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How to Defrost Your Freezer Quickly

Updated on October 21, 2017
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I love to share the benefit of the experience I have gained over three quarters of a century, be it useful tips, love, jokes or technology


How to Defrost your Freezer in Double-Quick Time

Do you dread defrosting your freezer because it's messy and takes hours, whilst you hang about waiting for it, unable to go out because you need to mop up and worrying about your food unfreezing?

Well, here I'm going to tell you how to defrost your freezer in less than half an hour from start to finish, with the minimum amount of mess and upheaval.

I have a lovely Bosch fridge freezer which I defrost about once a year, whether it needs it or not....and it certainly does! In the end anything flat like frozen smoked salmon gets completely buried in ice, because the ice is higher than the packet.

There is of course a reason why I don't unfreeze frequently - I always intend to use up or at least run down everything in the freezer first.

Never happens.

A Twenty-Minute Defrost

I must tell you - I recently had a "freezer emergency" myself, and had to transfer everything out of one freezer into another, putting the surplus food into plastic rubbish bags, and, basically, following my own advice, which you'll read below. I managed to complete the job, including totally emptying out the offending fridge, thoroughly cleaning it from top to bottom, and replacing all the food in twenty minutes. Not bad, eh?

If defrosting is something you have been meaning to do, but have never got round to actually doing, it's easy to perform, so you can cross it off your list quickly - Here we go!


Quick Way of Defrosting Your Freezer - Here we go with the defrosting process then:

Don't worry about things melting when you take them out of the freezer - using my method they will stay frozen.

But do choose a cool day, or cooler part of the day, to avoid or inhibit melt-down of your food in the hot weather.

Equipment Needed For Defrosting Your Freezer Quickly

Save Time By Lining It All Up First - and Get Your Stopwatch Out!

Fill a kettle and switch it on to boil. Whilst it is boiling, find:

  • a baking tray
  • a large saucepan
  • a clean absorbent cloth
  • Cooler bags and/or a large dustbin bag
  • A wooden spatula or wooden spoon

First Things First

Emptying Everything Out

  • Switch off your freezer or turn it to zero
  • Pile all the contents into the bags(because if there are a lot of frozen packets all next to each other, they retain their frozen state much longer than if spread around the room). Don't shake off any ice from the packets at this stage, as it helps to keep things frozen.
  • Pick up any loose bits and pieces of frozen vegetables that are useable and put them all in with your frozen peas or rice.
  • Whilst the freezer is completely empty, use the wooden spatula to gently scrape the sides, top and bottom of the freezer, but don't force anything that won't come away, and do not use anything metal for this job, and particularly nothing sharp like a knife, as you might pierce the delicate plastic walls (regrettably I speak from experience, which is why I had to buy a new fridge).
  • Remove all the loose ice immediately, chucking it into the baking tray, using the spatula and mopping up anything spare with the cloth.The reason for removing all ice and water immediately is to prevent the freezer staying cold and it avoids big messy puddles


Safety Note: Advice given is in my capacity as a domestic freezer user and not as an expert

I suggest you turn off the freezer before starting, that you are very careful not to scald yourself carrying boiling water and that you take care not to pierce the delicate plastic casing of your freezer, which could enable water to leak inside the works and cause harm to your appliance or you.

Do Not Use Anything Metallic or Sharp for This Job!

Freezers are very delicate and the interior casing could easily get pierced, so take care

Down to the Nitty Gritty of Defrosting Your Freezer Quickly

  • Then, after pouring away the ice and water, half-fill the baking tray with the boiling water and place this on the floor of the freezer (this will cover a large area and aid speedy melting).
  • Pour the rest of the water into the saucepan and place it on the shelf. If you have lots of shelves, put one saucepan of boiling water on each shelf.
  • Close the fridge door until it is just open a crack.
  • Leave this for about 5 minutes, and then open the door - the whole interior will be covered in steam - very satisfactory - and most of the ice will be loose or freed from the sides and floor.
  • Use the scraper and cloth method (and your fingertips) to prise the rest of the ice away, and remove all the ice and water with the cloth and scraper, as before. You may find it all comes away, but if not, just refill the baking tray with boiling water and put it on the freezer floor again for a few minutes.
  • Everything should then be partially melted, and you can wipe over the interior and clean up completely with the cloth . If it is a bit dirty, you can use bicarbonate of soda to wipe it clean, but personally, I don't bother.

Pans Of Hot Water Melt The Ice Quickly


Your Freezer is Now Defrosted and Clean

All Done in Double Quick Time

  • Switch the freezer back on, to its normal setting and use the rapid freeze programme, if it has one.
  • Then return all the food neatly to the freezer, after shaking and wiping off any surplus ice.

