How to Defrost a Mini Fridge

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One of those things that we always try to avoid is to defrost a mini fridge.

To be honest it’s a pain in the ass. However, after doing it a few times I have found a painless way to defrost a freezer and get the job done.

Frozen freezer with ice cream
If your freezer looks something like this is, it’s about time to defrost it.

Why does a freezer ice up

All this ice buildup in the freezer is caused by condensation found in the air that can be found for example in your kitchen. Since you are often opening and closing the fridge door, moisture is drawn in. With time this moisture turns into ice, which makes look your freezer like the Antarctica.

How to defrost a freezer (the easy way)

    1. Safety first

      • Make sure that your chest freezer is turned off and unplugged (if possible). I have read online in other guides where they suggest using a metal spatula. Nonsense. In fact, it’s likely that you can hurt yourself and you are in risk to damage your freezer. Other guides suggest to… use a fan or a hair dryer?! I guess they underestimate what happens when you mix electricity and water (hint: you don’t want to do it either!)
    2. Remove all the food

      • Make the most of the fact that you are defrosting your fridge and clean up the drawers. Any frozen food should be put away (or kept in a fridge or another freezer while you are at it). Another good alternative is the place all your frozen goods into a cooler with some ice packs. Ideally you have planned ahead and made use of most of your frozen goods before defrosting the fridge.
    3. Place a towel and bowl with hot water at the bottom of the freezer

      • Have patience and let it do its thing. The steam from the hot water will help to melt the frozen ice. You want to change the bowl water every 5 minutes or so since it will get cold and loose it’s melting properties. When you replace the water you can try to remove some melted ice with a sponge.
      • Keep in mind that the heat from the pots can damage the chest freezer, so if you are following my advice, I recommend you to place a couple of towels under the heated items.
    4. If you are in a hurry, you can try to pull out chunks of ice by hand

      • Avoid using any sharp tool or you might damage your freeze. If you manage to pull any chunk of ice, put them in the sink or a large mixing bowl.
    5. When all the ice is melted, it’s time to clean all the water left with a sponge and a cloth

      • Mind that the thawed ice will be quite cold and unpleasant to the touch. Clean it thoroughly, if any water droplets are left in the freezer, ice will accumulate again in no-time!
defrosting freezer
Water droplets will appear once ice melts

When do you defrost a chest freezer

If the ice in your freezer is between three and five millimeters thick it means that it’s about to invest some time defrosting it. You will be happy to know that you will safe some money since your appliance will be running more efficiently plus you will gain some freezer space back. 

How often should you defrost your freezer?

It doesn’t matter what freezer or fridge you have. It’s always recommended to defrost your freezer at least once a year. If the ice layer in your freezer is more than a quarter of an inch thick you will need to do it anyway. 

How to keep your freezer frost free

As I have mentioned before, every time you open the freezer door, moisture gets in so keep your freezer door open as little as possible. The longer you are standing in front of it with the door open, the faster and more frost you are will have.

Another thing that you can do is to make sure that your door seal is in good condition. Any gaps around it will make your freezer to frost up even quicker. 

An easy way to work out if you need to fix your door seal is with the bank note methodTake a crisp banknote and place it between the door and the fridge seal. 

  • If it grips and you can’t pull the bill without breaking it (that’s not the point, you will end up with less money!), it means that your seal is in good condition. 
  • If there are any gaps or it falls it means that you will need to change your door seal.


As you have seen, making a mini fridge defrost is not that complicated. Follow the steps above and in about 2 hours you should be set.

Are you aware of any other method? Comment on the section below and I will gladly add it!


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