Buying a freezer without an automatic defrost function saves electricity, but commits you to defrosting the freezer periodically. There are several reasons why ice builds up in a freezer, including the freezer having poor air circulation, being too full or being located in a humid place. Mostly, however, ice builds up when you repeatedly open and close the freezer door.
Follow these steps to defrost either an upright freezer or a chest freezer:
- Unplug the freezer.
- Empty the contents. Move them to the refrigerator or an ice-filled cooler to protect them while the freezer defrosts.
- Prop the door open and wait for the ice to melt. This may take several hours. You can speed up the process by placing a pot of hot water inside the freezer and closing the door. If you only have a small amount of ice to remove, using a hair dryer for a few minutes can help melt the ice. Don’t try to chisel away the ice as it can damage your freezer’s interior and its components.
- Catch the water from the melting ice. If your freezer has a drain system, remove the drain cap located on the floor of the freezer and pull the drain hose out through the opening. Put a pan under the hose. If your freezer doesn’t have a drain system, use towels, rags or sponges to sop up the melted ice.
- Wipe the freezer clean, return the items to the freezer and plug it in.