How to Deep Clean Your Freezer

How to Deep Clean Your Freezer

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And why it’s important to do on the reg.

When was the last time you cleaned your freezer? If you can’t remember—or, perhaps, you’ve never done the deed—well, we don’t blame you. It’s one of those unappealing household tasks that probably doesn’t rank very high on your to-do list (if it ranks at all).

Yet giving your freezer a regular scrub-down is important on several counts, says Michael Silva-Nash, executive vice president of the Greater Little Rock and NW Arkansas division of MOLLY MAID, a Neighborly home cleaning company. Here, Silva-Nash explains why it’s important to buff up your freezer, how often you should do it, and easy tips for getting the job done thoroughly and efficiently.

Why Should I Clean My Freezer?

Over time, dirt, dust, and food remnants can build up in your freezer. If this gridue collects in the coils, it can decrease the efficiency of the machine, explains Silva-Nash, which is why it’s important to regularly remove said gunk. By doing so, you’ll ensure your freezer is running efficiently, which translates to less energy used and more money saved on your electric bill. On top of that, every cleaning provides a chance for you to take stock of the items in your freezer and consume items that are nearing expiration. This can help reduce food waste and save dollars on your grocery bill.

How Often Should I Clean My Freezer?

Though the frequency at which you should clean your freezer depends on many factors—like the make/model, how often you use it, and your storage habits—a good rule of thumb is to clean it before or when the frost is a half-inch thick.

Also, if you find your freezer not working as well—say, for instance, your items aren’t as cold as usual or you hear the freezer running more often—that’s another sign that it likely needs a scrub-down, says Silva-Nash.

In general, Silva-Nash advises establishing a regular cleaning schedule—every three months, for example, or twice a year—to stay ahead of massive build-ups. Small, frequent cleanings are less arduous than sporadic scrubbings.

What Materials Do I Need to Get the Job Done?

You’ll need a cooler with ice to stash your frozen goods while you’re completing the cleaning. If you don’t have a cooler, you can use bowls of ice, which “won’t work as well” [in terms of keeping your items completely chilled] caveats Silva-Nash, but will provide a “quick fix.”

For the cleaning itself, you’ll need soft rags and dish soap. You’ll also need a canister vacuum or other type of vacuum with a hose. If your freezer is especially stinky and/or has particularly tough stains, you can create a special cleaning solution by mixing a quart of hot water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a teaspoon (or less) of vanilla extract. Another useful tool for stuck-on stains: an old toothbrush. Also, if your freezer has a drip pan, you’ll need a good disinfectant. Lastly, if you have a stainless steel fridge, you’ll need baby oil and a microfiber rag.

I Have The Materials. What Do I Do Now?

You should allot between 30 minutes to an hour for the task, says Silva-Nash. When you're ready, follow these steps.

  • Before you start any cleaning, turn off your freezer. This will save energy as you clean and also ensure your safety as you tackle the coils.
  • Fill up your sink with hot, soapy water.
  • Empty the ice container and pour the ice into your cooler or bowls, and then drop your ice container in the sink to soak.
  • From there, empty all food items from the freezer and sort your goods into two piles: things you are going to keep, and older items you are going to toss. For foods in the former group, take the time to thoroughly wipe and clean them (for example, remove any spillage on the lids surrounding jars or the outside of Tupperware) before stashing them in your temporary cooling device.
  • Take out all of the drawers and add them to the soapy sink for soaking.
  • Use the vacuum to remove any crumbs left behind at the bottom of the freezer.
  • While you have the vacuum out, use it on the coils to remove any dust, dirt, or debris. Just be sure to go slow and be gentle so you don’t damage the coils.
  • If your freezer has a drip pan underneath, remove that and empty it, preferably somewhere outside the kitchen, says Silva-Nash, as it can contain unsanitary water. Clean it thoroughly with a disinfectant.
  • Wet a rag with hot water and your choice of cleaner (either dish soap or the baking powder/vanilla mix). Use the rag to wipe down the entire inside of the freezer, going from top to bottom, left to right.
  • For any stains that can’t be removed with the rag, try a toothbrush.
  • Once the interior is clean, take a fresh rag or paper towel and dry the inside, going from top to bottom, left to right again.
  • After you’ve dried the inside, turn on your freezer again and replace the drawers and ice bin.
  • When the freezer is cool enough again, put your food back, organizing it so that your older and close-to-expiring items are towards the front and newer items are towards the back.
  • While you’re at it, make sure every food item is marked with an easy-to-ready expiration date.
  • Now, tackle the outside. If you have a stainless steel freezer, use the oil and microfiber rag to polish the doors, handles and sides. If you have a non-stainless steel freezer, use a cloth rag or paper towels and a water/soap solution to do the same.
  • Lastly, for a better-smelling freezer going forward, stick an open box of baking soda inside, or soak a cotton ball in vanilla, orange or lemon extract (depending on your scent preference) and stash that in a back corner.

Final step: Pat yourself on the back! And then enjoy your squeaky-clean, well-organized, and energy-efficient freezer.

