How to Defrost a Refrigerator

Did you know that roughly a third of people don’t clean their fridge before stocking it with more groceries?

Hint: if you’re not cleaning your fridge regularly, you should be.

But what about your freezer? Fortunately, freezer compartments don’t need to be cleaned quite as regularly. 

When they need to be spring cleaned, however, it can feel like a daunting task. Not only do you have to unpack everything, but you also need to wait for all the ice to melt. 

And what do you do about the water that drips out?

Keep reading to find out how to defrost a refrigerator like a kitchen pro. 

What You’ll Need for Defrosting a Refrigerator

Before you start to defrost a refrigerator, it’s a good idea to assemble everything that you need.

Besides any cleaning materials you want to use, you should also have a couple of cooler boxes and some frozen ice packs.

Even if you can defrost a refrigerator quickly, while you are defrosting and cleaning you need to have a way to keep the contents of your fridge/freezer as cold as possible. 

If everything in your freezer is very well frozen, and you have enough ice packs, you should be able to stop the foodstuffs from defrosting in your cooler boxes, providing you work quickly.

Unpack and Turn Off Your Refridgerator

Once your cooler boxes are ready, you can unpack and turn off your refrigerator.

While you are unpacking your refrigerator this is a good opportunity to sort through frozen foodstuffs and chuck out anything that’s old or past its expiry date.

Another good chore to do while you are busy defrosting a refrigerator is swapping out the water filter. If your refrigerator takes Whirlpool water filters, these should be swapped out every 6 months. 

When you have unpacked the contents, the next step in how to defrost a refrigerator is to lay some old towels around the base. This will stop a puddle of water from forming around your refrigerator as the ice melts.

Let the Ice Melt

You can choose to just let the ice melt out of your refrigerator on its own, or you can take steps to speed up the defrost process.

If you want to defrost a refrigerator quickly, you can speed things along by placing a bowl of hot water inside the freezer. Another way to defrost a refrigerator fast is by heating up the ice with a hair dryer.

You can also scrape out the ice if you’re defrosting a refrigerator in a hurry. This works best if you can leave the ice to partially melt and loosen from the sides of the freezer. Once the ice is loose you should be able to pry it out in sheets.

Clean the Interior

Unless this is your first time cleaning a fridge, you probably don’t need a refrigerator guide to tell you what you need to do. But, just in case, here are a few refrigerator tips around cleaning:

  • Don’t use too much soap, as it can be a hassle to wipe out all the residue
  • Soak drawers and shelves in a basin of water to make cleaning easy
  • Don’t use overly harsh cleaners or bleach as this can damage the finish of your refrigerator’s interior

Once you’re done cleaning your fridge, wipe it dry, replace the shelves, repack your food items, and turn it on.

Now You Know How to Defrost a Refrigerator

Tackling ice buildup in your freezer can feel daunting, but now that you know how to defrost a refrigerator, all you’ll need is a couple of hours, some cleaning supplies, and some cooler boxes. 

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