Defrosting A Freezer Without Turning Off A Fridge: 5 Steps

Fridge Becoming A Freezer

Do you have a freezer at home? Are you thinking that it is probably time to defrost your freezer?

If so, you might be hesitant to do so because you know this is going to take a long time. In general, it takes approximately 24 hours to completely defrost a freezer the typical way. If you do not have time to wait, you might be wondering if there is a faster way to defrost your freezer.

It is true that there is a faster way to defrost your freezer. You need to be careful to protect your food during this process, and you need to be aware that a significant amount of water is going to end up on the floor. Therefore, you have to take the appropriate precautions.

Fortunately, there is a way for you to do this safely. If you take a look at the helpful article below, you will also learn how to quickly defrost a freezer without turning off the fridge. Take a look at some important information below, and get ready to defrost your freezer! 

Defrost A Freezer Without Turning It Off

The easiest way to defrost a freezer without turning it off is to remove all food items and place one or more bowls of boiling hot water inside the freezer. After a while, use a scraper to scrape off the ice and frost.

Just be careful not to accidentally melt the appliance’s plastic by using too much heat, and under no circumstance try to chip ice away from the evaporator manually, as you could destroy your appliance if you damage this component.

That’s the super quick answer, but there’s more to it than that. Below we’ve got all the details on how to make sure we can defrost smoothly and with the least mess possible.

What You’ll Need To Defrost Your Freezer

If you are ready to defrost your freezer without turning off the fridge, you need to gather the appropriate materials first. You will need:

  • You must make sure you have access to your fridge and freezer.
  • You need to make sure you have plenty of towels of all sizes. You might have to collect all the towels in your home.
  • You may also want to have access to a pair of gloves to protect your hands from cuts, cold temperatures, and mild frostbite.
  • You should make sure you have a spatula or ice scraper to scrape off the inside of the freezer.
  • You might want to have a bowl of boiling water if you want the process to go faster.

Once you have collected all of these materials, you are ready to start defrosting the freezer.

Defrost Your Freezer Without Turning Off the Fridge: 5 Steps

To complete the process of defrosting your freezer without turning off the fridge, there are several steps you need to follow. These include: 

Step #1 Remove All Food Items from the Freezer

First, you need to remove all items from the freezer. Even though you are not going to be turning off the freezer or the refrigerator, you still need to get the food items out of the way. Furthermore, if you leave the door open, the cold temperature is going to leave the freezer. As a result, your food is going to be harmed.

Transfer all food into the refrigerator

When you move all of your food to the refrigerator, make sure you pack it tightly. Even though the refrigerator is still cold, it is not as cold as your freezer. You do not want your food to warm up too quickly. If you pack all the food tightly in the refrigerator, your food will insulate itself, preventing it from warming up too quickly. Therefore, you should be able to protect your food from harm for a short period.

You might even want to create a designated space for all of your freezer food in your refrigerator. If you think carefully about how you are going to line up your food in the refrigerator, you should be able to reduce the chances of your food warming up too much. 

Step #2 Make Sure To Seal the Door

After this, you need to seal the door. If you have a separate door for your refrigerator, you need to make sure you seal it after you put your food in there. Even though you are probably not going to open the door to the refrigerator until after you are done defrosting the freezer, you never know how many times you are accidentally going to bump the door to the refrigerator during the defrosting process. 

You need to make sure the refrigerator door stays closed during the defrosting process because this will keep the cool temperatures in the refrigerator. That way, the food you have moved in there is not going to warm up as much.

Step #3 Cover the Floor with Plenty of Towels

After this, you have to cover the floor with plenty of towels. Ideally, you will have someone to help you who can slightly lift up the refrigerator and freezer to slide a few towels under there. No matter what type of floors you have underneath your refrigerator or freezer, you need to protect them from water damage.

This is why you need to protect as many towels as possible. It is impossible to have too many towels for this process, particularly if you are going with a quick defrost. It is possible you will use every towel you have in your home.

It is most important for you to get the towels directly beneath the refrigerator and freezer because this is where a lot of the water is going to go. Then, you should also have a perimeter of towels extending a few feet out from the freezer and refrigerator.

If you have hardwood floors underneath your freezer and refrigerator, these are very susceptible to moisture damage. Therefore, get these towels in place as quickly as possible. Also, you should consider that moisture isn’t just going to come from inside the freezer, but also from excess water in the evaporation pan under it.

To prevent this, you can use a shop vac or dry rags to soak up some of the moisture from the pain, preventing leaking from this area altogether.

Step #4 Use a Bowl of Boiling Water 

Once all the towels are in place and the food has been put away, it is time to get to work with the defrosting process. If you have a bowl of warm water (not boiling, as too much heat can warp the plastic in your appliance), you should start by pouring a bit on the ice sheets inside the freezer. A turkey baster will do a good job here as well.

Of course, you have to protect yourself against burn injuries; however, the goal of this boiling water is to speed up the melting process. The more water you have, the more you’ll be able to melt the ice inside the freezer. You might even want to have another pot of boiling water warming up as you use the first bowl you have. 

Step #5 Scrape the Inside of the Freezer

Most of the work is going to be done using a spatula or an ice scraper. This is how you are going to remove the sheets of ice from the inside of the freezer. It is not that difficult to take an ice scraper or spatula and scrape the ice from the inside of the freezer. Make sure you look around every corner and crevice. You need to make sure you remove as much ice as possible. The more ice you remove, the less frequently you will have to do this process.

Just remember to avoid scrapping ice off the evaporator, as you can damage it very easily and ruin your appliance.

If you get a giant sheet of ice removed from the freezer, try to toss this in the sink. The more ice lands in the sink, the less ice lands on the floor. This means your towels are not going to get as wet, and you will not have to worry about as much moisture damage on your floors. It can be a long process, but if you go through the cycle of using warm water and a spatula, you should be able to get the freezer defrosted in about an hour. 

These are the most important steps you need to follow if you want to defrost your freezer without turning it off. At the same time, you must make sure you protect your floors from harm

How Often You Need To Defrost Your Freezer

Speaking of defrosting your freezer, you might be wondering how often you have to do this. If your appliance has automatic defrosting, you should never have to do this manually, and if it doesn’t have this feature, then once a year is a good starting point.

There are several reasons why you have to defrost your freezer from time to time. First, this can intrude on the space you have in your freezer. If you want to maximize the space in your freezer, then you need to prevent sheets of ice from closing off certain areas. That way, you don’t have to worry about purchasing a larger freezer or refrigerator.

In addition, you also have to defrost your freezer regularly because this is important for efficiency. If your freezer has a lot of ice and side of it, then it is not going to work as well. As a result, your utility bills may be higher. If you want to save money on your utility bills, then you should defrost your freezer from time to time. That way, your refrigerator and freezer will work more efficiently. 

Defrost Your Freezer Without Turning Off the Fridge Safely

If you are thinking about defrosting your freezer, the easiest way to do so is to remove all of the items and unplug it. Unfortunately, this can be a time-consuming process, and you might be worried about the food you have in your refrigerator or freezer. If that is the case, there is a way for you to defrost your freezer without turning off the refrigerator.

Make sure you protect the food in your refrigerator by sealing the door. That way, you don’t have to worry about all of your food defrosting. Furthermore, you also have to make sure you put a bunch of towels on the ground. That way, you can protect your floors against water damage. If you have any questions about this process, you should reach out to a professional who can help you. 

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more