The Best Way To Speed Up Defrosting Your Chest Freezer

Defrosting your chest freezer can be one of those long, drawn-out chores that you put off and avoid at all costs. According to For Freezing, most chest freezers don't have a defrost function and will need to be manually defrosted when the ice builds up. If your freezer is full of food, this can be irritating as you may not have anywhere else to store it — and you probably don't want to eat all the food before tackling the ice build-up.

Whirlpool suggests that if the ice inside your chest freezer is very thick, it can take as long as 24 hours. While you wait for this, make sure you put your frozen items in cool bags and use this opportunity to take inventory of the frozen items and get rid of anything that's past its best. If you don't have 24 hours to spare, or simply don't want to spend that long on one household chore, what is the best way of speeding up this process?

Hot water

The enemy of ice is heat. So one method that speeds up the defrosting process involves the use of hot water. With this in mind, For Freezing suggests putting a bowl of boiling water inside your freezer and changing the water every 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to put the bowl on a towel and not straight onto the bottom of the freezer. The extreme heat could damage the inner working of your freezer if it comes into direct contact with it.

Something else to check for is whether or not your chest freezer has a drain. Some have a handy pipe attachment, to drain all the melted water away. If your freezer doesn't have that, you will need some towels to soak up the excess water. Summit suggested leaving the freezer door open to speed up the defrosting process too, as closing the door would keep the cold in and it would take longer overall to fully defrost.

What next?

Once you've defrosted your freezer, what's the next step? After removing all the defrosted water from the bottom of your chest freezer, the next thing to do is clean it thoroughly, says Marina View Homes. One way to do this is to make up a solution of baking soda and water at a ratio of 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups of water. This solution will clean the freezer and get rid of any smells that may be lingering inside. Marina View Homes also warns against using chemicals for this cleaning in case they damage any of the plastic components inside your chest freezer. 

Finally, dry off the inside, and leave it for 10 minutes to ensure it is completely dry, otherwise, any water left inside will refreeze and give new ice a place to start reforming. If you've got frozen food waiting to go back into the freezer, wait 1 hour after switching the freezer on and then replace the frozen items, and that's it, your freezer is defrosted quickly and efficiently and ready to use.