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How to defrost and maintain a freezer

How to defrost and maintain a freezer

Freezer defrosting and maintenance is one of those household tasks that is not usually considered, but maintenance is essential. Freezers tend to be overstocked with food and should be checked and adjusted regularly. A clean and well-maintained freezer will keep it running smoothly, save food, and reduce energy bills.

How often should the freezer be defrosted?

To maintain the effectiveness of a manual defrost freezer, it should be defrosted every time a quarter of an inch of ice forms on its interior walls. Many people defrost their freezers once a year, but you may find that you need to do this more or less depending on your usage habits. To increase the time between defrosts, try to minimize the amount of time you have the door open. Keeping a freezer inventory list on the door makes it easy to see what you have without having to dig through the freezer.

1. Turn off the freezer

Turn off the freezer and unplug it

2.Remove food

Transfer all food from the freezer. Transfer food to refrigerators or another freezer while it thaws. If it is winter and the temperature is below zero, you can temporarily store food on a closed veranda or balcony.

3.Remove filling

Remove all drawers and ice trays. Place them in the sink to thaw and wash.

4.Remove drain plugs

Locate the freezer drain plugs (both internal and external) and pull them out. If the outside drain is threaded, connect a garden hose and drain the water into a large bucket, floor drain, or outdoor drain. If not, place a pile of old towels on the floor to soak up the water as the ice melts.

5. Let the freezer defrost

Leave the freezer door open and let the food thaw for the next few hours. Follow the process so you can add and remove towels as needed. Don't try to speed up the process by scraping off the ice - this can damage your freezer.

6.Clean interior

After defrosting the freezer, wipe the inside with an all-purpose cleaner and replace the cap.

7. Reconnect freezer

Plug the freezer back in and set the thermostat to zero.

8. Refill the freezer

When your freezer is back to the right temperature, refill it and you're good to go until next time.

Freezer Defrost Tips

Refer to your freezer manual if you want to speed up the defrosting process. Start by pointing the fan towards the freezer. Mounted high, it will help push cold air out of the freezer so the ice melts faster. On some models, you can also put a pot of hot water in the freezer to speed up the melting. The instruction manual could also include a special scraper.
Take a few minutes to clean the freezer condenser coils and inspect the door gasket.
Do you have things that have been in the freezer for a long time? Find out how long different foods last in the freezer to determine what to throw away. This is not only an issue of cleanliness and space, but also a very important one, since frozen foods can be contaminated and make you sick.
The next time you need to replace your freezer, look for a model with a drain plug that fits a garden hose. This will save you the trouble of soaking up water. If you are not going to defrost your freezer, consider purchasing a freezer as your next model. Handle the task on your own.
Defrosting your freezer increases efficiency and storage space, so take the time to do this regularly. Late winter/early spring is often a good time to take care of this task because there is usually less food left in the freezer after the winter when you ate last year's crop.

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