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Defrosting a freezer


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Old 01-02-2013, 01:01
Ignazio
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I'm ashamed to admit that I've never defrosted a freezer in my life - I have a fantastic housekeeper/treasure - call her what you will - who does that for me. Sadly, due to a family bereavement, she's taken extended leave of absence and the tasks she accomplishes with ease are building up - one of which is the freezer.

I know that when I switch off the electricity any accumulated ice will defrost and I can catch the water in bowls or buckets etc. but what do I do with the food whilst the defrosting process takes place?

This is not a task I'm anticipating with any pleasure.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:03
jenzie
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eat the food first? that's what i did, made sure there wasn't food in it

or if you can put some in the fridge .....
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:32
Pixie Queen
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This could take a few hours - Get a hair dryer and boil the kettle. Bowls, pots or trays will be needed along with towels.

Open the door and get the bowls and towels sorted out. Switch the bugger off, take the food from the freezer and get ready.

If the freezer isn't too bad it wont take long. If it's my mum's freezer (yak yak "it's self defrosting" yak yak = not been defrosted in 8 years) it could take all night.

Take a bowl of boiling water and place it in the empty switched off freezer. Have towels up near the door and a bowl underneath to catch what you can. Let the steam do it's work. Mop up and get to with more bowls of boiling water and the hairdryer- I find starting on low heat works better than on high straight away.Go low then middle then high if your hairdryer has the options. Now you MUST empty out the bowls of water. Prod, DO NOT POKE OR STAB, gently at the built up ice. If bits of ice fall off toss them in the sink. Wring out and replace the towels round the door at the floor.

As I said this can take a good bit of time and you could find new uses for towels and spatulas.

It may seem a faff but if you have to do this once with a freezer it's more than enough. It means you know to defrost at regular time intervals.

I apologise if my How to defrost a freezer offends or comes across as patronising but this is how I instructed my niece. She's a very intelligent and very well educated woman in a very demanding job and she didn't have a clue. She was a student at the time and moved into a new flat. The freezer was all ice. The flat was gorgeous and in a really great part of Glasgow but the ancient freezer hadn't been defrosted since it was new in 1963

Good luck with your defrosting. My "self defrosting" freezer needs done again soon. The door opening thing buggers up the no ice thing on freezers

FOOD - if it's chicken or fish cook and eat ASAP. Most other things like chips will be okay if just a bit cold to bung back in the freezer again.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:38
Tiggergirl
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Usually try to make sure the freezer is as empty as possible before doing it so that you aren't wasting anything. Or if you have a coolbox etc put the food in there with ice packs.

My other naughty thing that I do to speed up defrosting my freezer is I tackle it with a hairdryer I know I'm completely naughty doing that and I should do it properly but if I'm in a hurry and I need it defrosted thats what I do (obviously taking food out and switching it off first) now going to wait on the lectures on not defrosting your freezer with a hairdryer.

Also make sure you put towels etc down as well as bowls it's amazing just where the water can get.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:52
c4rv
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What I do is to run the supply of frozen goods. Then switch off the freezer with everything still inside. I freezer will safely keep food frozen for at least a couple of hours when empty, much longer if full if the door is not opening. TBH, I have done this the night before on a fairly full fridge without problems..

If you have a cooler box/bag then get that, else a cardboard box with a couple of towels with suffice.
Empty the freezer and food should be fine for an hour or two while you tackle the freezer which should be pretty easy as all the ice will have been loosened. Once lose you should just be able to that ice out in chunks. GENTLE tapping with a rolling pin or similar object should help.

Once emptied, make sure switch the freezer back on for an hour or so before you put your food back in.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:19
gemma-the-husky
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try to put the food in boxes. It will be OK for an hour or so.you might lose a bit, but most will be OK.

put saucepans of hot water in the freezer, until you get the ice off. keep changing them. don;t hack at the ice with a wallpaper scraper, but you can gently prise it off.

slow process, but once it starts coming off, its quite quick after that.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:19
Pixie Queen
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If you have a cooler box/bag then get that, else a cardboard box with a couple of towels with suffice.
Empty the freezer which should be pretty easy as all the ice will have been loosened. Once loose you should just be able to that ice out in chunks. GENTLE tapping with a rolling pin or similar object should help.

Once emptied, make sure switch the freezer back on for an hour or so before you put your food back in.
Fantastic advice - the little hint about the towels and boxes is great. Even if you don't have boxes wrap the food in towels and store in something quite tightly.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:42
Ignazio
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This could take a few hours - Get a hair dryer and boil the kettle. Bowls, pots or trays will be needed along with towels.

Open the door and get the bowls and towels sorted out. Switch the bugger off, take the food from the freezer and get ready.

If the freezer isn't too bad it wont take long. If it's my mum's freezer (yak yak "it's self defrosting" yak yak = not been defrosted in 8 years) it could take all night.

Take a bowl of boiling water and place it in the empty switched off freezer. Have towels up near the door and a bowl underneath to catch what you can. Let the steam do it's work. Mop up and get to with more bowls of boiling water and the hairdryer- I find starting on low heat works better than on high straight away.Go low then middle then high if your hairdryer has the options. Now you MUST empty out the bowls of water. Prod, DO NOT POKE OR STAB, gently at the built up ice. If bits of ice fall off toss them in the sink. Wring out and replace the towels round the door at the floor.

