How to Defrost Your Freezer Quickly
How to Defrost Your Freezer in Double-Quick Time
Do you dread defrosting your freezer because it's messy and takes hours? I recently had a "freezer emergency" myself and had to transfer everything out of one freezer into another. I managed to complete the job in 20 minutes, including totally emptying out the offending fridge, thoroughly cleaning it from top to bottom, and replacing all the food. Not bad, eh?
I'm going to tell you how to defrost your freezer in less than half an hour from start to finish with the minimum amount of mess and upheaval. No defrosting chemicals needed, no puddles of water, no hanging around for two hours waiting for everything to melt, and no worrying about the food unfreezing.
Equipment Needed for Defrosting Your Freezer Quickly
- A kettle
- A baking tray
- A large saucepan
- A clean absorbent cloth
- Cooler bags and/or a large dustbin bag
- A wooden or plastic spatula or wooden spoon or plastic ice scraper
Plastic Ice Scraper
Save time by lining all the items up in front of you.
Step-by-Step Guide to Defrost Your Freezer
Don't worry about things melting when you take them out of the freezer—using my method they will stay frozen. With that said, you should still choose a cool day, or cooler part of the day, to avoid or inhibit meltdown of your food in the hot weather.
1. Boil Water
Fill the kettle, and switch it on to boil while you do step two. Later, you will use the boiling water to fill a baking tray and some pans, which you will place in the freezer once it is empty. The steam from the water will help your freezer defrost quickly.
2. Empty Everything Out
- Switch off your freezer or turn it to zero.
- Pile all the contents into the dustbin bags because if there are a lot of frozen packets all next to each other, they will retain their frozen state much longer than if spread around the room. Don't shake off any ice from the packets at this stage as it helps to keep things frozen.
- Pick up any loose bits and pieces of frozen vegetables that are useable, and put them all in with your frozen peas or rice.
- While the freezer is completely empty, use the wooden spatula to gently scrape the sides, top and bottom of the freezer, but don't force anything that won't come away. Do not use anything metal for this job or anything sharp, like a knife, as you might pierce the delicate plastic walls, which could enable water to leak inside the works and cause harm to your appliance. (Regrettably, I speak from experience, which is why I had to buy a new fridge).
- Remove all the loose ice immediately by chucking it into the baking tray using the spatula.
- Mop up anything spare with the cloth. The reason for removing all ice and water immediately is to prevent the freezer from staying cold. It also helps you avoid big messy puddles.
Safety Note: Advice given is in my capacity as a domestic freezer user and not as an expert. I suggest you turn off the freezer before starting and be careful with hot water.
Do Not Use Anything Metallic or Sharp for This Job!
Freezers are very delicate, and the interior casing could easily get pierced.
2. Defrost the Freezer With Boiling Water
- Pour out the ice and water in your baking tray. Then, half-fill it with the boiling water and place this on the floor of the freezer. This will cover a large area and aid speedy melting.
- Pour the rest of the water into the saucepan, and place it on the shelf. If you have lots of shelves, put one saucepan of boiling water on each shelf.
- Close the fridge door but not all the way—leave a little crack.
- After five minutes, open the door. The whole interior will be covered in steam (very satisfactory), and most of the ice will be loose or freed from the sides and the floor.
- Use the scraper and cloth (and your fingertips) to pry the rest of the ice away and remove it. You may find it all comes away, but if not, just refill the baking tray with boiling water, and put it on the freezer floor again for a few minutes.
- Everything should then be partially melted, and you can wipe over the interior and clean up completely with the cloth. If it is a bit dirty, you can use bicarbonate of soda to wipe it clean, but personally, I don't bother.
3. Put Everything Back in Place
- Switch the freezer back on to its normal setting, and use the rapid freeze programme, if it has one.
- Shake and wipe off any surplus ice on the food packets and return them to the freezer.
4. Make a List of the Contents When Reloading Your Freezer
If you are one of those people who buy food on sale even if you don't need it at the time, you may sometimes find it difficult to remember precisely what you have in the freezer. This often happens in my household, and I have discovered that keeping a list of the freezer contents on the side of the freezer is very helpful.
So, as you reload the food into the freezer, make a list of what you have, and then pin it up there with a fridge magnet with a pen nearby so that you can cross things off as you remove them.
In order to find things more easily when you need them, you might divide the list into sections, such as "Prepared/Cooked Meals," "Fish & Meat," "Vegetables," and "Sweets." You could use your own headings, depending on how you want to categorize them. This is also quite helpful when you want some ideas about what to eat because you can see at a glance whether you have the appropriate ingredients.
A Twenty-Minute Defrost Job Done!
If defrosting is something you have been meaning to do but have never got around to actually doing, it's easy to perform.
I have a lovely Bosch fridge freezer, which I defrost about once a year, whether it needs it or not. It usually does need it because by the end of the year, anything flat, like frozen-smoked salmon, gets completely buried in ice.
There is, of course, a reason why I don't unfreeze frequently: I always intend to use up or, at least, run down everything in the freezer first. However, this never happens.
How Does a Refrigerator Work?
What Sort of Housekeeper Are You? Saint or Slut? Take the Poll Below!
Do frost, dust, laundry and pet hairs pile up in your home, or do you get them under control before they get out of hand?
I am an occasional housekeeper, so I am somewhere in between. Someone once broke my fridge by not defrosting it while they were using my house for three months in my absence. Since then, I have kept an eye on the ice and not allowed it to burst forth from doors or seep down the back of the fridge. What about you?
So how do you rate yourself in the housekeeping stakes?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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© 2010 Diana Grant