How to Defrost the Freezer

Most modern freezers don't need to be defrosted, but should be washed out and cleaned periodically. Following are steps for defrosting freezers that need it -generally when ice builds up to a thickness between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponges
  • Blow Dryers
  • Dishtowels
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Ice Chests
  • Mixing bowls


    • 1

      Turn the freezer off. Controls may be inside the refrigerator.

    • 2

      Remove all food from the freezer and store in an ice chest while you are defrosting.

    • 3

      Remove ice in the freezer compartment. This can be done by: a) letting the freezer door stand open until ice melts; b) putting a pan of hot water in the freezer compartment and closing the door, then checking for melting ice and reheating the water every 10 to 15 minutes; c) using a hair dryer by aiming warm air at ice in freezer until it melts.

    • 4

      Pick up ice and water as it melts with a dishcloth or sponge and deposit into sink.

    • 5

      Use a sponge or dishcloth and a bowl of warm water to thoroughly wipe out inside of freezer once the freezer is cleared of ice.

    • 6

      Turn the freezer back on, close the door and let run for 10 to 15 minutes before returning food to the freezer.

    • 7

      Put food back into freezer and close the door.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use soapy water to clean the freezer.
  • Never chip at freezer ice with ice picks or other sharp instruments.
  • If you use a hair dryer to melt ice, be aware that there is a risk of electrical shock if the dryer comes in direct contact with water or if you are standing in water on the floor.
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