Cleaning the freezer is usually pretty far down the list of kitchen tasks – after all, it pretty much takes care of itself, doesn’t it? Well, not exactly! If you’ve ever spilled any liquid while transferring a container or dish to the freezer and left it there, you’ve got a bad freezer smell waiting to happen. One day you’ll open the door and suddenly notice that the freezer smells bad: it’s time for a deep clean!
How to Clean a Freezer
These days there are two types of freezer: the traditional models that fill with ice and have to be defrosted before cleaning; and the newer frost-free versions that don’t. If you have the latter, you’re going to find the cleaning process a lot faster; defrosting a traditional freezer can take some time – you’ll need to monitor the process closely, or you may end up with water all over your kitchen floor!
Before you get to the cleaning part, you will need to do the following steps:
- Consult the manufacturer’s manual and check whether your freezer has a defrost mode. Some freezers – particularly combined models – don’t need to be unplugged from the electricity to defrost. Others should be emptied and unplugged to start defrosting.
- Open the door of your freezer, empty food into a cool box, and remove any drawers or racks to be washed separately.
- Put a large bowl and towels at the bottom of the freezer to catch the water and ice as it melts.
- Empty the drip tray or bowl, and wring out towels frequently.
- Help ice dislodge from the walls of your fridge by gently levering it off with a plastic utensil, being careful not to damage the freezer.
- Standing a bowl of hot water in the bottom of the freezer and closing the door will speed up the melting process. Avoid using electrical appliances like hairdryers to do the same job – you may end up electrocuting yourself!
Food trapped in the ice is often source of a bad smell in the freezer, so defrosting it will almost immediately solve that particular problem.