Defrosting the Fridge – That’s How it Works

Defrosting the fridge or freezer is an annoying task – but it pays off. Eight tips on how to do it particularly quickly without harming food.

The ice cream in the fridge, freezer or fridge-freezer is created because food emits moisture, which then freezes. This acts like an insulating layer on the inner walls of the device. This increases power consumption significantly.


This Fridge Error will Cost You Money

Thus, icy cooling compartments cost unnecessarily much energy, as the cold must first enter the interior through the ice layers. Consumption increases of up to 50 per cent are possible with a one-centimetre thick layer of ripening attachment.

How often does the refrigerator need to be defrosted? At least once a year, you should defrost the fridge. If the cooling capacity is set very high, defrosting may also be necessary every six months. It is best to plan this action in the long term so that you can work towards it when it comes to stocking up and there are a few foods as possible in the refrigerator.


8 Tips For Defrosting the Fridge

The best time to defrost


It is best to make a defrost before starting your holiday or on cold winter days. Especially the latter are particularly well suited. Because then you can store your food on the terrace and balcony and they remain in their cooled or frozen state – even if the time of defrosting is several hours.


Where to go with the food?

Where to go with the food

Turn off the fridge before you start defrosting and clearing. Otherwise, the thermostat could react to the suddenly penetrating heat with increased cooling capacity and overheat.

There are various methods to bring food safety over the defrosting period. The easiest way is to store the refrigerated goods outside at low temperatures, for example on the balcony or terrace. A cold cellar is also suitable for storage for the duration of defrosting.

Frozen from the freezer compartment can be packed into a cooling bag together with cooling batteries. But even a thick wrap with newsprint or blankets prevents unwanted thawing of the food. If you have helpful neighbours with an empty fridge, you may also be able to store the food with them for a short time.


These foods can be used on the balcony in winter

If you want to store food on the balcony, you should pay attention to a few things. Almost all vegetables can be stored outside up to ten degrees outside. Exceptions are:

  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins

Even local fruit stays so fresh. Dairy products like it a little colder, they can be stored outdoors up to an outside temperature of up to seven degrees. Eggs, butter and jam remain fresh even at temperatures of up to 12 degrees.

Of course, all foods must always be well packaged. In addition, you should always keep an eye on the weather report and temperature fluctuations. Lightly perishable foods, such as cooked food or fresh meat and fish, should always be better stored in the refrigerator.


Defrost the freezer tray quickly and safely


If you have turned off the refrigerator, it is usually enough simply to leave the refrigerator door open so that it can defrost slowly. However, so that you do not have to store the food outside the refrigerator for too long, the defrosting process can also be accelerated.

For example, the freezer thaws faster when you put a bowl or a cooking pot with hot water in it. However, close the door so that the heat can have its effect. Under no circumstances, however, should you mechanically accelerate the defrosting process, such as using a screwdriver or a knife. You can easily damage the coating or bite into a cooling rib, breaking the refrigerator. Even a hairline crack on the cables is sufficient to permanently damage the device.

The impatient can blow warm air into the icy compartments with a hot hairdryer from some distance. Be sure not to keep the hairdryer too close to the refrigerator, so that on the one hand no defrosting water enters the hairdryer and triggers a short circuit and on the other hand the plastic of the refrigerator does not get too hot and takes damage.


Get rid of dew water


There are many ways to catch the dew water. With very thin layers of ice, it is sufficient to put some tea towels or towels in and under the refrigerator – preferably frotted. They are more absorbent. If you need to collect a little more water, you can put a deep baking tray or a fat pan at the bottom of the fridge or simply use the vegetable tray to pick up.

This is not enough for thicker layers of ice. To remove them, it is best to wait until the ice is slightly thawed and detaches from the walls. Now you can loosen individual chunks of ice with a scraper or pan turner – however, the tool should be made of wood or plastic, because metal leaves scratches and quirks.

Special absorbent defrosting mats are also available on the market. They are laid out at the bottom of the refrigerator or freezer and can hold several litres of dew water. Depending on the manufacturer and suction volume.


Clean the fridge after defrosting

Clean the fridge after defrosting

If it is already empty and warmed up, the opportunity to clean the refrigerator is convenient. Because so that germs do not spread inside, it should be cleaned at least once a month.

You do not need aggressive disinfectants for this. Warm water, a fresh rag and mild all-purpose cleaner, vinegar or detergent are sufficient to remove surface germs as well as dirt and grease. Vinegar not only cleans and disinfects, but it can also even eliminate unpleasant odours that may have developed in the refrigerator.

When cleaning, do not forget the rubber seal. This lasts longer if you rub it with some baby powder after cleaning.


Protect the refrigerator from the next icing

To make sure the ice doesn’t settle so easily in the future, you can either sprinkle the empty freezer with a thin layer of olive or sunflower oil or lay out a layer of baking paper.

Refrigerator-freezer combinations can also be switched on and off separately. This is not only helpful for defrosting, but also during a holiday, when the fridge may be emptied, but the freezer is not.



Devices with an acoustic warning signal draw attention to an open door. Because if the door is open for too long, no refrigerator or freezer can cool efficiently.

Many modern and high-quality models now have a so-called low-freeze technique, which on the one hand reduces the formation of ripening, at the same time facilitates defrosting. Devices with the no-frost technology no longer need to be defrosted, here the resulting humidity is constantly discharged to the outside and the icing is prevented.

For a low electricity bill, it also helps to open the doors as rarely as possible. Because every opening heats the refrigerator, and cooling down the temperature again costs energy.

Founder at Best Indian | Website | + posts

I am tech writer who is passionate about technology and spearheads the core writing team on tech news

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