We’ve found that an excellent way for how to melt ice in a freezer quickly, is to use a heat source such as a heat gun or hairdryer, aimed into the interior of the freezer. The blowing warm air speeds up how fast the ice buildup melts, whether the deep freezer be frost free or manual.
We have lived in a few apartments through the years that had manual-defrost freezers. Indeed at this very moment, we have a Frigidaire non frost free freezer, that requires defrosting every six months. Periodically melting the buildup keeps the coils in the shelves clear of energy sapping ice.
We’ve tried this 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. Also, you can employ a similar routine for walk in freezers, although you might have to use a bigger heater than a hairdryer for fastest defrosting.
About Heat Sources
Heat guns work best for defrosting a smaller-than-walk-in front-load freezer though, we feel, because of their built-in stand. Their adjustable feet let them sit on the floor. Then, you aim the blowing hot air up through the open freezer door as shown next.
You could use a hairdryer too. But hair dryers do not free-stand the way you need them to for freezer ice melting. But if you only have a hairdryer, use it. As long as you don’t mind holding it throughout the process, a hairdryer is fine. Holding it until the ice melts completely could get a bit cumbersome though.
So to melt the ice buildup in our Frigidaire deep freezer, we do the following routine every 26 weeks or so.
How to Melt Ice in Freezer Quickly, Step by Step
1. Unplug the Freezer from Power
Disconnect the freezer from AC, 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.
2. Prop the Freezer Door Open
Then, block open the unit’s door with a piece of wood. Do not force it too far open though, because pushing it too far can spring the hinges, bend the door, or break the freezer case.
3. Put All Frozen Foods in Insulated Containers
Next, remove all food items to insulated coolers nearby. This keeps frozen meat, vegetables, and bread, rock-solid throughout the melting procedure. We use those Coleman picnic coolers for this.
4. Then, Get Out the Gun, to Continue with How to Melt Ice Quickly in the Freezer
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 warm air discharge. This also helps prevent gun overheating. Further, position the gun well away from the water. Place it far enough away from the freezer, that no water from the melting ice gets on it.
5. Watch All that Ice Melt Off
Then, wait until all the ice inside dissolves. Then mop the floor at the freezer’s front.
How long does it take to melt all the ice in a deep freezer like this one? For us, it takes most of an hour for heavily built up ice to disappear. It takes considerably longer though without a heat source. Letting the ice go away on its own, without added heat, can take a couple hours or more.
6. Wipe Up Water from the Melting Ice
Note that many 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 icy water as it gathers at the freezer bottom.
7. Done with the Heat Source
Once all the ice melts, switch off the heat gun. Then, put it in a safe place to cool. Place it well away from furniture, draperies, rugs, and other items that it could scorch or burn.
8. Clean Interior of the Freezer, to Continue with How to Quickly Melt Ice in the 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.
9. Thoroughly Dry Inside the Freezer
Then, dry the inside of the unit with a large, clean towel. Leave as little water behind as possible, so as to lengthen the time before the next required defrosting.
10. Vacuum / Sweep the Area Where Freezer Normally Sits
11. Push Freezer Back into Position Before Loading it Back Up
Move the freezer back into its usual position before powering it up, to avoid possible damage to the compressor. These units are more susceptible to breakage if you jar them while they’re running.
12. Next, Reconnect the Freezer to Power, to Continue with How to Melt Ice in Freezer Quickly
Verify that the unit has started to run before proceeding. If it does not start up, then give it a few minutes. Also, you might have to adjust the thermostat for higher cooling to kick on the unit.
13. Finally, Move All frozen Food Back into the Freezer
As you replace each food item, wipe off any wetness from condensation from it. Also, to avoid having to defrost again for as long as possible, make sure each food item is dry. Assure that all the food containers are as dry as possible before storing them again in the stand up freezer.
`14. Finished with How to Melt Ice in Freezer Quickly
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- 2023-01-30: Originally published.