Recently, I decided to stay indoors (I usually like to hike in my free time) and take care of various home maintenance projects around my current home. One of the tasks I tackled recently was defrosting the freezer. I put off defrosting the freezer off for years because I was normally too sick to work on it. After years of watching the frost build up, I finally had enough and decided to defrost it.
It was my first time defrosting a freezer myself and without any help, so I felt absolutely unprepared and not ready for it. Still, I decided to try it and am very happy to say the freezer is now officially defrosted and looks great. Although I was successful in defrosting my freezer, I learned some things along the way that helped me defrost the freezer better and safely. Here are seven of those tips and tricks I learned.
By the way, my freezer does not have an official defrost function on it. Because of this, all the tips and tricks are best for a freezer that does not have a defrost function on it or for a freezer that you do not what to use the defrost function on it. Also, always be careful when defrosting any freezer. There will be a lot of water and if there are electric sockets near buy, be careful to not let water make contact with them.
Remove All Frozen Items from the Freezer Before Defrosting
This seems like an obvious thing to do, but before defrosting a freezer remove all frozen items. Put them in a cooler with plenty of ice because defrosting a freezer can take a long time. So, make sure to keep all your frozen items cool. If keeping items cold is harder to do, then try to eat as much food as you can before defrosting. That way the food won’t go to waist. Also, this is a good time to take inventory of all your frozen foods and get rid of anything that sat in the freezer too long to eat.
Know Where the Freezer Coils Are
If you’re going to defrost your freezer, it’s important to know where the freezer coils are located. The freezer coils keep the freezer cold, but if you damage them it will cause problems cooling the freezer or worse. Once you figure that you, you can plan ways of working around them.
Be Careful When Using an Ice Pick (Or Play it Safe and Don’t Use One)
Using an ice pick can be a very controversial item to use when using it to defrost a freezer. The reason is because an ice pick is sharp and can puncture freezer coils, sides of the freezer, and it can even cause your to hurt yourself. So always use caution when using one to pick away built up ice. Never use it near the coils. Don’t aggressively use it. Instead, use it to chip the ice away slowly. And when in doubt, just don’t use one, especially if the ice is not built up in large layers.
Be Careful When Using a Heat Gun Near Plastic
Heat guns can be good alternative to remove ice, especially if there are large sheets of ice and you don’t feel comfortable using an ice pick. There is one thing to remember: Heat guns get hot. So, in order to avoid melting any plastic in the freezer, including freezer walls, keep it on a lower setting and try to avoid close contact with plastic if it is set on a higher setting.
If Using a Heat Gun or Blow Dryer to Melt Ice, Use a Waterproof Electric Extension Cord
If you use a heat gun or blow dryer to melt ice, then make sure you use a waterproof electric extension cord. You will be near water so there is a large chance of electrical sock. So, take care and be safe when using a corded electrical device to produce heat. Or, if you’re extremely worried about electrical shock, allow the freezer to defrost without using anything. It may take more time, but it will also be the safest option.
Instead of Turning the Freezer Completely Off, Begin Defrosting By Turning the Freezer’s Cooling Number Down
If your are worried about the ice in your freezer melting too fast, try turning down the freezer’s cooling number down. That way the freezer will warm up slowly, allowing the ice to start to melt slowly. This method of defrosting is ideal if you cannot keep an eye on the freezer at all times or have too many items near the freezer that cannot be moved and could be ruined by the water.
Have Plenty of Towels and Buckets for Water and Ice Ready
Always have plenty of towels and buckets for water and ice ready. Even if you think one or two towels will be enough to catch the water, have at least two dry towels more at the ready. It always amazes me how much water comes out of a freezer, so it’s always a good idea to have towels ready to absorb water whenever the main towels become too soggy. Also, have a bucket or two to capture the water that drips from the ice and to catch any ice that breaks loose and falls from the freezer.