Though it may not be fun, defrosting the freezer is part of running a home, just like cleaning the oven. Maybe you’re an organised type who wants to keep your freezer at its best. Or are you so tired of waiting for ice to melt that you’re ready to attack it with a spatula? Not so fast — we’re here to tell you how to defrost a freezer safely and with minimum effort.

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How to manually defrost a freezer

The steps we’ll outline here give basic advice on how to defrost the majority of freezers. At the same time, we recommend you check the manufacturer’s guidance for any specific steps for your particular freezer.

1. Switch off the freezer

First, switch the freezer off and leave its door open. If the room is warm, that will help speed up the thawing. You might try turning up the heating a bit in that room as well.

2. Put down towels

Prepare for melting ice by laying towels at the bottom of the freezer and along the floor in front of it. Even a thin layer of ice around the inside of the freezer can create more water than you’d expect.

3. Add bowls of hot water

Get some bowls of hot water and place them on the freezer shelves, being careful to handle the water safely. The heat will raise the temperature in the freezer faster than the air in the room would alone, which helps to thaw the ice.

4. Scrape the ice (softly)

It’s tempting to hack at the ice with something sharp, but you don’t want to damage your freezer. You might crack a shelf or puncture the freezer coils, meaning you need a repair or even a whole new freezer

5. Dry things out

When the ice has all melted, it’s time to give the freezer a thorough wipe down inside with towels or cloths. This is important because any water left over will turn into ice when you switch the freezer back on.

Have questions?

We've got the answers.

We hope this has helped to answer your questions about how to defrost a freezer. Don’t forget, we have lots more helpful advice for your appliances and around the home — take a look at our latest articles.

About the author

Josh Allen

Josh is a copywriter at Domestic & General who works across our digital journeys and beyond. Starting out in journalism and travel writing 10 years ago, he's since turned his hand to technology and insurance. Josh is also a published short story writer with a novel in the works, and he's known to twang a tune on the guitar and banjo.

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