Home generalDefrost the freezer: that's how it works! | How and how often do you clean the freezer?

Defrost the freezer: that's how it works! | How and how often do you clean the freezer?

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In addition to the refrigerator, the washing machine and the oven, freezers are one of the essential household appliances and facilitate the storage of perishable food over a long period of time. For this reason, it is important that the freezer is regularly defrosted and cleaned, as this is the only way to regulate the function and energy consumption. The defrosting is helpful especially on stubborn ice.

Cleaning and defrosting the freezer is an important step that many people rarely take. Over time, a layer of ice forms inside the device, which gets thicker and thicker. This leads to increased power consumption, as more energy must be expended to cool the compartments. This will make the ice layer thicker until all compartments in the chest are completely iced and there is not even room for food left. From then on you would also have to notice the increased energy consumption on your electricity bill. This is where de-icing comes in, which together with a cleaning process ensures that you store energy-efficient refrigerated goods.


How often you need to defrost and clean the freezer depends on the age, functions and condition of your freezer. The season also plays an important role, because especially over the summer time, the device must spend more energy to compensate for the warm indoor air.

The following appointments should be noted:

  • older models twice a year: late spring and late autumn
  • modern appliances once a year: period from December to February

More often, the freezer does not have to be defrosted or cleaned unless the ice layer forms within a short time. If so, you should opt for a new model or hire an electrician for review. Maybe your machine has a defect and that is the reason for the strong ice formation. Often this is related to the thermostat if it is damaged or incorrectly set.

Tip: If you own a modern freezer that has an automatic defrosting function (no-frost), you do not have to free the machine from the ice itself unless it is ice. However, as with the fridge, do not forget to clean the freezer as described above.


Clean chest freezer and defrost: Preparation

Before you can defrost the freezer, you need to make some preparations. These protect your perishable food and your home from flooding when the ice melts. First, you have to worry about when you want to clean the freezer. In the deep winter you can sit on the cool outside temperatures and keep your food there. Wrap them individually in newspaper and place them in a tray that you place on the balcony, terrace or in the garden. Over the rest of the year, you must rely on the following aids.

  • other freezers or chests
  • freezers
  • Cooler bags equipped with rechargeable batteries

If you do not have any of the above storage options, you should first defrost the freezer once you have consumed or used all the food from the freezer. While this is not an ideal solution for many households that are leftover, it is necessary to save energy in the long term. Once you have decided on a storage option, prepare the utensils to clean and de-ice the freezer.

  • absorbent cloths
  • rubber scraper
  • Baking sheet or another flat container
  • dish soap
  • Vinegar with heavy soiling
  • Cleaning or kitchen towels
  • soft sponges

You no longer need more to clean your freezer and rid it of ice. Make sure that the flat bowl can be placed so that it attaches directly to the edge of the freezer. This is the only way to protect the soil from the thawing water, which is especially important for wooden floors. Make sure you have the cleaning utensils ready so you do not have to leave the freezer switched off for too long.

Tip: If you have good relationships with your neighbors, you can offer them to keep your groceries while you defrost your freezer. Of course, friends or family are also good at this.


Defrost and clean the freezer: Instructions

Now you can defrost and clean the freezer. It is important that you take these two actions in sequence to prevent unnecessary work and save power.

Follow this guide:

1. Begin cleaning up the food if you have not used it before. Make sure that frozen liquids can only be stored in a different location as soon as they are in a closed container. Ice cubes can only be stored in proper freezers, as they thaw quickly and lose their shape. That's why it usually does not pay to store them elsewhere.

2. After emptying the freezer, remove all trays . The more space there is in the freezer, the faster it can defrost. In addition, it makes cleaning easier, because you can clean the compartments separately in the sink.

3. Turn off the device or unplug the device. If you have a fridge-freezer combination of your own, you must press the corresponding button that switches off the freezer. Modern devices can be operated separately, while older models can not use this function. In this case, you must also keep the food in your refrigerator somewhere else.

4. Now leave the door open so that the ice can melt. Do not use salt or hot water to speed up defrosting. The reason for this are the sensitive surfaces inside the device, which could be damaged by the steam or salt crystals. In the worst case, there are fine cracks, from which emerges cooling liquid. In this case you would have to replace the device. Place the baking sheet or flat bowl in front of the freezer and place enough cloths around the appliance. This will catch you more water.

5. While you are defrosting the freezer, you can use the rubber scraper to remove already thawed ice. You should also repeatedly pour out the bowl and change the cloths. The defrosting lasts on average two to six hours, depending on the thickness of the ice. In very bad cases, even more than twelve hours can pass.

6. After defrosting , immediately clean the freezer. To do so, first take detergent and water and help with stubborn stains with vinegar. Do not forget to clean the rubber seals and inner door. But do not use vinegar for the rubber seal, only the detergent.

7. Finally, dry the entire freezer as much as possible. Absorbent wipes or paper towels are suitable for this, as even a little moisture in the freezer restores the formation of ice again. After that, you can put the device back in, of course after you've cleaned the trays and turn it back on.

8. Wait until the freezer is cool enough again before adding food, otherwise it could be bad.

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