As I said this can take a good bit of time and you could find new uses for towels and spatulas.

It may seem a faff but if you have to do this once with a freezer it's more than enough. It means you know to defrost at regular time intervals.

I apologise if my How to defrost a freezer offends or comes across as patronising
but this is how I instructed my niece. She's a very intelligent and very well educated woman in a very demanding job and she didn't have a clue. She was a student at the time and moved into a new flat. The freezer was all ice. The flat was gorgeous and in a really great part of Glasgow but the ancient freezer hadn't been defrosted since it was new in 1963

Good luck with your defrosting. My "self defrosting" freezer needs done again soon. The door opening thing buggers up the no ice thing on freezers

FOOD - if it's chicken or fish cook and eat ASAP. Most other things like chips will be okay if just a bit cold to bung back in the freezer again.
Not patronising at all - just the advice I needed - and thanks everyone else for the tips.

Not feeling exactly confident but a little less apprehensive.
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Old 01-02-2013, 20:16
LadyMinerva
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When I defrosted my freezer, I took it outside and let it defrost in the summer sunshine. That meant I could clean it all too, and underneath it.

Is that ok taking it outside though, being a beginner too at this stuff?
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Old 01-02-2013, 20:29
SupernovaNebula
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I remove the plastic boxes and move to one side and then turn off the freezer, use a hairdryer to melt the ice. Our fridge has a plastic tube which slots into the base and I put a box at the bottom and as it fills I empty it until it's all defrosted. The one without the tube slot I put a towel on the floor and use a tool to remove ice. It comes off easy after a good hair dryer applied to the ice.
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Old 01-02-2013, 20:30
SupernovaNebula
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When I defrosted my freezer, I took it outside and let it defrost in the summer sunshine. That meant I could clean it all too, and underneath it.

Is that ok taking it outside though, being a beginner too at this stuff?
If you tilt it or move it about you should let the refrigerant settle before switching it on. It's the same advice they give you after delivery of a new fridge or freezer. For a freezer the time is longer before switching on.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:37
c4rv
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When I defrosted my freezer, I took it outside and let it defrost in the summer sunshine. That meant I could clean it all too, and underneath it.

Is that ok taking it outside though, being a beginner too at this stuff?
it is OK but if you do put it on its side while moving it then you should let it stand upright for a while before switching it back on.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:04
LadyMinerva
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Thanks both - I keep it upright outside, but will make sure I leave some time when it's back in position before switching on
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Old 02-02-2013, 14:47
Orangemaid
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i defrosted my freezer last week end..Took the boxes out and sorted what i had..put the food into one box to clean out, the did another box, etc..Unplugged freezer whilst it was defrosting and stuck a pan of hot water inside to help melt the ice..Also put towels out for all the falling ice , melted water, hate doing it, but has to be done lol
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Old 02-02-2013, 15:11
SallyArmy
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Ive put off defrosting my freezer for yonks, but might give it a go having seen the tips on here!
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Old 02-02-2013, 15:12
Spot
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I use a steam cleaner and it never takes more than about half an hour.
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Old 02-02-2013, 15:46
spanglerokapi
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Before I got a frost free freezer I used to empty it, take it outside and hose it out using a hosepipe connected to the hot tap, took no time at all!
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Old 02-02-2013, 15:52
Orangemaid
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Before I got a frost free freezer I used to empty it, take it outside and hose it out using a hosepipe connected to the hot tap, took no time at all!
you sound like my nxt door neighbour..The daughter is always using the hose to clean eveything..numpty
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Old 03-02-2013, 00:22
googleking
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I use a steam cleaner and it never takes more than about half an hour.
I might try that
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:03
Pixie Queen
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you sound like my nxt door neighbour..The daughter is always using the hose to clean eveything..numpty
One of my neighbours seems obsessed with their power hose thingie. They do their cars, their drive, the brick work, the windows- if something doesn't move he's blasting at it with high powered jets of water.

I've wondered if they ever have kids he'll blast them rather than bath them.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:46
jazzyjazzy
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Always use a hairdryer so not on your own Pixie Queen.
I have got a couple of sponge type sheets that absorb lots of water so put them in the bottom and then keep wring them out.
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Old 04-02-2013, 17:34
gerr60
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Put frozen food in cool bags, use hairdryer to thaw ice be carefull it doesnt get wet, frozen food should still be ok by the time freezer is ready.
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Old 04-02-2013, 18:42
LaVieEnRose
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I try to pick a cold day for the job, and just put the drawers outside with the food still in them.
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Old 04-02-2013, 22:45
Ignazio
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I try to pick a cold day for the job, and just put the drawers outside with the food still in them.
That is genius.

Taking your tip just a little further I could wait until the garden pond freezes over and rest the drawers on the ice.

I hope my lovely housekeeper/treasure is not reading this thread - she might fear redundancy.

Message to Anne (if you're reading) come back soon - the freezer still needs defrosting and the ironing is piling up.
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Old 04-02-2013, 22:52
whoever,hey
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I try to pick a cold day for the job, and just put the drawers outside with the food still in them.
I wouldn't want to risk slugs if it were wet!
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