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How to defrost your fridge freezer and when to do it

Find out how to defrost your fridge freezer and when to do it with this helpful guide

Ice build-up in your fridge and freezer isn’t great news. Not only does it cover your food and make it difficult to take things in and out, it also makes the whole appliance less efficient. This guide will help to keep you and your appliance nice and chilled and get everything back to working the way it should.

Before you start

Before you take on this Arctic-style expedition in your kitchen, you’re going to need a couple of things to hand:

  • A couple of towels
  • 2 medium-sized bowls
  • A bucket
  • A cloth and some washing up liquid
  • A cool box big enough to fit in all your food from the fridge and freezer...

Once you’ve got everything ready, unplug the appliance, put all your food in the cool box and place a couple of towels on the floor at the bottom. This will just soak up any excess water and keep your kitchen nice and dry.

Bear in mind that you’re going to need to take all your food out of both compartments, so try and do it before the weekly shop if you can!

Step 1

Now the power is off, the food is out and the towels are down, you can take the shelves and drawers out of the fridge freezer. Take the opportunity to give them a good clean. Wash them in some hot soapy water and leave to dry.

Step 2

Grab those bowls and fill them with hot water. Put one in the fridge, one in the freezer and shut both compartment doors. The heat and steam will loosen the ice quickly – after 25-30 minutes, open the doors, mop up the water with a towel and squeeze the excess into the bucket.

Step 3

While the fridge freezer is empty, dab a cloth in some hot soapy water and wipe down both compartments to keep everything fresh. Rinse away with a clean cloth, dry down with a towel, put the shelves and drawers back and plug the appliance in. Once everything is back on, leave the fridge and freezer empty until it returns to an optimal temperature again. After an hour, you’re free to put all the food back where it belongs.

When should I defrost my fridge freezer?

Well, the truth is, every manual-defrost fridge freezer is different and when it needs defrosting will depend on how you use it. As a general idea, we would recommend defrosting the whole appliance at least once or twice a year. Or, when you can see around a quarter of an inch of ice build-up on the walls.