How to prevent and easily remove frost build-up in a freezer

Frost build-up in the freezer takes up space, stops the door from sealing and makes food smell. Here's some advice to keep frost from taking over – and how to remove it if it does.

How to prevent and easily remove frost build-up in a freezer

Frost in the freezer can be a hassle for homeowners. It takes up valuable storage space, prevents your door from sealing properly and absorbs bad food smells – not to mention it's simply unpleasant. Even if you have a new freezer that has frost-prevention features, frost can still creep in if it's not properly cared for.

Here are eight simple-to-do strategies to help prevent ice build-up in your freezer, plus eight easy-to-follow steps to effectively get rid of it should it become a problem.

Eight simple-to-do strategies to prevent ice build-up in your freezer

  1. Keep the freezer inside and away from a hot water heater or furnace. Too much heat or cold causes your freezer to work overtime. The result? Frost.
  2. Don't overstock the freezer or leave it too empty. Somewhere in between is ideal for regulating your freezer's temperature.
  3. Break up large packages into smaller, airtight packages. Smaller packages freeze better. Also, make sure you dry each package before placing it in the freezer. Remember: moisture is the enemy.
  4. Limit the amount of time the freezer is open. This will help keep the temperature inside your freezer consistent and cold. You should always make sure the door is properly closed each time you use it.
  5. Clean your freezer seal (often referred to as a gasket) monthly by wiping it down with a soapy cloth. Add bleach if you see mould. If it is ripped or torn, replace it.
  6. Keep the thermostat to just below 0 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius. Make sure this temperature doesn't get bumped up or down when you are moving items around in the freezer.
  7. Don't block your freezer's airflow by pushing it too close to the wall. The coils on (or in the back of) the freezer need some space to cool your freezer efficiently.
  8. Don't place hot items in the freezer. If you are freezing leftovers or hot food, wait until they have cooled to room temperature. This will prevent frost in the freezer and frost-bitten food.

Eight easy-to-follow steps for removing ice from your freezer

If you do have frost in your freezer, don't despair. These eight easy-to-follow steps will help you effectively remove it from your freezer.

  1. Remove all the items from your freezer. Place perishable items in your fridge or cooler. Your fridge will stay cold for a few hours even if it's unplugged.
  2. Throw out anything that has spoiled or been in your freezer for too long.
  3. Unplug your freezer. Or if your freezer is part of your fridge, unplug your fridge.
  4. Boil water and pour it into a clean spray bottle.
  5. Spray the frost with the hot water. It is a good idea to have a lot of towels on hand at this stage to mop everything up.
  6. Thoroughly dry out the freezer. First by hand, and then leave it open for an hour to make sure all the moisture has evaporated.
  7. Restock the freezer. Ensure all items have been thoroughly dried off before placing them back inside.
  8. Plug the fridge or freezer back on.

If you see a heavy sheet of ice on the back panel of your freezer, it may mean you have a bigger problem on hand than a thorough cleaning will address. If you notice this, you may want to call an appliance repair professional to take a look at your freezer.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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