The Trials and Tribulations of Defrosting your Freezer

Defrosting your FreezerWe’ve all been there – the layer of ice and frost on the walls of your freezer is so thick that you need brute strength just to pry out the drawers to get to your food. But you may be surprised to learn that defrosting your freezer is a pretty easy job if you go about it properly.

Not only does an overgrowth of ice restrict the storage space in your freezer, but also makes it less energy efficient, meaning it’ll be costing you more money to run.

If you’re thinking you should really be getting around to defrosting your freezer, the most simple, pain-free way to do it is as follows:

  • You’ll need a large bowl and a few towels to soak up the melted ice (ie. water!)
  • First empty your freezer completely, including removing the drawers. If you’re worried about the food defrosting during this time you could store it in an insulated cool bag.
  • Switch off the freezer. Place the bowl at the bottom of the freezer to catch drips, and the towel(s) directly at the front to soak up any water that runs out.
  • It’s best to leave the freezer door open to speed up the melting process, but if you’d rather not do this you can put a pan or bowl of hot water inside the freezer and leave the door shut. If you choose to do this, bear in mind that you’ll need to replace the water every 15-20 minutes as it will go cold pretty quickly!
  • As the ice melts it will loosen from the walls of the freezer, and you can help it along by removing chunks with a specialist ice-scraper or by hand (although this may get a bit chilly). NEVER try to pry away ice that’s still stuck on, or use a knife or other sharp implement as this can cause serious damage to your freezer.
  • Once all the ice is gone, give your freezer a wipe down. It might even be a convenient time to give it a good clean.
  • You can now replace the drawers and food, and switch the freezer back on.

You might also want to use a defrost spray if you want to speed up the defrosting process, or to keep on top of any future ice build-up.

Getting rid of that pesky ice is never going to be a holiday, but it need not be the bane of your life either. If you’ve got any tips or stories on defrosting we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

* All information provided is intended a guide only. BuySpares accepts no liability for any problems incurred while attempting any advice shown. If in any doubt contact a qualified repair service.

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  1. Liz

    March 30, 2011 | 15:19 - Reply

    Thanks for the tips, and was wondering if you could help please. My Beko fridge has a normal temperature of around 3 degrees, however every so often for a couple of days at a time the temperature shoots up to 7, 8 or even higher. Do you have any ideas please on why it seems to be doing this, and what I can do to maintain the 3 degrees it should be?

  2. Mckinley Goodrich

    July 19, 2011 | 18:02 - Reply

    Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs that deal with the very same topics? Thanks for your time!

  3. Donella Kulinski

    July 25, 2011 | 04:09 - Reply

    Exceptional post. I would like to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this fantastic post. Maintain up your work.

  4. Rosalind

    September 6, 2011 | 19:57 - Reply

    Defrosting the freezer. When this needs to be done I turn off the freezer, take everything out and put it in laundry baskets and cover with towels and woollen rugs. Then I get bowls of very hot water and put inside, but I also take my hairdryer and play it on full on to the ice build-up. I then use a wooden spatula or wooden spoon to help the chunks of ice off the walls. The wood is safe on the plastic lining. When all the ice is off I mop up with a towel and put the contents back; putting them back in a more organised way.
    Job done!

  5. farrah

    September 8, 2011 | 08:32 - Reply

    Thanks for the tips Rosalind! And everyone else for your comments.

  6. Frank

    September 18, 2011 | 09:49 - Reply

    As a fridge engineer I was given a demonstration by an “old head” on how to defrost a chest freezer and it works well . DO NOT switch off the power when you try this . Empty all the product from inside and using an 8oz. or similar hammer GENTLY tap the ice build-up . You’ll find the ice drops off the casing with very little effort and remains as ice inside the freezer . This can now be scooped out with a plastic ice-cream type container . When emptied , replace all the frozen food . 20 mins. and no water to mop up :-)) It works very well and no mess . Remember , gently with the hammer , don’t be tempted to hit harder if the ice is thicker .

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    June 21, 2012 | 05:15 - Reply

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    December 29, 2012 | 00:36 - Reply

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  13. David Brandis

    February 16, 2013 | 12:31 - Reply

    Thank you for an excellent blog and lots of good advice. My problem is that due to lack of space, my chest freezer is located on the landing. It’s long overdue to be defrosted and my initial concerns were that water would go everywhere. Presumably, any water from the melted ice would remain inside the freezer?

    • mark

      February 19, 2013 | 09:07 - Reply

      Having spoken with one of our engineers and got some general advice but remember the design and defrost operation can vary between brands and models. He suggested that generally the cavity in a chest freezer will hold most of the water but this may leak out slowly. You should check the instruction booklet as some freezers may have a drain hole in the lining. This would normally have a “plug” or bung but this may be missing. In summary I would suggest you check the base for evidence of this bung and keep an eye on it during defrost. Old towels laid inside will help mop up the melt water or sponge/mop into a bowl placed inside the cavity. It may be wise to prepare for leaks with a few old newspapers ready.

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    May 21, 2013 | 23:13 - Reply

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  15. Carolyne Rasulo

    September 16, 2015 | 07:48 - Reply

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for posting .

    • Mike

      September 16, 2015 | 10:36 - Reply

      Hi Carolyne,

      I’m glad you liked the post – hopefully you found it useful. Don’t forget to check our blog every Monday, Wednesday & Friday for our latest blog posts, all full of handy tips, advice and guidance to help you maintain, clean and repair your household and garden appliance.



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