How to Remove Built‐Up Frost from Your Freezer

This article was co-authored by Michelle Driscoll, MPH. Michelle Driscoll is the Owner of Mulberry Maids based in northern Colorado. Driscoll received her Masters in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2016.

There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 242,597 times.

A little bit of frost build-up in your freezer is normal, but it can become a problem over time. Too much frost can be damaging to food and can indicate a problem with your freezer. There are, however, simple ways to remove built-up frost. You can scrape off the build-up or defrost the freezer in order to melt the excess ice. Then, take steps to prevent build-up in the freezer later, such as keeping the thermostat just below 0 °F (−18 °C).

  • Continue until most or all of the build-up has been removed.
  • This method works best when combined with another method, like defrosting by unplugging the freezer.
  • This method typically works better when thin layers of ice need to be removed rather than large chunks.
  • To speed up the process, you can put hot water in a spray bottle and spray it onto the ice. Then, mop it up with a towel. Alternatively, you can use a hair dryer to blow hot air into the freezer to melt the ice.
  • As an alternative to soap and water, you can use a baking soda and water solution or an equal parts vinegar and water solution to clean your freezer. In addition to getting your freezer clean, both baking soda and vinegar help remove odors. [9] X Research source
  • Check the temperature on the thermostat, or put a thermometer in the freezer for 3 minutes before reading it.

How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine Quickly!

While the process of a deep clean is never really something I enjoy, I truly appreciate the outcome and that’s what I love about these three main parts to cleaning a front load washer for a fresh, clean look and smell.

Tip: This can be done as often as needed, but should be done every few months to keep the gunk build-up to a minimum.

Step 1. Cleaning the Outside of the Machine:

Lysol Wipes. I chose to use Lysol wipes to disinfect as well, but you could also use a rag and an all-purpose cleaner or these DIY cleaning wipes.

Whatever your tool of choice may be, scrub down the outside of the machine nice and thoroughly. Between baskets being on top of the laundry machine along with piling laundry on top of the machine before or after a wash, I was surprised at how DIRTY this really was.

Step 2. Cleaning the Front Door:

DIY soap scum remover or this DIY hard water stain remover to really clean it up.

Step 3. Cleaning the Front Load Washer Gasket:

Now comes the gross part…at least for my washer (I have children and a dog).

Have you ever really looked in between the door and drum of the washer down in the gasket? I quickly peel it back when I notice a sock stuck in there, but for the most part, that is part of the washer I skip over. Why? Well, because I didn’t really notice how much build-up and funk came from this one location of the machine.

heavy-duty scrubbing sponge and some vinegar. Pour vinegar on the sponge and then start scrubbing the inside of the gasket. You’ll be glad you did! In just doing this, I could already notice a difference with the washer.

Step 4. Cleaning the Drawers and Trays:

The next part of the machine you’ll want to scrub is the drawer where you put detergent, bleach, or fabric softener. Different machines may have a different setup, but the trays are usually removable by lifting up or a lever of some sort.

There you have it! With those three steps done, the inside of your washer will soon be smooth, shiny, and CLEAN sailing from here on out!

How to Clean the Fridge Interior

For drawers and shelves you can&apost remove, along with the sides of the internal compartment, grab baking soda and some water. Clean inside your fridge with a mixture of 1 part baking soda and 7 parts water. Beware of commercial cleaners as their scent might transfer to food. Work from top to bottom to prevent drips from landing on already-clean surfaces. Use a toothbrush designated for cleaning or toothpicks to reach cracks and crevices you can&apost get to with a cloth, such as hinges and other hardware. Wipe everything dry with a clean towel.

Strategies for Small Freezers

Not everyone has the luxury of a large freezer. If you have a smaller freezer, Hord says to focus on only buying what you need and stocking your freezer with items you&aposll consume in the next few months. "As you shop, consider implementing a low-waste lifestyle in your home. This process is called precycling. Precycling is all about reducing your impact on what goes into the waste stream by purchasing and using items that are unpackaged, reusable or recycled.਌reating a low-waste lifestyle has a multitude of benefits, for both the global environment and your wallet."

How Long Can I Freeze It?

Food kept in the freezer so long that ice crystals dominate its appearance is safe to eat, since no organisms can live in subzero temperatures. And the nutritional quality remains intact. Still, you probably don't want to eat it -- the quality of this frozen tundra will certainly be less than ideal.


To prevent freezer burn, make sure that the food is tightly wrapped or shrink wrapped with freezer-quality wrap, and get as much air out between the food and the wrap.

Why Should I Stock My Freezer?

  • It saves money! You can buy in bulk and then freeze what you won’t use right away.
  • It’s convenient! Having a stocked freezer can help you avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
  • It saves time! Cook things ahead of time and then freeze them for a quick meal or snack later.
  • It’s fresh and delicious! Freeze your favorite fruits and veggies when they’re in season, so you can enjoy the delicious bounty of summer any time of the year!

