Lifestyle Guides

Five easy steps to defrost your freezer

Here's how to defrost your freezer quickly and easily

An open and defrosted freezer

Defrosting your freezer is important to do as soon as you notice any big build-up of ice. Ice takes up valuable food room, and means your freezer needs to work harder, which will cost you money on your energy bill.

Here’s our five step guide to easy and safe freezer defrosting.


  1. Preparation is key

Stack of tea towels

There are a number of things to prepare before you begin defrosting your freezer. First of all, the food. Your food will need to go somewhere while you defrost the freezer. If you’re fortunate enough to have a chest freezer, clear some space in it beforehand and keep your freezer foods there for the duration.

Otherwise, freeze some ice packs beforehand and prepare a cold space away from sunlight to store your food for the time being. A bathtub is a great for temporary storage. Worst case scenario, wait until your freezer is a little bit emptier and have yourself a frozen food feast!

Once that’s ready, you’ll need to prepare the room for the defrost itself. Clear a space in front of your freezer, and have plenty of towels and rags ready to soak up the water as it defrosts.


  1. Turn the freezer off

Plug turned off

Just leaving the freezer door open won’t be enough, so make sure you’ve turned it off at the wall, and be prepared to wait for the temperature to rise on its own.

You may be tempted to hack the ice away yourself, or pull out a hairdryer – but resist! Remember there’s lots of electronics and machinery involved in a freezer, and you run the risk of damaging it or hurting yourself when you start busting tools out.

Be patient and come back to it in a few hours.


  1. Empty it completely

Empty freezer

Now that the freezer is well and truly starting to defrost is the time to make sure it’s emptied completely. You’ve already put the food somewhere safe, or eaten it, but now take all of the drawers out and place them by the sink – you’ll want to clean and dry them separately before you put them back. They’ll be a lot easier to remove from the freezer once the defrost is taking effect.

The ice will be starting to melt, and you can even scoop out the big chunks by hand once they’re loose. It’s around now that you’ll probably need to wring out or replace the towels when they become saturated with water.


  1. Clean and dry

Cleaning a freezer

Once it’s completely defrosted, now is the time for you to get in there with your cleaning supplies and really freshen up your freezer. Firstly, ensure all the walls and sides are completely dry of water to prevent ice building back up later, and then you can clean away!

Once you’re satisfied, go over it again with a clean towel to ensure it’s dry – otherwise you may find yourself defrosting it again before too long.

And don’t forget to clean and dry the drawers you took out earlier, ready to go back.


  1. Restart and restock

Freezer full of food

Once the freezer and drawers are clean and dry – it’s time to get back to normal! Put the drawers back in the freezer and switch it back on. All you can do now is wait as the freezer drops to the correct temperature of -18°C, which will take a few hours.

Once it’s cold enough, refill it with your frozen goods. This is also the perfect opportunity to get the freezer organised, so you know exactly what’s in there and where everything is.


And you’re finished! You now have a de-iced freezer which is more efficient and spacious than it was when you started.

There’s no set time on how often you need to defrost your freezer, but at least once a year is perfect, and more so if you notice a thick build-up of ice.

Don’t panic if your freezer is ever hit by a power cut either, or is otherwise unexpectedly out of action; we’ll cover your freezer food on every level of Admiral Home Insurance.