How to Remove Ice from Bottom of Freezer

As a child, opening the freezer to find an iced-over winter wonderland was amazing. You may have run to the cabinet to get a cup for collecting snow or just chipped away at the chunks of ice. However, as an adult, there is nothing fun about opening your freezer to discover it is almost completely frozen.

If you find yourself in this predicament, check out the following expert tips for removing the ice from the bottom of your freezer.

Some newer model freezers come equipped with automatic defrosters. If yours does not, you can quickly get rid of the ice by placing bowls or pans of boiling water into your freezer covering the floor with towels to soak up melted ice.

Another easy method is to turn the freezer off by twisting the thermostat to zero. Additionally, you can spritz the ice with hot water to accelerate the process.

Don't stop reading yet. Follow along as we go into more detail about each defrosting process. We will also discuss reasons your freezer may be icing over, how often you should defrost it, how to prevent ice from forming in your freezer, and more.

Many Ice frozen in the fridge - How to Remove Ice from Bottom of Freezer

How To Remove Ice From The Bottom Of The Freezer

frustrated man looking down at a defrosting chest freezer.

Although ice may not seem like such a bad thing inside a freezer, it can become so thick that it begins to take up more space than your food. Excessive amounts of ice can also prevent your unit from working correctly.

If you open the door to find the bottom of your freezer covered in ice or thick layers of frost, there are a few simple ways to defrost it.

Many people suggest using a hairdryer to melt the ice. This is not a good idea. Not only is there the risk of electrical shock, but you also risk damaging the cooling elements inside the freezer along with melting the delicate plastic on the sides and bottom of the freezer.

Check out safer options below:

Unplug Unit

hand holding power cable in front of wall outlet

If you have somewhere else, you can store your refrigerated items and frozen foods, you can unplug your chest freezer or refrigerator, allowing it to thaw for several hours. For best results, make sure you leave the doors open and don't forget to lay some towels on the floor to soak up the melted ice.

You will also need to ensure the cord is kept away from the water. Move the unit away from the wall to prevent water from draining into electrical outlets.

Turn Off Thermostat

Hand Adjusting New Refrigerator Thermostat Control Knob

If your freezer is connected to your refrigerator, you don't have to unplug it and put all the food somewhere else. Instead, you can turn off the freezer thermostat. Look for the dial; most have numbers one through five, but some have a zero.

If yours has a zero, turning it to that will switch off the thermostat.

If there is no zero, you should still be able to turn the knob past number one to turn it off. Just make sure you turn off the thermostat to the freezer and not the fridge. Once the temperature is switched off, open the door to the freezer, and place plenty of towels on the floor to catch dripping water.

Place Boiling Water Inside

Steaming metal bowl on grey table against dark background

You can use this method whether you choose to unplug your freezer or turn off the thermostat. Once the freezer is no longer dispersing cold air, start some water to boiling. Caution: do not place the pot filled with boiling water into the freezer.

Instead, pour the boiling water into a metal pan or mixing bowl.

Next, place the bowl in the bottom of the freezer, and shut the door. The steam from the hot water will accelerate the defrosting process, and the closed-door will prevent the hot air from escaping. After you place the bowl in the freezer, begin boiling more water.

When the water inside the freezer cools, empty it and replace it with more boiling water. Repeat this process until all the ice has melted.

Mist The Ice With Hot Water

Hand holding spray cleaner plastic bottle on white background

Fill a spray bottle with hot water if you want to accelerate the defrosting process. This process will be a bit messier than other options, so you will need extra towels. Caution: do not pour boiling water into a plastic spray bottle; doing so will likely melt the container.

Next, spritz the ice over and over until it begins to melt.

Click here to view this spray bottle on Amazon.

Why Is Ice Forming In The Bottom Of My Samsung Fridge Freezer?

According to Samsung, there are several reasons for ice buildup in the bottom of a freezer. These generally include poor ventilation, a leaky door seal, and humid air entering the unit. Inspect your freezer, making sure it closes properly.

If it does not close completely, items could block the door. You should also check the rubber seal. It may be loose in areas, preventing the door from shutting entirely or allowing warm air to seep in from outside.

Proximity To Heat Sources

If the door does not seem to be the problem, inspect the location of your refrigerator. Is it situated in direct sunlight? Perhaps its proximity to a heat source, such as an oven or clothes dryer, is too close.

These factors can cause your unit to work harder to create cold air, resulting in excessive ice or frost buildup.

Poor Ventilation

You have likely noticed the vents in the back of your freezer. This is where the cold air originates. If the vents are blocked, the cold air will not be able to circulate throughout the freezer, causing certain spots to be colder than others.

To prevent ice buildup due to poor ventilation, arrange your food items appropriately to avoid blocking the vents.

Opening The Door Too Often

Lastly, you should avoid opening the freezer door too often. This can especially be an issue in households with children. They typically stand with the door open, looking for something to eat. The warm air within your home then gains access to the inside of your freezer, causing ice and frost to develop.

How To Prevent Ice Buildup In The Freezer

To prevent ice and frost buildup in your freezer, you should ensure it is not positioned directly in sunlight or too close to a heat source such as a stove. Avoid opening the door unless necessary, and don't hold it open for too long. Ensure rubber seals are in good working condition and avoid blocking the vents.

Additionally, it's essential to keep the rear of your fridge clean. Dirt and grime can build up at the bottom rear of the unit, causing your freezer to work harder to keep items cold. Use a vacuum cleaner a couple of times a year, more if you have pets in the home, to remove dust and debris from the outer vents.

How Often Should I Defrost my Freezer?

Whirlpool suggests defrosting your freezer at least once per year. However, you should not allow ice to build up more than 1/4 inch thick regardless.

Furthermore, if it reaches that point, you should defrost the freezer even if you have already done so once that year.

Where is the Freezer Drain Located?

Generally, the freezer drain is usually located on the back panel of the outer wall of the freezer next to the evaporator coils. The drain hole will likely have a cover if you have a refrigerator/freezer combo. To access the drain, you will need to unscrew and remove the cover.

How Do You Clean The Defrost Drain On A Frigidaire Refrigerator?

Cleaning the defrost drain on a Frigidaire refrigerator is quite simple. You do not even have to remove the cover to clean the drain in most cases. First, you will need a turkey baster. Fill it with hot water and squeeze into the hole several times until the clog is gone.

You can also insert a plumbing snake into the drain hole. For this method, you will need to remove the cover. Thrust the snake back and forth several times to remove anything that may be jammed inside.

View this drain snake on Amazon here.

To Wrap Up

A buildup of ice in the bottom of your freezer can be a problem. However, there are both ways to prevent this from happening and ways to remove the ice. One of the most important things to remember is to keep the freezer door closed as much as possible.

For more freezer troubleshooting tips, check out these other posts on our blog:

For How Long Can You Leave Freezer Door Open?

My Refrigerator Freezer Is Cold, But The Fridge Is Warm - What To Do?

Why Does My Freezer Have Frost All Of A Sudden? [And How To Fix It]

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