Don’t Abuse Your Freezer!

Iced freezer, defrosting
Iced freezer

Any decent tool deserves to enjoy decent upkeep and your freezer is no exception. There is a right way to take good care of it and make it last longer.

First, you should defrost it once a year. It eventually will not work right if you do not. Even the frost-free types need an annual warming, rinsing, and drying, to get ice out of the insulation and remove frozen spills from the interior.

To defrost a deep freeze, you may want to choose a time when it is closer to empty, such as very early spring, but it does not really matter when.

Here is the procedure:

  1. Take out all the contents. Place on a table or counter the things that are okay to thaw, such as bread, flour, etc.
  2. Put everything else into a good thaw-proof place. The little freezer in your refrigerator is good. Your neighbor’s deep freeze is also good. You could use a large cooler. But if these options are not available, try this: Put all the frozen food into a laundry basket which is inside a couple of sleeping bags. No kidding, it keeps. Our family has moved frozen food that way on trips that take 10 hours. Sugared fruit might soften some, but it does that even in the freezer, sometimes.
  3. As the freezer thaws, the lid or door should be open.
  4. Please resist the temptation to chop or pry at clumps of frost.
  5. A fan blowing toward the inside of it will greatly speed thawing.
  6. The lid or door will likely be drippy, so be ready with several old towels. Better yet, take it outdoors to sit in the sun. When empty, it is not very heavy, just awkward. You’ll need help, but I have moved mine using the help of only three older children.
  7. Once the dripping stops, the freezer is probably finished thawing. Bail out any standing water. Wipe the whole freezer, inside and out, with mild soap or baking soda water. Wipe completely dry.
  8. Check for rust, inside and out, and very carefully remove rust with steel wool. Cover these spots with clear or white nail polish, or with car paint.
  9. If the box seams are caulked, check for gaps and re-caulk, if needed, with a product suitable for freezing temperatures.

Now you are ready to plug it back in and let it freeze. Once cools, reload it.

Doesn’t it hum differently, now, as if it is happier?

Another freezer care-taking chore is to keep it dusted. Wipe the exterior at least monthly, including the sides. You should also wipe off exterior dampness during humid weather. Try to keep the dust from under it, as well.

One important fact that few people know: The deep freeze resents having items sitting on it, especially insulating things such as a pretty quilt or a pile of laundry. I am not sure why, but I have heard it traps warmth near the top of the box instead of letting it escape. I suppose this means the 25 degree “warmth” cannot escape from the 18 degree box, or something. I do know placing such things on my freezer causes moisture to form on it every time.

Last, but not least, I have prepared a short list of tricks and recipes for tomorrow. See ya!


photo credit: Wikipedia

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

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