Freezer Maintenance Tips

Chest freezer

Chest freezers require very little maintenance. When frost has accumulated on the inside walls to a thickness of ½ inch or so, remove the food from the freezer, turn off the thermostat or unplug the unit, and allow all of the frost to melt. Once the frost has melted completely, turn the freezer back on, wait for it to reach its operating temperature, and restock it with food. If the gasket or interior of the freezer becomes dirty or sticky, wash it with a damp rag and a little dish detergent. For odors in the freezer, try Freezer deodorizer.

Upright freezer

The type of maintenance your upright-style freezer needs depends on whether it is manual- or self-defrosting.

Manual-defrost freezers

Upright manual-defrost freezers require very little maintenance. When frost has accumulated on the inside walls to a thickness of ½ inch or so, remove the food from the freezer, turn off the thermostat or unplug the unit, and allow all of the frost to melt. Once the frost has melted completely, turn the freezer back on, wait for it to reach its operating temperature, and restock it with food.

Self-defrosting freezers

You don't need to manually defrost your self-defrosting freezer. Instead, every 8 to 12 hours, the unit heats up its cooling coils slightly and melts any frost accumulation on the coils. The resulting water drains into a shallow pan at the bottom of the freezer. The water in the pan evaporates, but, over time, it may begin to smell bad. You may be able to remove the pan for periodic cleaning by detaching the lower grill and sliding the pan out the front of the freezer.

Note… When mold grows in the drain pain, it is sometimes considered to be a health concern. If your drain pan is removable, and if you're sensitive to mold, consider cleaning the drain pan periodically.

Self-defrosting freezers have a set of coils and a cooling fan under the freezer that need to be cleaned at least once a year. The coils may look like a grate or like a wide radiator. Unplug the freezer, then use a Refrigerator Condenser Brush and your vacuum cleaner to remove any lint, pet hair, and so on from the coils. If the gasket or interior of the freezer becomes dirty or sticky, wash it with a damp rag and a little dish detergent.

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