then you have to manually defrost it. Make sure the refrigerator section is empty as well as the freezer section for single door refrigerator before you defrost it.

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