How To Defrost A Freezer Without Getting Water Everywhere


Empty freezer with ice in it

A freezer is an essential part of your life, as long as it is properly functioning. Sometimes, the frost or ice building up inside the freezer can not only ruin your food but also substantially increase your energy bills. The worst-case scenario is creating a mess and getting water everywhere while fixing the issue. I might have a solution or two to fix the issue.

One way could be to simply unplug the fridge and slip a towel underneath to soak up the melting ice. Another option could be using a blow-dryer to melt the frost. You can also use a spatula to scrape off the ice. 

There are many ways in which you can defrost a freezer without getting water everywhere. The options mentioned above are not the only ones. I will dive into the details of the easiest and most useful ones in this article. I would recommend reading through the whole article to learn as much as you can. It’s always good to have a backup. 

Defrosting Freezer Without Getting Water Everywhere – Step by Step 

Before learning how to defrost your freezer, it is better to learn why the frost gathers in the first place. You open your freezer countless times throughout the span of a day. As a result, outside air seeps in, and heat and moisture pool inside the freezer. This moisture gradually transforms into frost. 

Step 1: Preparations Before Defrosting 

You have a lot of things to consider before getting started on this task. Trying not to make a mess while doing it manually will require extra attention and effort. So, you have to have the following things taken care of. 

  • Remove all the food you have in your freezer and place it elsewhere. You also have to ensure that the frozen food does not get warm or go bad. You can store them in coolers with extra ice packs or ask a neighbor if you can store all the food in their freezer for some time. 
  • Consider where the water might go after the ice starts to melt. Have extra towels, old newspaper, and paper towels around. Place the newspaper or towels on the flooring area under the freezer so that they can absorb the water. Place some towels on the shelves of your freezer too for the same purpose.  
  • If your freezer has a drainage host, place the end of it over a bucket. That way, the water falls into the bucket and does not get anywhere else. 
  • Take out the shelves, drawers, and any other removable parts as this will make defrosting easier. 

Step 2: Defrosting 

Below, I have enlisted some of the most useful and doable defrosting methods. Please keep in mind that the precautions I have mentioned above should also be implemented alongside as they will assist with absorbing the water. 

Using a blow dryer

Set your blow dryer to the warmest level and hold it approximately 6 inches away from the ice. Keep moving the dryer across different areas of ice so that the heat gets dissipated evenly. Also, make sure to keep the cord of the dryer away from the water and the ice. 

Do not let the dryer get too close to the ice or the sides of your freezer, as too much heat can cause damage to such units. This also includes the plastic structure of your freezer. 

Pouring warm water

Pour warm water over the ice. You can also use measuring cups for accuracy. This is an extremely fast process. In place of pouring, you can also use a warm piece of clothing and wipe over the ice. 

For this method, place as many towels and newspaper on the bottom of the freezer and the floor as possible. Change the towels and newspaper frequently as soon as they get soaked. Keep a laundry basket nearby for their disposal. 

Using a heated spatula

Do not forget to wear your oven mitts during this process. It is a particularly dangerous one. Take a metal spatula and hold it over a flame so that it gets heated. Press the spatula over the ice so that the area gets warm. Slowly and gently, start scraping and chipping away at the ice. Have a bucket underneath so that the ice can fall there. 

Use this method as a last resort because not only is it dangerous for you, it can also scrape away at the insides of your freezer and ruin the units. 

Placing warm containers on the shelves

A textbook method is filling bowls or pans with boiling water and placing them at the bottom of the freezer or on the shelves if you cannot remove them. Close the door afterward. 

Due to the freezers being properly sealed, the steam from the bowls or pans can warm the ice inside. The hotter underside of the bowl can also melt away the ice at the bottom parts. Keep changing the containers every 10 minutes as soon as they start losing their warmth. 

Using a vacuum: Place a very small nozzle on your vacuum and start blowing. Start from the high points and then slowly go to the lower parts. When the ice starts to melt, change the setting of the vacuum so that it sucks up the water. Be careful to not electrocute yourself. 

Step 3: Get Cleaning 

After you have successfully removed the buildup of ice, get to cleaning the freezer. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda into soapy water. Dip a sponge or thick cloth into water and thoroughly rinse the insides of your freezer.

 After this, make sure you rub everything inside with a dry cloth or towel so that nothing remains wet. Transfer the food inside after 30 minutes. 

Note: Frequency Of Defrosting 

Ideally, defrosting your freezer once a year is fine. Yet, you should do it a few more times if your freezer has a rapid buildup of ice. If you see that your ice is more than ¼ inch thick, it is also a sign for you to defrost your freezer. 

What Is The Easiest Way To Defrost A Freezer? 

The easiest way to defrost a freezer is to simply allow the ice to melt on its own. Do remember to take out all the food from the freezer and place it in appropriate containers. 

This method might not sound convincing, but it does the trick. First, unplug your freezer and keep the doors of your freezer open. You will see that the ice will start to melt on its own. Although the method is the easiest, it is a bit time-consuming. 

If you want to speed up the defrosting process, you can also place a fan outside the freezer. As the fan circulates air into the freezer at a faster pace, the ice will come off faster. Make sure you have towels and dry pieces of cloth nearby. 

When Can Self Defrosting Freezer Leak During Defrosting? 

If your freezer has a self-defrosting option, you do not have to take upon the responsibility of defrosting it yourself. Your freezer will do it for you. Yet, sometimes, unfortunately, those can start leaking. The most common cause of this is a clogged drain hose. 

Sometimes, debris or food particles can clog your freezer’s drain hose. With no outlet, the ice builds up and eventually starts leaking water. Unplug your freezer and try clearing the hose with warm water. Use a small funnel. Pipe cleaners are also a good choice. 

Chef Rooney

I like to cook. It makes me happy, and I know it does the same for others. If you ever want to learn how to make a great dish, just ask!

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