How to defrost a refrigerator

Defrost your refrigerator quickly. How to defrost a fridge and the icebox.

Why defrost a refrigerator?

All refrigerators – even those featuring automatic defrosting systems – must undergo manual defrosting from time to time. If not, you will be taking it to a repair service in a couple of years. It must be remembered that as a refrigerator operates, condensate appears on the fridge’s walls, gets inside and affects internal parts. Too much condensate makes your device less energy-efficient.

Advanced models signal malfunctions with error codes. Each manufacturer comes up with its own batch of such codes. If you have a GE fridge, please, browse for GE error codes.

how to defrost a refrigerator

Defrosting systems

Modern refrigerators have three types of defrost systems: air defrost, drip defrost, and air-and-drip defrost.

Air defrost system, also known as ‘no frost’, uses a special kind of fans, which melt and vaporize the ice when the appliance is plugged into the mains. Drip defrost, on the contrary, is only effective when the fridge is disconnected from the mains.

Well, how frequently should I defrost it? The speed of condensation pretty much defines how regularly your refrigerator should undergo manual defrosting. The type of defrost system is also important. Fridges featuring drip and air-and-drip defrost systems require at least one procedure every 3 to 4 months; air defrost (no frost) systems require one procedure every 6 months. If you need to clean your fridge, you have to defrost it anyway.

How to do it correctly

The primary goal of defrosting is freeing a fridge’s walls from ice cover, because failure to do it properly is extremely dangerous for internal components. Whatever type of system you have, defrosting will start right after you disconnect your refrigerator from the mains.

Before you start trying to defrost it with the help of any hand tools and techniques, please, read the following defrosting rules:

Prevent ice from building up on the inside walls.

Unplug your refrigerator, take all the food out of it and put it in a cool place.

Remove all shelves and put a wide tray at the bottom of the fridge for water. Do the same thing to the icebox. Do not punch through the ice with any objects: this can damage the unit.

To speed up the thawing, place a bowl with hot water on one of the shelves. The steam will promptly deal with the ice. Once the ice is gone, rinse out the inside of your fridge and wipe it all down. Now you can plug it, turn it on, fix the shelves and put the food back in.

The length of the procedure depends on how thick the ice cover has grown. The thicker it is and the cooler it is in your apartment, the longer it will take.

How to defrost the freezer?

How to defrost the freezer

The freezer is the most vulnerable element. It is always below zero in it, and it gets iced up pretty fast.

The more frequently you open your freezer, the more warm air gets into it. This causes condensation and ice buildup.

Please, remember: too much ice in the freezer pretty much slows down the frosting of products, and they may get completely trapped in the ice after a little while. Any attempt to pull them out may damage the refrigerator. Please, wait until the ice melts and take them out.

Do not defrost the freezer on extremely hot days, because it will take longer for it to freeze back down to the needed temperature. Professionals advise to cool down rooms using an AC prior to defrosting, or carry out the procedure at night.

Once you have finished defrosting, wipe the freezer dry.

Do not use heating appliances or warm water to remove ice. If you do, the device may lose its effectiveness. Sharp temperature fluctuations and mechanic impact may damage the cooling and freezing systems beyond repair.