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How To Remove Ice From Your Freezer Without DefrostingAugust 17th, 2023 by
Is your freezer covered in frost or ice buildup? Over time, that ice can really cut into your freezer storage space or even start to cover your food. While you can defrost your freezer by unplugging your refrigerator, that’s not a very efficient way to fix the problem. Plus, you will likely spoil most of your food. If you want to prevent throwing away a bunch of food, these simple steps explain how to remove ice from a freezer without defrosting.
What Is the Best Way To Remove Ice From Your Freezer Without Defrosting It?
The most effective way to defrost your freezer is with warm water and a little patience. Aside from the water, you will need a bucket, a coffee mug, a wooden spoon, and some towels. While not necessary, a hairdryer can help as well. You will also need a towel and liquid dish soap to clean the freeze once it’s defrosted.
Follow these steps to remove ice and frost in your freezer:
1. Move Your Freezer Foods to a Cooler
An empty freezer will make defrosting much easier, so move everything to a cooler. Most coolers will keep food frozen for at least 6 hours, giving you plenty of time to work.
2. Line Your Fridge and the Floor With Towels
The next few steps are going to get messy, so line the area around your refrigerator with towels. It’s also helpful to pull the fridge a foot or two away from the wall. Put towels all the way around the base to soak up the melting ice. Lay a large bath towel out and roll it most of the way, leaving about 8 inches at one end. Open the refrigerator door and put the rolled-up towel on top, with the flat hanging inside the door. Then close the door to hold it in place.
3. Fill a Bucket With Hot Water
Turn your faucet on to the hottest setting and let it run for about 30 seconds. Then fill a bucket about halfway with hot water. Avoid overfilling it because the water will cool down too quickly to melt the ice in your freezer.
4. Pour Hot Water Into the Freezer
Using the coffee mug, pour the hot water into the freezer to melt the ice. While you can technically use any to do this, coffee mugs are designed for hot beverages. The handle also makes it really easy to scoop and pour the water.
5. Scrape the Ice With a Wooden Spoon
Holding the wooden spoon in the other hand, scrape and chip at the ice as soon as you pour in the hot water. Work the ice for between 10 and 15 seconds between pours.
6. Repeat Steps 3, 4, and 5 As Necessary
Continue to pour on the hot water and scrape with the wooden spoon until the water in the bucket cools down. Then repeat the last three steps over and over until the freeze is defrosted.
7. Use the Hairdryer the Help Melt Ice on the Ceiling
Since it’s hard to get the hot water on the ceiling of the freezer, you can optionally use your hairdryer. The steam and convection from the hot water will eventually melt it, but the hairdryer will really speed up the process.
8. Clean the Freeze With Soap and Warm Water
Once all of the ice is gone, wipe the freezer dry with a fresh towel. Then wet the same towel with warm water and wring it out until it’s just damp. Put a few drops of liquid dish soap on the towel and clean the freezer. Rinse the towel and wring it out before wiping the freeze again to remove any remaining soap. Then use another fresh towel to wipe it dry.
9. Refill Your Freezer
Lastly, move all the food from the cooler back into your refrigerator. If at any time you need to take a break from defrosting, you can put the food back in as well. Just make sure to wipe out any puddles of water first, or the food can freeze to the ice.
Ways You Should Never Use To Remove Ice From Your Freezer
Despite being popular recommendations for removing ice, you should never try to defrost your freezer with the following methods:
- Chisel it out with an ice pick: This is a popular recommendation for defrosting a freezer, but it is extremely dangerous. Not only can you injure yourself, but you can actually ruin your refrigerator. The ice pick can pierce the freezer wall and hit either a freezer coil or an electrical wire. Both can ruin the fridge or even send you to the hospital. The same goes for any other sharp metal object.
- Bust it out with a hammer: Another common suggestion that can do more damage than good. The force of a hammer might loosen the ice, but it can also crack your freezer walls.
- Chip it out with a metal or plastic scraper: Neither of these tools is right for defrosting your freezer. A metal scraper is almost as dangerous as an ice pick and can crack or pierce the freezer walls. On the other hand, the ice will likely ruin the plastic scraper before you make any progress in defrosting your freezer. Using any plastic tool is just a waste of time.
- Melt is with deicer or a heat gun: Again, these are two similar but unsafe suggestions. Deicer is only meant for outside use and can contaminate your food or ruin your freezer walls. While a heat gun is similar to a hairdryer, it is significantly more powerful. It might melt the ice, but it will probably melt or even burn your refrigerator too.
- Pour boiling water inside the freezer: This suggestion may seem simple and effective, but it’s actually one of the most dangerous suggestions on the list. Not only can the boiling water burn you, but it can cause the ice to explode and the freezer walls to crack and warp.
- Leaving the door open overnight: Lastly, do not leave the door open overnight. While this will technically work, you will waste a lot of time and energy. Since your freeze will keep cycling on, it could easily take days to thaw entirely. It’s just not an effective method.
How Often Do You Need To Defrost Your Freezer?
It is generally recommended you defrost a freezer when the ice build-up reaches a thickness of between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch. This can vary depending on the size and type of freezer you have, as well as how frequently you open and close the door. Some freezers are designed to minimize ice build-up and may not need to be defrosted as often.
If you notice that your freezer is not running as efficiently as it used to, or if it is making strange noises, it may be a good idea to defrost it. Defrosting the freezer can help it to run more efficiently and extend its lifespan.
You should check your freezer regularly and defrost it as needed to keep it running smoothly. Some people prefer to defrost their freezer on a set schedule, such as every six months or once a year, while others prefer to wait until they notice a significant amount of ice build-up.
If your freezer ices over frequently or continually make strange noises, contact a professional appliance repair person. They can inspect it for problems and make necessary repairs to keep your refrigerator or freezer working longer.