How to Defrost Refrigerator

Useful nuances and tips

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on How to Defrost Refrigerator

Everyone knows that defrosting a refrigerator regularly and in time is a guarantee of its long service. However, people often do it in a bit incorrect way which can lead to different incidents and breaks.

In this article, we will explain how to defrost the fridge correctly and safely.

Stay with us and let’s go!

Everything One Needs to Know About Defrosting a Fridge

If you leave your fridge undefrosted for a long time, sooner or later you will notice quite a thick layer of ice. Such an effect of the extended working period without any defrosting will lead to blocking the cold air circulation inside the fridge which, in its turn, will eventually end up in the food spoiling simply because it will not be able to get cold enough to remain fresh.

In addition, improper defrosting or, on the contrary, a very seldom defrosting may one day lead to the break of the device.

Let’s agree, buying a new fridge only because you didn’t take care of it properly will cost you more than spending some time now and then to mind it as it should be.

Naturally, one needs to know the details of defrosting the fridge since the procedure has certain specifics that need to be taken into account.

Yes, it is necessary to unfreeze the fridge correctly, otherwise, incorrect actions, when being done repeatedly, may lead to some unpleasant results that will affect the device functioning.

defrosting a refrigerator

So what actions need to be taken?

  • First of all, unplug the fridge and leave its door open to let some warm air get inside. If you have a fridge-freezer combo, open the doors of both the freezing camera and the fridge for the same purpose.
  • Take out all the content including foodstuff, drinks, and ice, as well as any frozen items. If you notice that some products have become spoiled or expired, discard them instantly.

Also, take into account that some groceries (for instance, raw chicken meat) can’t be frozen for the second time. So you’d better take care of it and either cook it after unfreezing or consume it before you will be defrosting the fridge. 

  • Most of the fridges have removable shelves. For cleaning them, take the shelves out and immerse them into the sink previously filled with a dishwashing agent mixture combined with water.
  • Now the time has come to deal with the most tricky phase of the procedure. The main goal of the defrosting is to take away all the ice, right? So, if you see that the insides of the fridge have quite a noticeable icy cover, it must be melted.
How to Defrost Refrigerator

For this purpose, either place a bowl with the boiled water inside and leave there shut for some time or use the hairdryer set to the hottest air regime to melt the cavity.

Whatever you may choose, remember to be cautious as you will be in contact both with the water and electrical appliances.

Constantly mop the melted water while working to prevent it from dripping on the hairdryer, for example.

  • After you are done with the ice, wash the fridge from inside including the walls, bottom, and all the shelves and sections. It’s good to use some antibacterial spray meant for the kitchen.
  • Once the fridge is dry, move back all the foodstuff that was previously taken out. 
  • Turn the defrosted fridge on again.

How often does a refrigerator need a defrost? That’s a good question since many of us prefer not to mess with it too often being sure that once-a-year defrost is more than enough. 

However, the regular ice-removing procedure will extend the device’s life significantly. 

The best option would be to defrost it two or three times a year to make sure that no ice cover threatens it.

Of course, if your fridge has an automatic self-defrost option, you don’t need to bother about all this stuff.

How long to defrost the refrigerator? Everything depends on the specific model. If it is a self-defrost one, the procedure will take something like thirty to forty-five minutes. On the other hand, a fridge with the manual defrost system needs several hours for this.

How Long Does It Take to Defrost a Refrigerator Freezer?

In case you are the owner of the fridge-freezer combo, to defrost the refrigerator, you will also have to do the same with the freezing camera.

Respectively, you may wonder whether it will take the same time or longer.

How long to defrost a freezer in the refrigerator? If we are talking about the automatic machine, then it will take care of this by itself.

The manual one, on the contrary, will need several hours to defrost just like the fridge itself.

How often does a refrigerator freezer need a defrost? As often as a fridge requires it since freezing camera tends to produce ice cover even more.

How to Defrost Mini Fridge Guide

Defrosting a Fridge
Photo by Daria Shevtsova: Pexels

Of course, mini-fridges are not that frequent things in our homes, however, if you have one, it would be useful to learn how to take care of it.

In fact, defrosting a mini-fridge doesn’t differ much from a similar process done with the ordinary fridge. 

  • Unplug it and take out all the content.
  • Put a towel or a tray underneath the device to collect the water when it starts melting.
  • Leave it overnight and clean everything in the morning including mopping the liquid, drying the cavity and shelves (wash them previously if needed).
  • Put back the groceries and turn the device on.

How long does it take to defrost a mini-fridge? Normally, when being left overnight, it will thaw completely.

How often should you defrost a mini-fridge? Twice a year would be fine to keep it working, however, consider your device specifics: if it produces ice sooner, then clean it more often.

So now you know all the vitally important things about defrosting fridges that will allow going through the process correctly and easily.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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