The freezer is a long-term food storage appliance where it is easy to forget what is in there. Most people are excellent at cleaning the refrigerator but tend to forget about the freezer.
Minor leaks and spills mostly go uncleaned for an extended period and accumulate in the nooks and crannies of the freezer. Leftover foods from dinner parties and other occasions are usually thrown into the freezer which results into bad odor over time. It is important to set aside time to freshen up the freezer once in several months if it does not fall into the house cleaning routine.
Cleaning out the freezer can be quite challenging especially where there is a large amount of frost build up. However, with the more modern freezers, you are likely not to encounter this problem.
You will need at least a day’s planning depending on the size and contents of the freezer to simplify the process. Outlined below are a few freezer cleaning tips that should consider following.
1. Remove all the food
You can put some of the food from your freezer in the refrigerator if there is enough room. You can also create more space by throwing out some stale and unrecognizable elements in the fridge. If there still isn’t enough space for all your foodstuffs, you will need to prepare several larger coolers. Place a layer of ice at the bottom of all the coolers. Proceed to relocate all the food into the coolers and place another layer of ice on the food. If you think the cleaning process will not take much time, you can place the food on the kitchen counters while you clean.
2. Switch off and unplug the freezer
Ensure the freezer is fully disconnected from any power source. This will prevent any occurrence of an electric shock during the defrosting and cleaning process. Also, it will speed up the melting of the ice in the freezer. Additionally, you should move the freezer to avoid damage to the floors during cleaning. Where necessary, place old towels or newspapers under the freezer.
3. Defrosting the freezer
Every freezer is designed differently. As a result, you will need to refer to the instruction manual for defrosting guidelines. If you cannot locate your manual, you can visit the manufacturer’s website for a digital copy. If you are pressed for time, there are two ways to speed up the defrosting process.
a. Put hot water in a larger bowl and place it inside the freezer. Close the lid to allow the hot steam to melt the ice in the freezer. Depending on the amount of ice and frost, you may need to change the hot water several times.
b. Use a hair dryer set at low heat. Carefully direct the warm air on the interiors of the freezer. The melting ice should at no point come into contact with the dryer to avoid electrocution.
A lot of water will have accumulated at the bottom of the freezer from the melted ice. Use a container to remove most of that water. You can also use a towel to wipe out the remaining water in the appliance. If there are any removable shelves, take them out of the freezer. Use warm soapy water to clean and scrub any tough stains with a sponge. Rinse the shelves thoroughly and allow them to air dry. Make a warm solution of vinegar or baking soda and detergent to clean the walls of the freezer. Dip a soft towel in the solution and gently wipe the inside of the appliance. You can also place the solution in a spray bottle. Spray small amounts of the solution as you wipe down with a cloth. Repeat this step severally until to remove stains. Use a toothbrush to scrub out stubborn food gunk. Rinse the interior of the freezer with clean water. Use the warm soapy water also to clean the exterior walls of the freezer.
5. Dry the appliance
Use microfiber cloths or paper towels to dry the interior walls of the freezer. Remove all the moisture to prevent ice from forming.To eliminate any unwanted smells, place a bowl of activated charcoal in the freezer and close the lid.
6. Turn on the freezer
Many manufacturers recommend the deep freezer should run for at least six hours before placing any foods. Once this period has expired, you can begin to place all the frozen food in the freezer. Organize the food according to those with a longer frozen shelf life which should be placed at the bottom.
There is really no easier way of cleaning the freezer. However, you can shorten this process by cleaning the appliance three times a year.