This whole process shouldn't take longer than twenty minutes to half an hour for a smallish freezer, a little longer if it is big.

Job done! Freezer Defrosted in Under Half an Hour

Was that quick or what?

No defrosting chemicals needed, no puddles of water, no hanging around for two hours waiting for everything to melt and worrying about the food unfreezing.

YouTube Video - How Does a Refrigerator Work?

What Sort of Housekeeper are You? - Saint or Slut? Take the Poll Below!

Do frost and dust and laundry and pet hairs pile up in your home, or do you get them under control before they get out of hand?

I am an occasional housekeeper, somewhere in between. Someone once broke my fridge by not defrosting it whilst they were using my house for three months in my absence, and since then I have kept kept an eye on the ice, and not allowed it to burst forth from doors or seep down the back of the fridge. What about you?

So how do you rate yourself in the housekeeping stakes?

See results

What are Your Time-Saving Housework Tips? - This is my Guestbook where you can leave comments and Suggestions

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    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Isn't it nice when you try out a handy hint which actually works!

    • C L Mitchell profile image

      C L Mitchell 2 years ago

      Thank you, just followed your instructions today with great success. I haven't had this problem for years but recently moved into a new apartment with a freezer that seems to love to frost up. I wasn't looking forward to having to thaw it out, but with your method it really was very easy, so won't leave it so long next time!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great idea

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Yes, it's easy to get carried away with enthusiasm and forget you're holding a dangerous sharp implement!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      I have had to do this a few times in my life. Now I have a frost free refrigerator/freezer.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 3 years ago

      Sadly, I know all about piercing a delicate side of a freezer with a knife. I was in a hurry and, well, the inevitable happened. Will use your method next time.

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 3 years ago

      What a great suggestion. I appreciate the tips.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I don't have a freezer, and my refrigerator is of the frost-free variety, but I have had to defrost an old(er) fridge in the past and wish I'd had this quick & handy reference back then! Very good advice.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @SteveKaye: I don't do housework on hot summer's days - they're as rare as purple marigolds in England!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      Great info. I wondered if you were going to defrost your refrigerator by taking it outside on a hot summer day.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @ecogranny: It sounds good,I should do that really

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Brite-Ideas: You're lucky!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm still working on accomplishing this, but the best time-saving tip for me is to have a home for absolutely every item in the house--a home that is logical in terms of where we use the item and is also easy to access. If it is quick and easy to get something down and put it away, we do so. If it takes an extra step, is difficult to get to, or we haven't a good place for it yet, it becomes clutter. This concept is definitely a work in progress at our house.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @marsha32: That's why it's good to have a complete clear-out - so you can find those anonymous packages stuffed at the back, and use them up, concocting a meal around them

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Great time saving ideas Thanks for sharing your knowledge:)

    • profile image

      marsha32 3 years ago

      anymore we don't get to shop enough to put things into the deep freeze. Doesn't mean there aren't things in the hamburger buns that have been in there for over 3 years! The last time I was in it I noticed how much ice is gathering on the sides.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      helpful page! am so glad we haven't had to do this for years!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @lovedislife: Don't forget to put your knowledge into action!

    • lovedislife profile image

      Rema T V 3 years ago

      Hi Diana,

      Great lens, very useful especially for people like me who find defrosting the freezer a cumbersome chore. Thanks for sharing this information. So simple and time-saving! Cheers :)


    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      How thoroughly handy and convenient.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      I hate defrosting freezers, great tips!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @mel-kav: Yes, it will save a lot of mess

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      I am a school nurse - I will have to remember this for the next time I defrost the freezer in my health office. Thanks for sharing.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I am lucky to have a cleaning lady but she doesn't defrost freezers. Thanks for these tips.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I never thought about making all that steam to quickly defrost the freezer. Great suggestions.

    • Fufurinha47 profile image

      Beatriz 4 years ago from Portugal

      Loved your lens :D

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Charlieee LM: Good old Mum!

    • Charlieee LM profile image

      Charlieee LM 4 years ago

      Excellent lens, I will definitely show my mother this! Thanks :)

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @gannoncannon: Filfy Beast!

    • profile image

      gannoncannon 4 years ago

      saint or slut LOL! i always have liked sluts better than saints ;)

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @PaigSr: Yes, like to keep an additional freezer in my utility shed

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      The parents had a freezer for over 40 years. It was only in the last couple that it started to get more ice then food. Luckily they kept it in the attached garage and cleaning out the excess ice was not as messy as if it were in the house.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      Thank you for the great tips!

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 4 years ago

      Had fun here and learned a few things -- thanks!

