How to defrost a freezer

Roll up your sleeves, it’s time to tackle the second ice age that's gathering in your freezer

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Keeping your freezer in tip-top shape involves knowing how to defrost a freezer when the ice really starts to build up. If you’re wondering ‘how do I defrost my freezer?’ here’s a simple, step-by-step guide.

How do I defrost my freezer?

The best way to defrost a fridge freezer starts with good preparation before you begin. That means clearing space to store any food that you’re taking out and getting the necessary equipment ready. You’ll need a bowl, plastic scraper, scrubbing brush, cleaning spray and plenty of absorbent kitchen paper. Lay down towels at the base of your freezer to catch the water.


The best way to defrost a freezer is to use super-absorbent kitchen towel to clean and soak up water on the inside. Plenty The Extra Big One gets the job done. They’re extra-large, easy to use and extremely durable.

Once you’ve got everything ready, you can get started!

Step-by-step guide on how to defrost a freezer

1. Turn your freezer off. The quickest way to defrost a freezer is to switch it off while you are getting everything else ready. Turn it off at the socket, remove the plug and leave the door wide open so the defrosting process can begin.

2. Clear out all food. Ideally, you’d defrost your appliance when it was empty or nearly empty, or be able to put your frozen food in another freezer. However, most foods can be refrozen. As long as you keep them in a cool space they shouldn’t spoil.

3. Remove drawers and shelves. Once you’ve got all the food out, the best way to defrost a freezer quickly is to get all of the removable items out. Drawers, shelves, bottle holders etc. Don’t force anything out, though: you might have to wait for the ice to melt a little first.

4. Melt the ice. Once you’ve removed everything, you could just wait for the ice to melt – but if you want to defrost freezer quickly, there are ways to speed it up:

  • Hot bowl of water: An easy way to defrost freezer surfaces is to place a bowl hot water at the base. The steam will loosen and melt the ice much quicker than just letting nature take its course.
  • Scraping: Simply take your plastic scraper and carefully knock at the ice. It might take a little longer than the hot water method, but there’s something very satisfying about breaking off large chunks. Combine the two methods and you could get the task done even more quickly.
  • Hot cloth: Like the hot water method, another easy way to defrost freezer interiors is to wipe at the ice with a hot cloth and let the heat do its work.

5. Clean your freezer. That’s the quickest way to defrost a freezer – now, onto cleaning it. Once all the ice has melted, you can wipe away any leftover residue. The moisture itself will help to loosen any stubborn marks, but you may need to use a little household cleaner and elbow grease to finish the job. Make sure you get into all the corners and hard-to-reach places – use a soft brush to scrub away any leftover marks. Finally, wipe down and dry the interior with super-absorbent kitchen paper.

6. Clean your shelves and drawers. Give the fixings, seal and door a good clean. Then you can put everything back into your freezer and turn it back on.

There you have it, a simple method to defrost freezer quickly and cleanly. Now you know how, this job will be a whole lot easier to do, and you’ll be moving onto cleaning the fridge in no time!

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