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Your freezer is an important appliance and probably among the most useful. It helps keep food fresh and can be used as a food storage device. With time, frost accumulates on its inside walls thereby increasing your energy bills and reducing its efficiency. Many newer freezer models come with a self-defrosting feature, but for those whose appliances don’t have this feature, here is how you can defrost a freezer and how often you should defrost it.
Option 1- Using Hot Water
One of the most traditional methods of defrosting a freezer is by use of hot water. All elderly mothers will tell you that boiling water will do a great job defrosting freezers, but it might take some time. The best thing about this method is that it is more hands-off than others.
First boil water in a large pot and while waiting for your water to boil, ensure you have enough room to place your pot in the freezer. Put a trivet or hot pad on the shelves and a towel at the bottom of your freezer to soak up water that comes from your freezer as the ice melts.
Once the water has boiled, put it on the trivet while still hot and close the door. Because of having a strong seal, the steam from the hot water will heat up the inside walls of your freezer, thereby melting the ice stuck on the inside walls. After about half an hour, open up your freezer and wipe up water that has melted, and use a plastic scraper to gently remove any remaining ice walls that have stuck to the walls.
Note: Don’t use a sharp object such as a knife as you will be scratching or damaging the walls of your freezer. Using a knife or any sharp metal is a recipe for disaster.
Option 2- Using a Hair Dryer
Using a hairdryer is a faster way of defrosting a freezer and will melt big ice chunks in a short time. Again, you will need to place a towel on the bottom of your freezer to absorb water that will be coming from your machine.
This is the quickest method of defrosting your freezer. However, you will need to focus on the edges of your machine by blowing your hair drier parallel to the walls of your freezer. By doing this, you will be getting warm air inside your appliance but behind the ice. By warming the surface below the ice, you will find it easier to remove the remaining ice chunks using a plastic scraper.
Option 3- Using Alcohol
To conduct a quick removal of little ice chunks, alcohol will do a great job. However, alcohol will only work if there is no much frost build-up in your freezer. Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a clean towel, then start wiping the frost; alcohol makes frost melt fairly easily. Remember, this method will only work when you have a thin layer of frost. If there are large chunks of ice, using alcohol will not be efficient.
Option 4- Using a Fan to Defrost a Freezer
If your home’s warm air is hot enough to make a difference, you can use a fan to help circulate air in your freezer. This works well for people with deep freezers in their garage.
Simply put a fan up outside your freezer with its door open. The airflow will help the ice melt faster, but you will need to take some time for this to work out. Depending on the thickness of the accumulated ice, it will take some time.
Option 5- Using a Wet/Dry Vacuum
By using the smallest spigot accessory of a wet/dry vacuum, set its switch to blow. Start by blowing the top of your freezer and slowly move down over all the sides. To be on the safe side, it is preferable to use a blow dryer to eliminate the possibility of electrocuting yourself and melt ice in a quicker way. When ice starts loosening up, you can switch on the vacuum to suck up ice and water. Repeat this process until all the ice and water has dried up. To efficiently carry out this process, you can use this method in conjunction with any other method on this list.
Once all the ice has melted, you can use a tablespoon of baking soda and hot, soapy water to clean your freezer. Using a sponge, rinse the inside of your freezer and repeat the process until all the ice has been removed. Use a dry towel to wipe the inside of your appliance and after all the water has dried, plug it back in, and close its door to cool it back down. After about 30 minutes, you can put your food back into the freezer.
Preventing Frost in Your Freezer
Now that your freezer is free of frost, we can now talk about preventing the buildup of frost.
Because of the cold air that pulls moisture out of foods stored in the freezer, frost has to be formed. Cold airdoes not have the capacity to hold moisture as warm air does, and therefore it has to settle somewhere- mostly in a confined area in your freezer. It accumulates on the shelves and walls of your freezer. However, there are a few ways you can prevent this from happening;
1. By Using Oil
Wiping the wall of your freezer with oil is a proven solution to prevent accumulation of frost. This method works by creating a greasy surface that ice cannot stick to. This option works, but it does not provide a long-term solution to the problems of accumulation of humidity in the freezer.
2. Seal Your Foods Tightly
By securing sealing and packaging your foods, you will reduce the moisture in your freezer significantly. Always use a sealing machine to pull air out of your foods and also use sealing containers and bags. This will help reduce air that finds its way to your freezer which will reduce humidity and moisture inside your appliance.
3. Keep Your Freezer Full
By keeping your freezer full, you will be reducing the space inside, and therefore there will be less air. The more the food, the cooler it gets and thus the lesser the freezer has to run. This will help save the money you could have spent on bills and also extend the lifespan of your freezer.
If you don’t have enough food to fill your appliance, stock a jug of water or even ice as well as newspaper’s balls. All these items will take up space and lessen the air inside your freezer. Newspaper balls will fill some of the space and absorb some moisture, and therefore the freezer doesn’t keep running all the time.
Reasons to Defrost Your Freezer
The obvious reason is to remove ice buildup that is taking up the space you should use to store your food. If left to accumulate, ice can build up to the extent that it prevents the freezer door from closing well. That’s why you should not let ice to accumulate.
Besides taking up the space meant for storing foods, ice acts as an insulator thereby making your freezer work harder and run longer in order to reach your food. This means you will incur more electricity bills.
Frost buildup can also prevent your freezer door from closing properly and thus; it is important to defrost your freezer to prevent this from happening continually.
Accumulation of frost can be caused by leaving your freezer door open for a long time and also having a problem with your freezer seal. Therefore, if you notice more buildup than usual, and you have been closing your door as soon as you have removed your food, it is important to check the freezer seal. If it is on its way out, you may have no option but to buy a new freezer.
Check out our top best freezers review to know the best upgrades on the market.
How Often Should I Defrost My Freezer?
The simple answer to this question is as soon as you start noticing any ice build-up.
Defrosting a freezer does not have to be an exhaustive process- with a few hacks, you will be packing your food inside there in no time. We hope our trick and tips on how to defrost a freezer fast will help you do the work effortlessly.
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