There are few things more frustrating that opening your freezer to find that everything has a layer of frost on it or worse, that the walls of your freezer have ice built up on them. Trying to chip-off ice is certainly not recommended, you can cause serious damage to the interior of your refrigerator. The best way to deal with ice and frost in the freezer is to take steps to prevent it from happening.
What Causes Ice to Build Up in the Freezer?
There are a few reasons why your freezer gets frost and ice to build up on the inside. Here are some of the common reasons that will cause this to happen.
Your refrigerator’s defrost system may not be working. If you have frost building up on the evaporator cover, which is either underneath your appliance or at the back, then your defrost system is not working and you need to contact a qualified appliance repair technician.
A bad door gasket can cause frost to build up, as well. When the door does not seal all the way shut due to a bad gasket, it causes frost to accumulate on things inside your freezer and on the walls. If you visually inspect the gasket and see rips, you need to replace it. You should not see any gaps in the gasket when the door is shut, if you slide a piece of paper between the gasket and the door, you need a new gasket.
If you have ice that is built up around your ice chute for the icemaker that is a problem with the ice chute, most likely with the ice flapper. If the flap that keeps the ice chute closed when not in use, does not close all the way, it can allow ice to build up in that area.
Another common cause of ice and frost forming in the freezer is by not closing the door all the way. If the door is left open, even just slightly, it will create this frost to build up quickly in the freezer. Warm air entering the freezer causes ice to build up. Always give the freezer door an extra push to make sure that it is closed tightly.
If you have your freezer filled to the brim, it might be preventing your freezer door from staying tightly closed. Although your freezer works better when it is full, filling it too full can mean that your freezer door does not shut tightly. Avoid packing your freezer too full.
How to Remove Ice Build Up from your Freezer?
If you have a freezer that has ice built up, do not try to scrape of chip it off. You should unplug your refrigerator/freezer and place your perishable items in coolers so they will not go bad. Fill a spray bottle with hot (not boiling) water and spray where the frost builds up is.
Use towels to catch the water, the hot water, will melt the frost so you can easily wipe it away. Use a clean, dry towel to dry the inside of the freezer, the door and the gasket fully. You need to ensure that all moisture has been removed.
Replace the items in your freezer, using a dry towel to wipe them off first. You do not want any moisture on the outside of your frozen items because that moisture will just help create more frost and you will quickly end up back where you began, a freezer full of frost. You can now replace your perishables and plug the appliance back in.
How to Prevent Ice Build Up in your Freezer?
It is easier to take steps to prevent frost and ice in your freezer than it is to get rid of it. Follow these tips to keep your freezer frost and ice-free and running great.
Frost and ice will build up faster in a freezer that has more empty space than it will in a freezer that is full. Keep your freezer full to help prevent frost from forming. If you only keep a few things in your freezer, you can use freezable plastic containers filled with water in your freezer. You should keep between two to three pounds of frozen items per cubic foot in your freezer.
The more you open your freezer, the more moisture and warm air you let into the freezer section. Try to keep your freezer shut as much as possible. If you need to put away groceries, stack all of your frozen foods together and then put them all away at once instead of opening and closing the freezer to put them away individually.
Your freezer should be set to zero degrees Fahrenheit. If you have it set too coldly, it can cause frost to form. If you have your freezer set below zero, slowly start bringing the temperature up and see if that helps. It should not be set above zero degrees though.
Make sure your gasket is not broken and has a tight seal. A gasket that has tears or that prevents the freezer from sealing will let in warm air, which will help create frost. The more warm air you get in your freezer, the harder it has to work to keep it cold. This uses more energy and causes frost to build up.
Keep your freezer in an area with low humidity. Basements tend to be damp; as do laundry rooms and the extra moisture is trapped in the freezer when you open the door, creating frost.
Finding frost or ice in your freezer is common. However, if it keeps happening even after following the above advice you might need to have it looked at, especially the gasket. Ensuring that your freezer is in good working order not only makes it more energy efficient but also keeps it frost-free. These tips will help you manage the frost and ice that builds up.