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Caring For Your Freezer: Reducing Ice Build Up

It's a common thing to see a build up of frost and ice in your freezer, and - let's admit it - most of us ignore it thinking it is fine. However, excessive ice is a problem that shouldn't be ignored. If you see the ice in your freezer building up to more than 1cm, then it's definitely time to give your freezer some TLC.

Defrost Regularly

It's essential to make sure you regularly defrost your freezer semi-regularly. Many defrost their freezer once a year, but in reality, this can vary from freezer to freezer. It's advised to complete a defrost every time your freezer builds up that centimetre of ice.

How Do You Defrost A Freezer?

If you've never defrosted a freezer, or just want some tips on how best to defrost your freezer, read below for our instructions.

What Do You Need?

  • Towels

  • Newspaper

  • Optional

  • All purpose cleaner

  • A bowl of hot water

  1. Switch the freezer off, and unplug it from the power.

  2. Empty all food from your freezer. Store it in coolers, or another freezer. Or, just eat it!

  3. Find your freezer's drain plugs. There should be an interior and exterior. Pull these out. If the exterior drain is threaded, attach a garden hose and divert the water to a large bucket or outside. If it isn't then simply lay down newspaper and old towels to soak up the water as the ice melts.

  4. Leave the freezer door open and allow it to defrost over the next several hours. If you wish to speed up the process, you can place a bowl of hot water in the middle - the heat will help thaw the ice quicker.

  5. Make sure to keep an eye on things, just in case you need to replace sodden towels. Do not try to speed things up by scraping the ice. This can damage your freezer.

  6. Once fully defrosted, wipe down the interior and then replace the drain plugs.

  7. Plug the freezer back in and set the thermostat to 0. When your freezer is back to temperature, replace the food and you will be set until the ice builds back up.

  8. How To Prevent Ice Building Up?

    So, of course, everyone wants to put off having to defrost their freezer. So, how can you prevent ice building up, reducing the amount you need to defrost your freezer?

    Try these steps:

    • The most important part of your freezer to maintain is the door seal. Over time, this part will wear and become damaged. Initially, most can become stretched and misshaped. You can try correcting this by using a hairdryer, gently moulding the seal back in to place. However, if this isn't working, or the seal is damaged completely, it's important to replace it. If the seal is not functioning, warm air will be able to enter your freezer.

    • Limiting air entering your freezer is vital for reducing ice build up. When air enters, moisture is carried in, increasing the risk of ice forming. Try limiting the amount of time your freezer is open.

    • It's also important to not overfill your freezer. This can prevent air from circulating which can increase the ice building up. It can also risk the door not being able to close, which again can let air creep into the device.

    • Keep your freezer at the ideal temperature of -18 degrees C. This temperature means food can be stored safely without bad bacteria forming. However, if the temperature is too low, frost will build up quickly. To check the actual temperature of your freezer, place a thermometer between two bags of vegetables or something similar, and then check back after 6-8 hours to see the temperature.

    By following these tips, you can care for your freezer, keeping it working at optimum conditions, meaning the machine will perform for longer, and save you money on energy bills.