How to Deep Clean Your Refrigerator

First, gather your supplies. You will need a trash bag, some rags, a food-safe cleaner (check the label), and an old toothbrush. Having someone to help is also great as they can grab you more towels if you are out as well as move the garbage bag out of your way, but it&rsquos not necessary. You will likely need someone to help you move the fridge though.

Start by taking out everything from your fridge. Place items in categories. I like to keep condiments together as well as everything in the produce drawers together, etc. As you pull items out, check dates, do the &lsquosniff test&rsquo and look for signs of going bad. This is especially important with condiments as they tend to stay in the fridge well past their prime. If you have veggies or fruit that aren&rsquot bad yet, but about to turn, freeze them.

Now start cleaning the surfaces. Take out all drawers and set them in the sink. If you have someone to help, have them clean them with soap and hot water. If you don&rsquot do this now and dry them well. Set them aside to finish drying.

Using a food safe cleaner, spray the inside of the fridge and wipe it down well with a dry rag. You will likely encounter a lot of hard to reach spaces and this is where the old toothbrush comes in handy. If you come across areas that need something more abrasive, try sprinkling baking soda and a little water on the toothbrush and scrubbing that way. The baking soda not only works as a mild abrasive, but it also absorbs odors. Make sure to use the toothbrush in the crevices of the seal as well.

Now you can clean your fridge&rsquos coils and drip pan. Unplug your fridge before doing this part. The coils should be vacuumed and are located on the back of most refrigerators, although some are on the bottom. Have someone help you move your fridge to avoid injury and using the brush attachment of your vacuum, clean them. Drip pans are located on the bottom of most fridges. Dump the drip pan in your sink and wipe it out with a clean rag and a solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Make sure you dry the drip pan well before replacing it.

Finally, move to cleaning the exterior. A simple rag dampened with a cleaner is fine. Wipe the sides, tops of doors, and top of the fridge as well as handles and front. Pay special attention to hinges on the doors as well.

Replace all of the food and drawers at this point. This is also a good time to organize as well as you put things back. A lazy Susan is great for items like condiments and if you lack drawer space, consider getting some fridge cubbies.

This can all seem like a lot of work, but from start to finish it usually only takes me about 20 minutes. The good news is, it only needs to be done about once every 3-6 months, depending on whether or not you have pets.

6 of 8

Clean the Interior

Seasonally: Wipe the interior with a mix of 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart hot water. Rinse with a damp cloth, then dry with a clean towel. This will clean as well as help to eliminate odors. Do not use soap or detergent, because they can leave behind a scent the food will absorb.

To remove caked-on residue, rehydrate by liberally applying the baking soda solution with a wet towel. Leave the door open, and let the residue soak in the solution for 10 minutes, or until it starts to crack or soften. Reapply if necessary.

Soak shelves and bins in a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda for every quart warm water. Do not wash in the dishwasher, and dry thoroughly before replacing.

How to Freeze Fresh Cherries

We are often asked – Can you Freeze Cherries – yes you can!

Cherries are very easy to freeze. There are two methods and it just depends on your preferences. Both work great and the cherries will keep for months either way.

Method 1 (Easiest Method for Freezing Cherries)

The easiest way to freeze cherries is to wash them, blot them dry gently with a paper towel and then arrange them on a cookie sheet. Place them in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then take and seal them in zip-loc bags and place them back in the freezer. You can pull them out at any time to eat them. We’ve found it best to let them thaw for a few minutes before trying to eat them. If you have small children, it is a good idea to pit the cherries first. If you do not have small children, and choose not to pit them, just remember the pits are in them, and very hard. If you try to bite through, you will probably break a tooth, so use caution. If you plan on using them in smoothies, or blended drinks, it is also easier to pit them first. See here for our cherry pitter suggestions and reviews.

For this method of freezing cherries, you will need plastic containers, with lids. The best size are those that hold about a cup. This is a great way to recycle old containers that held butter, spreads, or the like. Any plastic, food safe container, in the 1 – 2 cup range, with a lid will work.

You will need sugar, water and cherries. With this recipe, we make a very light sugar syrup. Cherries are very, very sweet, so we recommend using as little as possible sugar as you can get away with, and still enjoy. We recommend a 1 to 4 ratio.

Wash 4 cups of cherries and gently blot dry. Pit if you wish, or if you have small children who will be eating them later.

To prepare the syrup, measure out 4 cups of water into a pot. Add one cup of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the cherries and bring back to a boil. Turn off heat. Allow to cool for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Gently ladle the cherries and liquid into containers. Allow to cool to room temperature. Gently place in freezer. After completely frozen, pull out and let thaw for a few minutes, enjoy! If you’ve left the pits in, just remember to be careful when eating not to bite into one!

Diabetic Recommendations:

If you are diabetic, you can substitute a sweetener for the sugar. In our experience, because sweeteners generally are much sweeter than sugar, we use half the amount. So, for every 4 cups of water, we use 1/2 cup of sweetener. You can also try freezing without any sugar. Just boil the water, add the cherries, bring back to a boil and then ladle out when cool enough to work with. Freeze.


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