Defrost a Freezer – DIY Hacks (2017 Tutorial)

How to defrost a freezer. Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at DIY hacks as well as those the house cleaner and maid service use.

Clean my space and defrost a freezer! Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru’s got you covered in this 2017 tutorial. Using coolers, ice chests, stackable bins to defrost a freezer has never been easier.

If you’re a homeowner looking for tips, look no further than a hair dryer to melt ice in your freezer. Hang on, now you’re the savvy cleaner.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: How To Defrost a Freezer

Now today’s question comes from a homeowner who wants to know, “Angela, can you tell us the quickest, easiest way to clean out one of those big garage freezers?”

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Answer: How To Defrost a Freezer the Easy Way

Okay, I love this question because this is one of those tasks that nobody enjoys doing. And if you want to hire a house cleaner, a lot of will do it for an extra 30 to 50 bucks.

But if you want to do it yourself, it’s going to take you three or four hours. So here’s the easiest, quickest, most effective, most efficient way to get that done.

Items You’ll Need to Defrost A Freezer

defrost a freezer - supplies you will need

You’re going to need a couple of things.

Get a rubber spatula that is hard plastic so that you can scrape the ice. Because you will be doing some of that by hand.  Then you’ll need a cookie sheet or a baking sheet. So that you can scrape the ice onto it once you scraped that out of your freezer. And you’ll need some towels. As the ice melts, you’ll wipe up the excess water unless you have a drain at the bottom of the freezer.  Some newer freezers allow you to attach a garden hose to drain the floor pan. 

How to Defrost a freezer, thick ice on ceilingDetermine Whether to Keep or Toss Old Food

If you are a maid service or house cleaner, ask the homeowner if they want you to toss old food.

Or if they just want you to rearrange it. 

As a homeowner, you get to decide to keep or toss the food. 

Clean The Area Around the Freezer

Move all items around and on top of the freezer. You’ll need to clear a space so you can pull the freezer out and unplug it. 

If you don’t unplug it, it will make it near impossible to thaw out the globs of ice. 

Defrost a Freezer on a Summer Day

A warm spring or summer day is perfect for defrosting your freezer. The warm temperature will help the freeze thaw. If you attempt to clean your freezer in twenty-degree weather, nothing will melt. 

Get Some Coolers or Ice Chests 

How to Defrost a freezer coolers

Ice chests and coolers will give you a place to put your food while you’re emptying the freezer. You may also want to get a garbage can or a big garbage bin to toss old food in.

With the coolers open, unload the freezer as fast as possible. You don’t want lag time between the freezer and coolers. 

If you’re the homeowner, you may want to make decisions as you go about food rotation. Some of the food you may want to thaw and eat in the next few days. 

The foods you want to eat, you can take inside. 

Let Nature Thaw the Ice How to Defrost a Freezer by unpacking food, put in coolers

Once you’ve unplugged the freezer and emptied it, you have a choice. 

You can let nature thaw the ice, or you can help it a bit with a hair dryer. 

Getting the ice to melt is what takes defrosting a freezer so long. 

If you are a maid service,  you want to do everything up to this point BEFORE you begin cleaning the rest of the house. It will take a couple of hours for the freezer to thaw. 

If you are a homeowner, cleaning the freezer is a good weekend day project. Go run your errands or do laundry and come back in a few hours to finish up. 

How to Defrost a freezer with hair dryer on hotGrab a Hair Dryer

If you are the housekeeper and have to finish the freezer before you leave, you may want to use a hair dryer to speed things up.

Make sure the hair dryer’s plugged into an extension cord grounded in a GFI outlet. And you want to make sure that the cord does not get wet.

Turn the hair dryer on hot and melt the ice using electricity and heat. 

It will speed the process from three or four hours to forty minutes. 

Whether you use a hair dryer or let nature melt the ice, you will still have chunks of loose ice. 

Use a Hard Rubber Spatula and a Cookie Sheet 

How to Defrost a Freezer using a rubber spatula

Once you have some loose chunks of ice, use your rubber spatula to scrape the shelves of the freezer. 

Dump the baking sheet of ice chunks in the driveway. It’s just frozen water and will melt without making a mess. 

The reason we use a rubber spatula is so we don’t damage the freezer coils or elements in the freezer. You don’t want to use anything with a force that will harm the freezer or you’ll be paying to replace it. 

How to Defrost a Freezer wipe out shelves with paper towelDisinfect and Sanitize the Freezer 

Once all the ice has melted, grab an all purpose disinfectant. Spray down the inside of the freezer walls and inside of the door.

A good combination is 50% White vinegar and 50% water with a couple of drops of dish soap. 

Use a Towel to Dry Out the Freezer

Dry out the shelves of the freezer before plugging it back in. If you don’t dry it out, the drops will turn back into ice once you plug the freezer in. 

Thawed, clean and dry, you can plug the freezer in and repack the food. 

Use Stackable Storage Bins with Air Tight Lids How to Defrost a Freezer then put food back

Instead of just cramming a bunch of odd shaped bags and items in the freezer, use plastic storage bins with air tight lids.

This will help categorize food types. 

Have a bin for bread and pastries. Another bin for frozen vegetables. One for poultry, one for fish etc. 

Stacking storage bins allow you to fit more things in your freezer. 

And it makes inventory simple. At a glance, you can see if you’re running low on a particular item. 

 If you have storage stacking bins, it makes stacking a freezer so easy. And it makes it super easy when you decide you’re going to defrost it next time. You just pull those stackable bins and stick those inside a cooler.

How to Defrost a Freezer, job well doneColor Code or Use Clear Bins

For easy access use color coded bins to separate food types. Or you can go the clear bin route with a label. 

Whatever method you use be consistent. Encourage everyone who removes and replaces food from your freezer to use the system. 

Rotate Food On A Regular Basis

Out of sight out of mind is how most people treat their garage freezers. Having a clean freezer and an easy to use system allows for easy food rotation. 

  • Clean Out the Coolers and Ice Chests
  • Before your project is complete, rinse any dishes you’ve emptied, your plastic spatula and baking sheet. Wipe out the coolers and ice chests. 
  • Return the garbage bin to the side of the house after you’ve tossed any old food. 
  • If you use cloth towels, put them in the laundry. 
  • Return your hair dryer to the drawer or cupboard it came from.

How Often Should You Defrost a Freezer?

The answer depends on how bad it is. Two or three times a year is average. The key is to stay on top of it so it’s easy to maintain and energy efficient. 

I hope that helps. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. 

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DIY: 365 Days of DIY: A Collection of DIY, DIY Household Hacks, DIY Cleaning and Organizing, DIY Projects, and More DIY Tips to Make Your Life Easier – http://amzn.to/2wHuyyO

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DIY Home Projects Box Set (3 in 1): Simple DIY Ideas For Home Improvements And Decorating Your Space (Simple Living, DIY Hacks, Declutter, Creative DIY – http://amzn.to/2wmOJQi

37 Stress-Free Ways to Declutter Your Home – http://amzn.to/2goEVRW

Cluttered to Clean: How to Declutter Your Home in 3 Easy Steps – http://amzn.to/2wQOVdy

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About @SavvyCleaner // Angela Brown

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru // Founder of SAVVY CLEANER // Author of the book: How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company