Top 3 Fastest Ways To Defrost Your Freezer

via Flickr/magnetisch

For those of you who still own older refrigerators that don’t have defrost heaters, I bet you’ll all agree what a hassle it is to defrost a freezer thick with ice! It’s such a drag that most give in to the temptation and just go Michaelangelo on it with a hammer and chisel! Well that’s certainly one way to get rid of the ice, but it’s also a good way to punch a hole through your freezer’s coils and render it useless. Not to mention that it’s also terribly unsafe, the sharp tool can easily slip on the ice and hurt your hand. Or worse.

Now there are certainly a number of ways you can get rid of ice from your freezer, but here are the top 3 best ways that will save you time, effort and frustration.

As always, we’d like to remind you to be very, VERY CAREFUL! Take every precaution to minimize slippage or spillage, so make sure to have some towels around. Better if you have some chamois cloth as it is smaller but is highly absorbent. Also have a plastic bucket that you can use to collect the ice after.

Using hot water pans

1. Get a large metal pan with a thin bottom. The thinner, the better as it will allow for better heat transfer.

2. Pad the bottom opening of the freezer with a small towel, so that the pan won’t slip out. This is very important, the pan is very likely to slip out when you fill it with water if you don’t pad the opening!

3. Fill up the pan with hot or boiling water. Better if you can use a kettle and just fill the pan when it is already placed in the freezer.

4. Wait for a bit. The pan will melt through the ice on the bottom, while the steam from it should warm up and

loosen the ice above.

5. Have a plastic or rubber spatula ready. Once a gap between the ice and the freezer ceiling appears, try to push the spatula in between. Keep your hand on the ice to prevent it from falling into the pan as it might splash hot water all over.

6. Keep working the spatula on the remaining blocks or sheets of ice.

Using a hair dryer

Before you begin, make sure that the hair dryer or the outlet it is plugged in doesn’t get wet under any circumstances!

1. Use the highest or hottest setting on your hair dryer and try to melt the ice near the opening of the freezer.

2. As soon as you can see a gap between the ice and the freezer surface, try and push a spatula in between. The idea is to break off and remove the ice pieces before it can melt.

Using a butter knife

via Wikipedia

Again, be very careful as this can get tricky. Do this method only if you have steady hands!

1. Have a pot of hot water ready. This will be used to heat up the butter knife.

2. Warm up the blade of the butter knife.

3. Look for gaps between the ice and the freezer surface. If there are none, use the first two methods to melt a bit of the ice first. Once you can see some gaps, gently push the knife blade in between. The warm blade should slip in, DO NOT STAB or force it in!

4. If the blade slips in, gently push down on the handle so that it will push the ice up. You can also wiggle it a bit, but the idea is to move the blade in such a way that it won’t scratch your freezer surface.

5. Continue to work the knife in the gaps GENTLY until you can break off pieces of the ice.

If you’re really in a hurry, the best and fastest way to remove a thick layer of ice in your freezer, would be to use a combination of all 3 methods. What you’ll want to do is to use the pan of hot water as described in Method 1, and while that’s melting the bottom and top part, use a hair dryer to melt the ice around the opening.

While using the hair dryer, keep the blade of the butter knife in front of the stream of hot air. When it is warm enough, use it to prod through the gaps. Keep the hair dryer pointed at it to keep the warmth up.

Some suggestions also recommend using a squirt bottle to squirt hot water into the gaps. You can do this if you don’t mind the mess.

Now the best thing to do after clearing your freezer of ice would be to keep it frost-free. Frost will inevitably build up in your freezer, but there are things you can do to delay your next defrosting a little longer. Here are some maintenance tips that can help prevent a thick frost buildup in your freezer.

1. Defrost while the layer of ice is still thin. The thinner the frost, the shorter the defrost cycle, and since very little water will drain to your refrigerator’s evaporation pan (or drain pan), you can practically just push the defrost button and forget about it.

2. Avoid leaving the refrigerator door open for prolonged periods. Frost is made when warm air condenses in your freezer, the quicker you close your refrigerator door, the better.

3. Check if the door is sealed tightly. Here’s one quick way to check for a tight seal: put a dollar bill in between the gasket and then close the door. The more difficult it is to pull out, the tighter the seal. If you are able to pull it out easily, then it is time to have your gaskets checked.

4. Lean the refrigerator back just a bit. This will help the door close more easily.

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