Freezer deep cleaning: Intro
If you’re like most people, your freezer is one of the most-used appliances in your home. And just like any other appliance, it needs to be cleaned periodically to keep it running smoothly.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to clean your freezer quickly and easily. We’ll also provide some tips for preventing build-up and keeping your freezer clean in the future. So read on to learn more!
Are you looking for house cleaning tips? Read our dedicated house cleaning page.
Why should you clean your freezer?
To remove all the food debris and spills that are the cause of bacteria, mould, mildew and other contaminants.
To remove odours that can leach into your frozen food and into the door seals. You also remove the source of these odours as expired food.
To protect your food from being contaminated by bacteria and other contaminants.
To take stock of your food situation so you can have less food waste.
Clean your freeze to help it operate more efficiently.
Prevent ice build-up in the freezer, which may ultimately cause energy efficiency issues.
Why does the inside of your freezer smell bad?
If you notice any off odours in your deep freezer, it’s likely due to some kind of build-up or residue. Common culprits include spilled food and liquids that attract bacteria. Another common source of smell can be freeze-burn or frozen meat. Ice cubes draw odours and can develop smell themselves.
How often should you clean the inside of the freezer?
Clean your deep freezer at least twice a year. Doing so will help keep your food fresh and prevent bacteria and mould from growing.
How to clean a freezer: The process
Melt the ice
You can either unplug the freezer, turn up the temperature or leave the door open. If you want to speed up the process, pour a cup of hot water and leave it behind the closed freezer door. Keep removing any ice pieces with a plastic spatula. You can also pour bits of warm water over the ice blocks to speed up the melting process.
Be careful not to damage the freezer walls. Never use blades or other sharp tools. Contrary to the popular belief, avoid the hair dryer as well. Water and electricity don’t like each other.
Prepare your safety gear
You’ll be working with ice and that might be dangerous. Don’t forget to get safety goggles and gloves.
Gather tools and supplies
- Medium to Large Cooler
- Ice Packs
- Hot Water
- Dish Soap
- Surface Cleaner
- Distilled white vinegar
- A spray bottle
- Microfiber cloths
- An old toothbrush
- Plastic spatula
Prepare your cleaner
You can use specialized freezer cleaners, but you’ll do just as good a job with a solution of warm soapy water and or water and distilled white vinegar.
Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle
In a pan, mix two tablespoons of baking soda per quart of water.
Do not use chemicals that can leave chemical substances an unpleasant chemical odour
Read the manufacturer’s instructions on best practices to clean the deep freezer.
Place towels or rags at the bottom of the fridge by the door. This will capture most excess water spills making your cleanup easier.
Declutter and organize
Throw away expired food. Eat what is before expiration. Put everything else info thermal bags so it stays frozen. Don’t worry if you don’t have thermal bags. The food will stay frozen. You can refreeze your food in 48 hours if the temperature doesn’t exceed 40 F.
Dispose of any food containers, plates or cups that might be randomly in the fridge.
“At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.”
Remove trays, ice trays, shelves and other removable parts. Let it cool down to room temperature. Soak it in warm soapy water. Gently scrub with your cleaning solution. Wash, rinse and let it completely dry. You can also sanitize and disinfect these items. Alternatively, you can put these items into a dishwasher.
Wash the interior
So the ice has melted completely. Spray your cleaner generously onto the interior surfaces and let it sit for 15 minutes. Use a soft non-abrasive cloth and scrub the surface gently. Sanitize and disinfect the interior when dry. Rinse with clean water and give it one more spray and clean with the cleaning solution. Dry with a microfiber cloth or air dry.
Clean hinges and locks
Use a similar method to clean all the hinges and other areas.
Don’t forget to regularly wipe and dry the spilled water from the floor to prevent the hazard
Wash the exterior
Spray your cleaner on the surface and let sit for a while. Gently wipe the areas and let them dry. Repeat the process for the high-touch areas like handles and other surfaces that people touch.
Dust coils in the back of the deep freezer. Make sure to unplug the fridge for this part.
Clean seal with warm water, microfiber cloth and anti-bacterial spray. Lubricate the door seal with a few drops of oil to keep its quality.
Leave the door open for air circulation so it dries faster.
How to maintain a clean freezer
Regularly defrost the freezer to prevent the build-up of ice.
Regularly vacuum out the deep freezer.
Do not overload. Do not place packaging and food against the wall of the freezer. Ensure that items are redistributed so the air can flow around.
Store in order of expiring date.
Do not place uncovered food directly in the freezer compartment.
When you plan to leave for a longer period of time.
Make sure you have the least food possible.
Ideally, remove all food so there is nothing to spoil if thee are some electricity problems.
If you’re leaving even for a longer time, clean with the method mentioned above, dry and leave the door open to prevent the build-up of humidity, mildew and odours.
The best how to maintain a clean freezer and avoid deep cleaning is to have a cleaning routine. What should you do?
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Wipe down the shelves and interior of your freezer with your selection of cleaner. Don’t forget the seal and the handles.
Make a food inventory. Toss any leftovers, items with freezer burn or expired frozen foods. Clean the spills and seal the open foods.
How to smell up a freezer?
Add vanilla to a microfiber cloth. Wipe down freezer surfaces. Allow the vanilla to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Dry the surface with a clean wet cloth or towel, or leave it to air dry.
Vanilla cotton balls
Soak a few cotton balls in vanilla essence. Place them in the center of the freezer. Disconnect the power to the freezer and close the door. Allow the vanilla 1-3 days to absorb the odours.
Coffee grounds, activated charcoal, kitty litter or baking soda
Place coffee grounds, activated charcoal, kitty litter or baking soda in the bowl at the bottom of the freezer. Close the door and allow it to sit overnight. The next day, dispose of the coffee grounds or baking soda and wipe out any residue from the freezer.
The alkalinity of the baking soda counteracts the acidity of rotten food smells, effectively killing the smell. It also helps draw in any excess moisture, reducing the risk of mould growth.
Lemon and orange peels
Place a few lemon or orange peels in the freezer and allow them to sit overnight. Remove the peels in the morning, and discard them.
Pack each freezer shelf with crumpled newspaper. Set a cup of water on the top shelf or sprinkle the newspaper with water. Allow the refrigerator or freezer to run for approximately 5 or 6 days.
If you cannot smell up the freezer anymore, it might be time to purchase a new appliance.
Don’t forget to childproof the freezer by locking the doors before disposing of it.
Finally, if you have any questions about deep cleaning your freezer or want some help getting started, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to provide additional tips and advice on how to get your freezer clean and keep it that way. Thanks for reading!