When you open the freezer door and are met with the frozen, fuzzy appearance of freezer frost, you have to remove it. Many freezers are now "frost free" and don't need to be defrosted manually. They are designed to prevent the frost from forming, but frost build-up does occur at times. Excessive frost build-up makes your freezer work harder and runs up your electric bill in the process. Putting hot food in the freezer, leaving the door open, or putting too much food in the freezer can cause frost to build up.

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Ideally, your freezer should be free of frost.

Step 1

Remove any food from the freezer, wrap in chilled newspaper, and place in cardboard boxes. This slows the thawing process while the freezer defrosts. Unplug the freezer and line the floor around the freezer with towels, to catch any melting frost.

Step 2

Boil water, then pour into pans or bowls. Place these in the freezer and close the door to speed up the progression of defrosting. Every 10 to 15 minutes, check the freezer for progress.

Step 3

Use a plastic scraper to remove the ice and frost as it melts. Pick up any large chunks with your hands and put them in the sink. Use towels to wipe up small pieces and soak up any remaining water.

Step 4

Wash the freezer with a mixture of 1 tbsp. baking soda and 1 qt. of water, or 1 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of water, to remove odors.

Step 5

Turn the freezer back on and let it cool for 30 minutes before putting the food back inside.