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Old 06-24-2014, 01:09 PM   #1
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How Do You Defrost Your Freezer?

Clearly I'm not including frost-free freezers attached to refrigerators here.

I have an upright freezer that is manual defrost. When the time comes to defrost it, I empty the contents into the freezer and refrigerator in the kitchen and into coolers. Then I turn off the freezer and bring four pots of water to a boil. My freezer has a drain plug in the bottom so I open that and run a plastic tube to a floor drain. The four pots of boiling water go on the four shelves and I shut the door and leave it for a while.

If I'm patient and wait, it's all melted or at least all the ice has fallen off the shelves and I can wipe dry and reload.

What do you do??
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:32 PM   #2
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Almost the same way as you do.
The plug on my upright won't open to drain it with a hose.We don't have a floor drain.

So I shut it off.Unplug it.Keep the door opened for a while.
When the ice is ready to easily pull off.In a bucket they go.
Wipe up the excess water.take it out and water the patio plants with it.
Were in a drought here.
Then I wipe the shelves down with a bleach solution.

Nag the kids for not keeping the shelves organized the way I want them!
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:45 PM   #3
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I have an older upright as well. It's in the basement and right next to the floor drain. First, I take everything out of the freezer and put the contents into a couple of ice chests. Then I remove the drain plug (no tube needed since the floor around the drain is at a slight incline), unplug the freezer and open the door. I should back up a bit and mention that I would normally do this in the morning before heading out to work. By the time I get home at night, the freezer is defrosted and pretty much dry. All that's left is to plug it back in and return the contents (discarding anything that's too old or freezer burned).
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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I guess I'm more impatient than you guys. You just let the ambient temperature do the job slowly rather than accelerating the process with hot water.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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I'm not patient by nature, which is why I have to do it on my in-the-office days. If I were sitting at home, I'd be checking on it every ten minutes and finally resorting to hot water or hair dryer to speed things along.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:17 PM   #6
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Most frozen stuff will stay frozen for a hours in a cooler or fridge. However, some things such as baked goods, defrost quickly so there is that issue. I put the more delicate stuff in our refrigerator's freezer and the rest goes into the coolers or the fridge. Of course, in the winter this is less of an issue.

So the point of all this is that getting stuff back into the freezer quickly is sort of important.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:55 PM   #7
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I guess I'm more impatient than you guys. You just let the ambient temperature do the job slowly rather than accelerating the process with hot water.
I'm not patient Andy.It's against my character."Don't give into terrorist freezer's" is my motto.

I wait until it's practically empty of meat.What's left, if it can be used that day or placed in the kitchen freezer is when it gets defrosted.

We try not to open it unless we have to.It's a job that's only required to do twice a year.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:04 PM   #8
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Clearly I'm not including frost-free freezers attached to refrigerators here.

I have an upright freezer that is manual defrost. When the time comes to defrost it, I empty the contents into the freezer and refrigerator in the kitchen and into coolers. Then I turn off the freezer and bring four pots of water to a boil. My freezer has a drain plug in the bottom so I open that and run a plastic tube to a floor drain. The four pots of boiling water go on the four shelves and I shut the door and leave it for a while.

If I'm patient and wait, it's all melted or at least all the ice has fallen off the shelves and I can wipe dry and reload.

What do you do??
Basically the same but I leave the door open. Occasionally, if in a hurry, I put a fan heater on a wooden chair at a safe distance and point it at the open freezer.

I have a friend who (don't try this at home, children) defrosts hers with a hair dryer. Not a frightfully good idea, methinks.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:12 PM   #9
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I have a small chest freezer in the garage. I take everything out and put it on the hood of one of my cars, usually the one I haven't driven lately, put it on my furniture dolly, roll it out into the driveway, pull the plugs and turn the hose on it until all the ice is gone.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:35 PM   #10
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I don't do the boiling water thing. I just set up 2 fans in front of the open door. One high on a stool and one lower near the floor. That's one job on my list for this summer while I'm out of school.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:37 PM   #11
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Basically the same but I leave the door open. ...
If you leave the door open, the heat given off by the hot water and pots is escaping out the door and not staying inside the freezer to melt the ice. Hot water carries a lot more heat than hot air so it's the more efficient defrosting medium.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:05 PM   #12
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Your method sounds like the fastest way Andy.
The only suggestions I can think of are to change the boiling water often to keep the temp up. Or if you want to do it with the door open use a couple space heaters.

Since you want to get things back inside quickly before they defrost it's best to do this in the winter when it's cold. Put the contents outside on a freezing day and you can take as long as you like.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Clearly I'm not including frost-free freezers attached to refrigerators here.

I have an upright freezer that is manual defrost. When the time comes to defrost it, I empty the contents into the freezer and refrigerator in the kitchen and into coolers. Then I turn off the freezer and bring four pots of water to a boil. My freezer has a drain plug in the bottom so I open that and run a plastic tube to a floor drain. The four pots of boiling water go on the four shelves and I shut the door and leave it for a while.

If I'm patient and wait, it's all melted or at least all the ice has fallen off the shelves and I can wipe dry and reload.

What do you do??
When we had ours, we waited for winter, tried to eat the supplies down a bit, then moved stuff out onto the patio (it was north facing, so stayed cold most of the winter), then ran a small hose to the basement drain, left the door open, and waited for a few hours. By then the built up ice would at least thaw enough to release from the shelves and it made it easy to just dump it all into a tub.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:24 PM   #14
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After today's bottom freezer drawer fiasco, I'm not terribly excited to attack the chest freezer in the basement, though it needs it badly.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:44 PM   #15
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We went with a self defrosting beast doe the basement so we didn't have to get involved in all this.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:59 PM   #16
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We went with a self defrosting beast doe the basement so we didn't have to get involved in all this.
This is what I'm voting for when we move back to Colorado this September.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:09 PM   #17
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I think we'll be getting a self-defrosting upright for the basement at some point in the near future as well. The chest freezer is such a pain to spelunk in.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:47 PM   #18
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I chose an upright manual defrost because I thought it would be easier to view the contents and for it's ability to maintain a uniform temperature without the fluctuations inherent to frost-free.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:57 PM   #19
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I take everything out and put it in the small upright that I only use for overflow during canning season and flash freezing. Cleaning the freezers is on my list to do before the end of July...mostly to get rid of stuff that is out-of-date, not to defrost. Mine are self-defrosting, so it is more a matter of excavating and getting ready for the new canning / freezing season.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:03 PM   #20
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I take everything out and put it in the small upright that I only use for overflow during canning season and flash freezing. Cleaning the freezers is on my list to do before the end of July...mostly to get rid of stuff that is out-of-date, not to defrost. Mine are self-defrosting, so it is more a matter of excavating and getting ready for the new canning / freezing season.
Our scheduling it for winter not only coincided with colder weather to keep things frozen while not in the freezer, but also because we usually bought a quarter of beef in February.
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