    • profile image

      anitabreeze 4 years ago

      Well, this is a job I have been putting off. Maybe (and I say MAYBE) I'll do it this weekend!

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Well written, very clever trick and also very useful!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @LaptopLeader: Use your saved time wisely - to create more web pages, or loll about in the garden

    • LaptopLeader profile image

      LaptopLeader 4 years ago

      Thanks for the quick tricks. :) Will come in handy!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @BLouw: I should be doing other things too!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      Don't talk to me about housework and defrosting freezers! I run a B&B and here I am reading your nice article and NOT defrosting my freezer, nor ironing my sheets nor preparing my rooms. Get behind me ....

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @anonymous: I ought to do it more often!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like time saving and a quick fix to defrosting an icy freezer is a job we all avoid....but now we can get the job quickly and still have frozen food....I am grateful for frost free!

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Good information!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @linsm76: good idea

    • profile image

      linsm76 4 years ago

      Tip for easier and faster defrost: Thank goodness I don't have to defrost anymore. But if you do. When you defrost the next time, after you wipe freezer down and dry it, take a small amount of cooking oil and wipe the top, sides and bottom of freezer. Then, the next time you do to defrost, when that ice begins to loosen up, tap it an it will drop off in chunks or just simply drop off. Cuts the defrost time in half.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @gottaloveit2: Oh dear! But thanks for the info as one reader commented that she always does it with a hair dryer. Clearly that's a no-no.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      Wish I'd read this before I melted the side of my freezer with a hair dryer....

    • dingbat1932 profile image

      dingbat1932 4 years ago

      Nice tips thank you.

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 4 years ago

      Thank you for the very practical info.

    • profile image

      Alex-45 5 years ago

      Thank for so much for sharing. My small freezer badly needs de-frosting and I wondered how to do it without a minor flood - and now I know!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Wonderful tips. Thank you.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 5 years ago

      Very useful lens! Thanks a lot and happy holidays!

    • profile image

      Cloud007 5 years ago

      nice idea's sound's very unlikely but it's a good option during christmas

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @ComfortsOfHome: I need to do it myself before Christmas!

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 5 years ago

      Oh dear, there's a reminder... my fridge defrosts itself, but my freezer really needs to be done very soon. Oh, I just dread that chore! Your tips should help. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow, this is really useful lens. thank you for sharing.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @eightieschild: That's how I felt

    • eightieschild profile image

      eightieschild 5 years ago

      Fantastic tip. Seems obvious in hindsight, but never thought of it myself.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @OhMe: Now you can spend more time writing!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you for sharing these Time-Saving Housework Tips especially on How To Defrost Your Freezer Quickly

    • profile image

      PhotosVac 5 years ago

      Great lens, thanks a lot for sharing!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I'm still trying to figure out how you managed to get a picture of the inside of my freezer? sure brought back some memories of years past. I love the new frost free appliances.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @MomwithAHook LM: That's a good one to try - thanks!

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image

      Sara Duggan 5 years ago from California

      To clean a microwave we just head a cup of water 2 - 3 minutes and let it set for 10 minutes. The goo comes right off.

    • Cyberwing profile image

      Cyberwing 5 years ago

      Nice tips. Thanks

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      What a great suggestion. I'm going to do it.

    • profile image

      moverstampa 5 years ago

      I learned the hard way not to use a

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very nice tips for defrosting the freezer quickly!

    • profile image

      bossypants 5 years ago

      I am due to defrost our freezer and it will be my first time with this large one. Your lens is very helpful and encouraging!

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing useful tips on doing housework.

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Wonderful idea which I have never tried. Thanks!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Wonderful ideas here for those who have this problem. My fridge is over 30 years old and is a double sided ice maker and never needs defrosting. When buying appliances I get the best and aim for the least amount of work in maintenance. Good tools make the job easier. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012 and also on Cooking Utensils, Ideas, Recipes and Accessories. Hugs

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Our freezers don't get too bad, but the one in the RV often freezes over. Your tips will surely come in handy!

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 6 years ago

      PERFECT Lens.

    • vendexo profile image

      vendexo 6 years ago

      Super tips, and a good mix of informative, sensible and dumb videos :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very useful! I will definitely share this amazing lens with my friends. Two thumbs up! Squid-liked it.

    • profile image

      Runnn 6 years ago

      I plan to clean my freezer next week. Thanks for the tips.

    • LakeMom profile image

      LakeMom 6 years ago

      Great tips! Just got my first chest freezer this year! Was not looking forward to defrosting but you make it sound easy!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 6 years ago

      Useful tips. I defrost mine just before the door gets to hard to close from the ice build up.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Thank you for the tips, I usually try to do my freezer before the ice gets too thick, but lately I have been a little lazy.