How To Fix & Prevent Frost Build-up in Freezer- 8 tips & Why It Happens?

There’s nothing worse than opening your freezer only to discover that it has a severe frost build-up. When this happens, how do you fix it, and can you prevent it from happening in the future? 

You can fix frost build-up in a freezer by manually defrosting it and ensuring that the defrost function works (if it has one). You can prevent it by always closing the door, keeping the freezer clean, and closing the ice dispenser chute when you’re not using it. 

In this article, I’ll discuss the best ways to fix a frost build-up in your freezer and how to prevent it going forward. Let’s dive right in! 

1. Manually Defrost the Freezer

If your freezer has a severe frost build-up and doesn’t have a functioning defrost function, you’ll need to do it manually. This isn’t a complex process but requires some work and time. 

frost build-up

Here’s how to defrost your freezer manually: 

  1. Unplug the freezer from the power outlet and remove the contents. A large freezer will take longer to defrost, and it’s worth placing your frozen food in a cooler. 
  2. Boil a few pots of water, and place them in your freezer. Shut the door to allow the steam to start melting the frost and ice. Place some towels around the freezer to protect the floor. 
  3. After around 10 minutes, open your freezer door and remove the pots of water. 
  4. Using a blunt object (such as a plastic paint scraper), remove the frost and ice. 
  5. If the ice build-up is severe, you may need to place some pots with boiling water in the freezer again to loosen the stubborn parts. 
  6. Once you’ve removed all the ice, wipe down the freezer with a soft cloth and a gentle detergent. 
  7. Plug your freezer back in and repack it with your frozen goods. 

Read: 3 Reasons Why Chest Freezer Is Not Working After Power Outage

2. Use Frost Remover Spray

If your freezer has a build-up of ice, but you don’t have the time to defrost it manually, you can use a frost remover spray instead. 

Below are the steps to follow for using this method: 

  1. Remove the frozen food items from your freezer, and unplug the freezer from the power outlet. 
  2. Follow the instructions on your frost remover spray, and spray it over the affected areas of frost build-up.
  3. Leave the product to work for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the melted ice with an absorbent towel. 
  4. Replace your frozen food items, plug your freezer back in, and close the door. 

Read: Why Freezer Not Cold Enough? What’s The Cause? 

3. Ensure the Defrost Sensor Is Working Properly

If your freezer frequently frosts up and has a defrost sensor, it may not be working properly. The defrost sensor is responsible for turning off the compressor when the freezer isn’t being used and turning it back on when needed. 

When it detects ice or frost on the evaporator coils, the coils will temporarily heat up to help remove the build-up. Once defrosted, the coils will function normally again. 

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To prevent frost build up, check the defrost sensor and ensure it works properly. You can also try turning off the freezer to allow the frost to melt. If your defrost sensor doesn’t seem to function correctly, you may need to replace it. 

Read: Freezer Problems In Hot Weather. How To Fix?

4. Always Shut the Freezer Door Properly

The best way to prevent frost buildup is to ensure that the door is always properly sealed when closed. 

When you open your freezer door, cold air escapes and is replaced by warmer air, which condenses on the walls and the inside of the door, eventually resulting in an ice build-up. 

By ensuring that you always shut your freezer door properly, you can help decrease frost build-up. 

If you notice the rubber seal around the edge of the door (the gasket) is dirty, wipe it down and clean it with some gentle detergent. This may help it to seal more effectively, as dirt can cause air leaks. 

It’s also important to ensure that the door gasket is in good condition and that there are no cracks or gaps. If the gasket is damaged, you’ll need to replace it. 

Read: Common Freezer Problems And How To Fix Them?

5. Keep the Freezer at the Correct Temperature

Although you can adjust your freezer’s temperature, you should keep it at 0° F (-18° C) because this creates conditions where water vapor is typically too cold to condense and accumulate on your freezer surfaces. However, frost will build up if your freezer is set too warm. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also affect the quality of your food.

The temperature can be affected if you open the freezer too often or place hot items into it. If you need to place hot items in the freezer, do so quickly and ensure they’re wrapped tightly to prevent frost from forming.

If you overload your freezer, it might need to work harder to maintain the set temperature. You can easily avoid this by not exceeding the maximum capacity stated in the user manual. However, if your freezer isn’t freezing the items at the top, you may need to take other steps, as outlined in this article

Read: Freezer Compressor Hot To Touch? Is It Normal?

6. Always Keep Your Freezer Clean 

Cleaning your freezer regularly helps prevent frost build-up and keeps it running efficiently. It’s also important to read the manual that came with your freezer, as the manufacturer may have some helpful information on how to prevent ice build-up on your freezer model. 

To keep frost from accumulating in the future, do a monthly mini-clean that includes a check for spills and crumbs and a quick wipe-down. This is easy because you don’t have to unplug your freezer and worry about removing your frozen food.

The more frequently you clean your freezer, the more difficult it is for frost to build.

7. Clean the Condenser Coils Regularly

The condenser coils at the back of your freezer are responsible for transferring heat from the freezer to the surrounding air. If the coils are dirty, they won’t be able to transfer heat effectively, and the freezer will become too cold, leading to a build-up of ice. 

You can fix this issue easily by unplugging your freezer from the wall and cleaning the condenser coils. This will keep frost from forming in the freezer in the first place.

8. Unclog the Drain to prevent frost build-up

Your freezer has a drain at the bottom to remove excess moisture. If you haven’t defrosted or cleaned it recently, there’s a good chance that the drain is clogged with ice, causing excess frost to build up inside. 

To unclog the freezer’s drain, pour a little hot water over it to melt the ice. If you have the time, it’s also worth defrosting your freezer as well. 

To prevent this problem from happening in the future, check the drain regularly and remove any ice or frost.  

Final Thoughts

Frost build-up in freezers is a common problem caused by various factors. Some of the most common causes are leaving the door open for too long, forgetting to clean your freezer, and setting your freezer to a higher temperature. To prevent frost build-up, keep the freezer door closed as much as possible and keep the freezer at the correct temperature. If frost build-up does occur, the best way to fix it is to manually defrost the freezer.

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