When the freezer has stood for a long time and frosted, the inside is rather like a winter landscape in miniature with ice blocks and snowdrifts in piles. We are many who sigh deeply when it is time to defrost and gladly procrastinate the work for as long as possible. But defrosting the freezer doesn’t have to be that difficult. If you do things in the right order you will soon have a freezer in top condition.
1. Empty and switch off the freezer
This point is hardly a surprise. The freezer must be emptied of food. You can try to set as much as possible in the fridge or in a cooler bag. A smart alternative is to defrost in the winter if you live in a could country. This way you can place your food outdoors without ruining it.
Once you are running and emptying the freezer, you can take the opportunity to sort out things that have actually been forgotten in the inner freezer compartment a little too long. A popular trick for engaging the kids is to get them to empty the freezer and let them eat up any ice cream that might be there.
2. Protect the floor
To avoid flooding it is good to cover the floor in front of the freezer with towels and prepare a long boiler in which the meltwater can run down. If you are going to freeze a freezer box, there is usually a stopper or a small beep in the bottom that is used to guide remove the melt water. You must remove it before you start defrosting.
3. Remove loose lumps of ice
If the freezer really has frozen to the right, there are probably loose lumps of ice that you can remove by hand. Try to get as much ice as possible, so defrosting is faster.
4. Place a bowl of warm water in the freezer
To further speed up the process, set a bowl or saucepan of really hot water in the freezer and leave it for 5 – 10 minutes. The water does not completely melt the ice but it loosens the ice so you can scrape it off more easily.
Do not use electrical appliances such as a toaster or hairdryer to melt the ice. Firstly, you can damage the freezer and secondly, electricity and water are a dangerous and bad combination.
5. Gently scrape off the ice
Once the ice has released something, you can scrape it off. It is important that you use a scraper that does not scratch the freezer, e.g. a wood shovel. It is tempting to chop in the ice, but preferably avoid this as you run the risk of creating dents and marks on the freezer.
6. Clean the freezer
When the freezer is properly defrosted, you can take the opportunity and give it an inside cleaning. Use a cloth dipped in water and some detergent. Afterwards, dry with a dry cloth and return all frozen goods. Voilà – the freezer is in great again!