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How to Defrost a Freezer

Rucha Phatak
Nothing dampens the morning more than waking up to a freezer covered with ice. Defrosting it is always considered as a messy, tedious, and boring process. Here are some easy ways to defrost a freezer.

The Traditional Way

Step 1: Turn off the freezer.
Step 2: Remove all the food from it.
Step 3: Keep the freezer door open.
Step 4: Allow the ice to melt naturally.
The traditional way to defrost a freezer is always the easiest one. You don't have to do anything but to switch the freezer off. However, it takes time for the freezer to defrost, especially if you stay in the colder regions. Not to worry as there are some other methods that can be followed, which help you quicken the defrosting process.


1. The first thing to do before defrosting the freezer is to turn it off and unplug it. This does not drain any excess electricity while you do the defrosting.
You can defrost the freezer without turning it off by keeping it on a low temperature setting. It is always safe to work around electric appliances after switching them off.
2. Remove all the food items that you have kept in the freezer and refrigerator. It allows you to clean the fridge thoroughly. Wrap the food in cool bags, and store the food in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
3. Take the shelves and drawers out of the fridge. It will also empty the area to help you defrost the freezer. Separating the shelves and drawers gives you a chance to clean them as well.
4. Lay down old newspapers around the fridge. They will soak up water as you thaw the ice. You can lay old towels where you expect high leakage. This makes the defrosting job less messy.
5. Many freezers have an outlet or a hose that drains the water out of the fridge. If your freezer has such a hose, connect it to the longer one and direct it out of the freezer in a bucket where you can collect the water.

Methods to Defrost a Freezer

Using a Hair Dryer

This is one of the easiest and quickest methods to defrost a freezer full of ice. Put your hair dryer on the warmest setting. Direct the hot air on a small area of ice in the freezer. As the ice in that area melts, move to the next.
While using the hair dryer, take some safety precautions like not putting down the dryer in the freezer. Take care of not standing in a puddle and not letting the dryer or its cord get wet. Do not focus the hot air on any area longer than needed. It might damage the freezer's interiors. As the ice starts to melt, you can loosen big chunks with your hand.

Using a Fan

Like the hair dryer, using a small fan can also helps to thaw the ice in a freezer. As you empty the fridge, keep the doors open. Position the fan outside the freezer door, and switch it on. Keep it on full speed. It circulates the hot air, which melts the ice.
However, it might take more time than the hair dryer method depending upon the room temperature. The fan should be at such an angle that it points towards the problem area.

Using a Hot Water Pan

For these methods, you will need to keep the fridge doors open. However, if you do not want to do that, the hot water pan method is for you. Put boiling water in a pan or a bowl. Put that pan in the freezer, and close the door.
The steam of water takes around 20 minutes to loosen the ice chunks that you can easily remove with your hands. However, keeping the hot pan on a iced surface might damage the freezer shelves. However, you can reduce the chances of damage by placing a thick towel under the pan.

Using a Hot Spatula

To break the large chunks of ice, use the hot spatula method. Get a metal spatula and heat it up over fire. Wear gloves or oven mittens to protect your hands as you hold the hot spatula. Press it against the ice. It will help you break the large pieces of ice.
This is the safest method as you will not need to take any electric appliance near water. However, you might need to heat the spatula several times till you defrost a deep freezer.

Using a Hot Towel

To remove smaller chunks remaining in the freezer, use the hot towel method. Dip a rag in hot water. Remove the excess water from the rag. Press it against the ice till you can loosen it. Remove that chunk with your hand.
Like the hot spatula method, this is also a safe way to defrost your fridge. However, you will need to dip the towel several times in the hot water. Therefore, it will take longer as compared to other methods.

Cleaning the Freezer

1. Mix 1 tablespoon of a mild detergent or baking soda with 1 quartz of water. Clean the freezer using this mixture, with the help of a sponge.
2. Then clean the freezer with plain water.

3. Wipe the freezer with a clean towel.

4. Wait till the freezer is completely dry.

5. Plug in the appliance once it is dry.

6. Wait for 15-30 minutes before you put the food items back in the freezer.


β—† Defrost you freezer more often. Rather than waiting for long, start the defrosting process once the ice layer reaches ΒΌ inches. It helps you with the process while also making it faster and easier.

β—† Wipe the freezer thoroughly before you start using it again. Any water residue might stain the surface. It might start the process of ice building up early.
β—† Check the seal if you need to defrost your freezer within a short period of time. A poor or damaged seal leads to severe ice buildup. Replace the damaged seal to increase the efficiency. You can apply olive oil on the rubber seal. It helps with the good seal suction as the door closes.
With the easy ways given here, defrosting the freezer or your fridge before moving, shouldn't be as difficult as you thought it to be. Using these simple methods, you will be able to defrost a deep freezer, freezer chest, or a freezer water line, with ease.