How Long to Defrost a Freezer?

Ever the aspiring minimalist I like to pare things down before I commit to new purchases. With Christmas just around the corner and extra food to buy and store I knew it was time to declutter the freezer and tackle the ice mountain that was beginning to build there. A long overdue job put off partly because of fear of how long the task would take and the chaos it would cause in my kitchen.

Last weekend I threw caution to the wind and began the job of defrosting our built in fridge/freezer - neither space was completely empty but I still decided to give it a go (I put the contents outside in a covered plastic tub early in the morning when it was still quite cold). I've done this job many times but nonetheless researched it a little just in case there were any new time saving tips I could try. I decided to go for the simple method of bowls/jugs of boiling water to speed the defrosting process. Any stubborn thick layers of ice were wiped over with a hot cloth - I avoided using any scraping devices or a hair dryer to speed the process (both potentially dangerous). I put several layers of newspaper down to protect the floor and a bowl to catch the water. Two hours and a lot of melted ice later I had a completely defrosted freezer. During the defrosting time I cleaned the interior, drawers and shelves and also took a stocktake of the contents of both the fridge and freezer.

The result - a clean and ice free fridge/freezer and a declutter to boot. Not much was thrown out but I did discover two jars of redcurrant jelly and two jars of mango chutney that I was unaware of. Within hours I had a sparkly clean and roomy fridge/freezer just like the ones you get when you rent a holiday home. There was room for our regular freezer favourites and also room for newly baked mince pies (frozen in pairs for hubs and me to enjoy as treats). A turkey and favourite stuffings for our Christmas meals will soon be added. With only one small three drawer freezer (I used to have two fridges and two freezers) this space has to be used well.

I can think of more ways to have fun in December but there's a simple pleasure in being able to open the door and drawers easily and in knowing exactly what's in the fridge/freezer (which will hopefully kerb any overbuying). Not a bad return for just a few hours of domestic chaos.



  1. I did mine the other week, it dose make you feel good.

  2. I agree, it does feel good. For me, even just keeping the glass shelves and other parts clean, wiping regularly with a wet cloth, is good.

  3. It is a great feeling to do this job. I'm doing mine in the next week or so. We've just dug out our old stand alone freezer from the shed to use over Christmas and help me in the defrosting process as I can put the current contents of the freezer in it. I'm also currently trying to use up the contents to make room for Christmas food and the turkey. Like yours, mine is quite thick with ice and well overdue a defrost.

  4. I love a newly defrosted fridge/freezer. Such a good sense of being organised. Now you're ready for Christmas!

  5. It is a very satisfying job isn't it and I must say I love the gradual re-stocking of it all with homemade goodies.

    I usually get all the used towels from the bathroom and stand the jugs and bowls of hot water on them in the freezer with the door shut, it all defrosts in no time and the towels catch all the water, then they are wrung out in the sink and popped into the washing machine.

    Clean fridge and clean towels, I do like a double job :-)

  6. Looks great , how about an inventory on the door to help keep track and save opening the door and digging about

  7. I have always hated defrosting the freezer with a passion due to all the water and ice that you end up with. When I moved from the furnished house I was renting to an unfurnished house I knew it was a good idea to invest in a frost free freezer. It has proved to be the best idea ever. I do however clean my fridge and freezer when supplies are running low. It is quite interesting some of the things I discover in my freezer when I am cleaning.

  8. I'm impressed! I tend to leave mine until we next move house! To be fair, we move every 2 years, but I really ought to clear out the food that's been hanging around more frequently!

  9. Defrosting the freezer is I job I leave to the Mr ... he actually seems to enjoy it. As do I when he's done ;)


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