5 Tricks To Help Quickly Defrost Your Freezer

The freezer is unarguably the most resourceful appliance in the kitchen. According to CNN Business, 100% of American homes own one, and up to 23% possess more than just one fridge-slash-freezer. The underlying factors behind this are not so far-fetched; not only does a freezer help you preserve foods, but it also gives you an edge over perishable goods and ensures that you have them for much longer, even when out of season, via Thermocool.

Since the freezer is integral to a functional kitchen, it is crucial to maintain the appliance. It is important to defrost periodically or once the frost is higher than ¼ or 1 inch to ensure your freezer meets or surpasses its 12 to 20 years warranty, per Mr. Appliance. While newer freezer models have a self-defrosting feature, older models do not. This leads us to the question of quickly defrosting a freezer. While the logical thing to do is to switch off the freezer and leave it to defrost, it is not so brilliant. This activity could take as many as 16 hours, and who has that time? So, today we'll share all our tips and tricks to defrost a freezer in five to six hours. Read on!

1. Employ a blow dryer or a vacuum

The key here is applying safe heat. After turning off the freezer, your first task is to remove all the food and items. Afterward, take out multiple tarps and towels, then place them at the bottom of the freezer. The logic is that when the ice begins to melt and turn into water, you can use the pieces of clothing to soak it up. This way, you wouldn't have a mess on your hands. The other alternative is to take the freezer outdoors or to a garage for a tidy cleanup, writes Whirlpool.

Plug your blow dryer and stand at least 6 inches away from the freezer. Aim the blow dryer to the freezer wall, and release the heat. Continue moving in a vertical motion until the ice begins to shift. Here, you can decide to continue with the blow dryer or scrape out the ice. Similarly, as an alternative to the blow dryer, CompactAppliance recommends using a vacuum with the smallest nozzle to achieve the same effect.

2. Use a fan

Another effective method for defrosting your freezer is placing a standing fan right in front of the device or above it until all the frost and ice are melted enough to be scraped away, via Whirlpool. However, for this method to work, there has to be enough heat circulating in your home. To fix the heat problem, consider heating your home using a furnace or increasing the thermostat. Ideally, the temperature should be between 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, per Aireserv. You're trying to defrost a freezer, not cook the home's inhabitants.

Once the heat problem is solved, open up your freezer and secure the door with an object, especially if the door tends to swing shut on its own. Once done, place the fan about four inches away from the freezer, secure the bottom with towels and clothes, and turn on the fan. This process should take between four to six hours.

3. Utilize steam

One of our favorite methods of defrosting a freezer is by utilizing steam. This method is easy and has little chance of damaging your freezer. Since you'll be working in layers, start by removing your freezer trays and racks. Next up, you would require about five to ten ceramic bowls, depending on the dimensions of your freezer. Boil about 5 liters of water and then pour them into the bowl. Stop the water at about 3 to 5 inches for safety. Then, layer the hot water bowls in your freezer and shut it while the steam works. 

Moving on, the experts at Shark Cleaning Hacks say to replace the hot water bowls every 15 minutes for maximum efficiency. You could decide to follow through with this method until all the ice and frost come off the walls and edges of your freezer. Or, after repeating the process three to five times, you could attempt to use an ice scraper to get the job done faster, via CompactAppliance.

4. Scrape the ice with or without heat

If you wouldn't be employing heat, you could always defrost your freezer by scraping out all of the ice. However, this method requires the same caution as handling an egg. Start by purchasing an ice scraper. Often these come in plastic, and some models come in metal, brass, and stainless steel; you can buy one for less than $10 on Amazon. Turn off the freezer and leave it to defrost on its own for one to two hours. Secure the scrapper behind the ice and apply a little pressure to pop it off. Alternatively, you should shave it by working from the top of the ice until you're done.

A quicker way to get this done is to heat a spatula. You could either dunk it in hot water, via CPD Online College or place it over a stove. For safety purposes, pick up the hot spatula with a mitten or wrap a cloth over its handle. Then, using the heated spatula, shave off the ice until it's all defrosted.

5. Employ hot cloth and alcohol

If you paid attention in Chemistry class, this tip should be familiar. According to the experts at Sciencing, alcohol and salt can melt ice faster, and this is because salt replaces water molecules making it quite impossible for water and ice to coexist at freezing point. On the other hand, alcohol significantly brings down water's freezing temperature such that it isn't cool enough to freeze or stay frozen.

To use this old chemistry trick, start by making a solution with hot water and a whole lot of salt, then dip a piece of cloth into the hot water; afterward, submerge the fabric into alcohol –– preferably rubbing alcohol –– and press it along the edges of the ice. Continue vertically until the ice melts and begins to shift. Carry out the method until you're done, or employ a scraper to get the rest of the ice out. Finally, mix baking soda and water to wash out the freezer once all the ice and frost are gone. According to Working Capital Review, this helps to deodorize your freezer, making it suitable for subsequent use.