Picture of a typical upright stand up freezer, in need of defrosting.

How to Defrost Stand Up Freezer Fast




We’ve found that an excellent way for how to defrost stand up freezer fast, is to use a heat gun or hairdryer. The blowing warm air speeds up how fast a stand up freezer defrosts, whether it be frost free or manual.



We have rented a few apartments that had manual-defrost freezers. Indeed at this very moment, we have a manual-defrost Frigidaire stand up freezer, that requires defrosting every six months. This keeps the coils in the shelves clear of energy sapping ice build up.

We’ve only tried this how to defrost stand up freezer quickly procedure on free standing, vertical freezers. But this technique works well on a chest freezer also. Chest freezers are those with horizontally-positioned door on their tops. For them, just find a place above the open freezer from which to aim the heat gun down into the chest, instead of up from the floor as the method below shows.

Heat guns work best for defrosting a stand up freezer, we feel, because of their built-in stand. That adjustable stand lets them sit on the floor. Then, you aim the blowing hot air up through the open stand up freezer door as shown next.

You could use a hairdryer too. But hairdryers do not free-stand the way you need them to for stand up freezer defrosting. But if you only have a hairdryer, use it.  As long as you don’t mind holding it throughout the defrosting, a hairdryer is fine.  Holding it until the ice is gone could get a bit tiresome though.

So to defrost our Frigidaire stand up freezer, we do the following routine every half year.

How to defrost stand up freezer fast. Freezer defrosting sped up considerably by directing hot air from heat gun into it.
How to defrost stand up freezer fast. Freezer defrosting sped up considerably by directing hot air from heat gun into it.

How to Defrost Stand Up Freezer Fast




Unplug Stand Up Freezer from Power

Unplug the freezer, without touching its thermostat. Leaving this alone preserves its current temperature setting.  That way, you don’t have to fiddle around with it to get it right again once you finish defrosting.

Prop the Stand Up Freezer Door Open

Then, block open the freezer door with a piece of wood. Do not force it too far open. Pushing it too far can spring the hinges, bend the door, or break the freezer case.

Put All Frozen Foods in Insulated Coolers

Next, remove all food items to insulated coolers nearby.  This keeps frozen meat, vegetables, and bread, rock-solid throughout the defrosting.  We use those Coleman picnic coolers for this.

Then, Get Out the Gun

Next, aim the heat gun from the floor up into the open freezer. Then turn on the heat gun. Open its intake vent fully for max hot air discharge. This also helps prevent heat gun overheating. Further, put the heat gun well away from the water.  Place it far enough away from the stand up freezer, that no water from the melting ice gets on it.

Watch All that Ice Melt Off

Then, wait until all the ice inside has melted. Mop the floor at the freezer’s front.

How long does it take to defrost a stand up freezer like this one? For us, it takes most of an hour for heavily built up ice, with the heat gun.  It takes considerably longer without a heat source. Letting it defrost on its own, without added heat, can take a couple hours or more.



Wipe Up Water from the Melting Ice

Many stand up freezers have a drain plug that you can open. They also have a drain tube that you can route into a drain or bucket. But if not, wipe up the melting ice water as it gathers at the freezer bottom.

Done with the Heat Gun

Once all the ice has melted, turn off the heat gun. Then, set it in a safe place to cool.  Place it well away from furniture, draperies, carpets, and other items that it could scorch or burn.

Clean Inside of the Stand Up Freezer

Then, wash out the inside of the freezer. Use a soapy cloth and warm water. Then, rinse it out with another clean cloth.

The inside may still be cold. So spending too much time on this step can chill your hands. Therefore, wipe quickly.

Thoroughly Dry Inside the Stand Up Freezer

Then, dry the inside of the freezer with an old but clean towel. Leave as little water behind as you can, so as to lengthen the time before the next required defrosting.

Reconnect the Stand Up Freezer to Power

Push Freezer Back into Position Before Loading it Back Up

Move All frozen Food Back into Freezer

As you replace each food item, wipe off any wetness from condensation or melting ice. To avoid having to defrost again for as long as possible, make sure it’s dry.  Assure that all the food containers are as dry as possible before storing them again in the stand up freezer.




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Revision History

  • 2018-04-07: Originally published.