How to Defrost a Refrigerator :Best Tips

Defrost a Refrigerator

How often do you need to defrost a refrigerator? 

There are no strict rules, the main thing you need to focus on is the appearance of ice. The refrigerator of the old model without any defrosting system requires frequent defrosting – about once a month. If you have a modern refrigerator or top-freezer fridge with the No frost, Frost free or Full No Frost (two-compressor) system, then one defrost every six months will be enough.

Why do I need to clean the ice? 

A layer of ice, and especially a thick ice coat inside the freezer / refrigerator, not only complicates access to products, but also makes the compressor work with less efficiency, while increasing your electricity bill.

Why is ice forming? 

Ice is caused by warm air entering the refrigerator / freezer while the door is open. If you notice that the ice coat is growing too fast, most often the cause of this is damage to the thermostat or sealing gum.

Defrosting the refrigerator in 8 steps

Step 1. Adjust the temperature of the refrigerator to 0 degrees C / 32 F, then disconnect it from the power and open the hinged door. How to defrost a refrigerator with two compressors? The principle is the same, the only difference is that its chambers can be defrosted in turns or simultaneously.

Step 2. Remove all food from the chamber. 

Here are some ways of storing food while defrosting the refrigerator: Take food out onto the balcony (in winter); Put the food in a saucepan and place in a basin filled with cold water and ice; Put the food in a thermal bag along with bags filled with ice cubes and place it in a dark, cool place. You can buy a thermal pack at a hardware store. The thermal pack can be replaced with foil polyethylene or any reflective insulation material that is sold in hardware stores. 

If your refrigerator is a two-compressor one, you can first defrost the upper chamber and put all the products in the lower compartment, and then do the opposite. Remove all containers, shelves, and racks from the chambers. 

Step 3. If your refrigerator does not have a reservoir for collecting melt liquid, put towels or several layers of newspaper sheets under it, and a pallet on the lower shelf. Usually this measure is required for older models of refrigerators; with modern technology, water is drained into a special sump (most often it is located behind the refrigerator).

Step 4. Now it remains only to wait until the refrigerator defrosts. The natural process of melting an ice coat can take from 3 to 10 hours, depending on the thickness of the ice. It is best to defrost the refrigerator in the traditional way, just leaving it overnight. But if you wish, you can speed up the process with the help of simple actions. First let the refrigerator stand for half an hour, then select one of the following methods for accelerated defrosting and get started.

Methods for accelerated defrosting of the refrigerator

Method 1. Put a hot water bottle filled with hot water in the freezer.

Method 2. Put a plate in the chamber, and a pot of boiling water on it. Change the water as it cools. Do not put pots with boiling water without a board under it. After 30-60 minutes the ice coat will begin to break off.

Method 3. Fill the spray gun with hot water and start spraying the walls of the chamber with it. After 15 minutes or more, the ice will begin to crack.

Method 4. Place a heater opposite the refrigerator so that melt water cannot come into contact with it, and warm air is not directed directly to the rubber seal.

Method 5. Is it possible to defrost the refrigerator with a hairdryer? Yes, if you keep it at a distance of 20-30 cm / 7.8-11.8 inches from the walls of the chamber, distribute the hot air evenly and do not aim it at the rubber gasket. And of course, do not neglect the observance of safety rules and completely exclude the contact of the hair dryer with water.

Method 6. Moisten a rag in hot water and wipe the ice with it. Repeat the procedure until the ice begins to crack.

Undesirable actions

  • Do not chip, scrape or collect ice with a knife. That way you can damage not only plastic, but also the channel underneath, which conducts freon. 
  • When warming an ice coat with a hairdryer or a fan heater, do not direct the flow of hot air directly onto the sealing gum. Otherwise, it will dry out and deform. If this happens, warm air will constantly enter the chamber, which will disrupt the operation of the refrigerator and provoke the rapid appearance of a new ice coat.

Step 5. Remove all melted water and ice from the chamber using a rag.

Step 6. Clean the chambers, shelves and containers, following the recommendations of our article.

Step 7. Using a rag and / or the same hair dryer, dry the walls of the refrigerator to prevent frost formation. Wipe the floor and the area around the appliance dry.

Step 8. Turn on the refrigerator. Wait until the temperature in the chamber drops to normal (this will take about 30 minutes) and start filling the shelves with food.


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