I have a new category – cleaning tips. In which i will reveal some of the more useful Ninja Cleaning Powers I have learned in this new job. The ones that don’t require industrial-strength chemicals or special equipment, at least.

Tonight I defrosted my freezer because it had reached the point where the door wouldn’t stay closed unless the kitchen bin was wedged against it. There was a danger of waking up tomorrow to find a glacier in the kitchen. Also, I couldn’t empty the bin because I needed the weight to keep the freezer closed.

I put off that job because it takes a long time, and when I finally get to it it’s normally an emergency and an all-day thing. No longer. Tonight it took 45 minutes to get from glacier to no-ice, dry, and back in action.

How? With a simple trick I learned at work. So simple it’s ‘slap the forehead’ time.

All you need is one of those garden sprays you pump up to pressurise. Oh, and some old towels and a bowl – it gets messy.

Fill the spray with hot water (from the tap, not from the kettle, the bottles are plastic and can be over-pressurised). Pump it up and… you have the ice equivalent of a laser cutter.

Turn off freezer, lay towels on floor, put the bowl into the freezer to catch most of the water and lumps of ice, and get gunning. Get your water jet between the ice layers and the wall of the freezer so you carve it off in big lumps. If you haven’t left it to desperation level, as I had, it’ll take no time at all. No need for gouging and scraping, the hot water jet does it all.

Dry it all off with paper towels before turning it on again or you’ll get instant icicles.

Now that I know it can be done in a short time, I’ll be less inclined to put off the job until it absolutely has to happen.

In fact, I have also cleared the mini-glacier in the freezer compartment of the booze – I mean, the spare fridge. Both on the same night and in about a hour and a half all told!

Everyone should do a cleaning job for a year or so. The tricks you learn will save you hours of work at home.



19 thoughts on “Defrosting.

  1. I though they stop making those freezer years ago….
    I remember that hot water was the way to do it quickly, messy as you say.
    Ice pick, probably a no no, health and safety…
    Salt may work as a slow motion de-icer.


  2. Your previous cleaning tips have saved me no end of time and money…and I thought I knew something about cleaning (i used to supervise cleaning crews for VIPs). Although I’m with J00lz with the hairdryer atm, I wanted to get a proper spray bottle for rehydrating baccy leaves -as opposed to using a rinsed out cleaning fluid bottle.

    What do you use to scrub out the fridge/freezer after deicing? Currently I use a sugar soap/bleach/boiling water mix and rinse that off with a natron solution to deodorize (Remember Child, Satan-the Lord Of Flies- hides in dirt!).


    • The freezer usually needs little cleaning but the fridge… oh, the fridge. It’s amazing how much hidden disgust it contains at cleaning time.

      Fridge breakdown involves total removal of everything including shelves and door inserts. It involves a lot of bleach too.

      It’s useful to have a second fridge, even if it means moving the booze out for a while, in order to blast the main fridge. Local Shop has, like all food shops, a big cold room but homes don’t. A second fridge is always useful.

      Although in Scotland, just do it in December when the whole house is a fridge.


  3. For goodness sakes, no ice picks. Counterintuitive, I know, but no matter how careful chances are really good that you’ll poke a hole where holes ought not be poked.

    Only slightly off topic, back in ’00 we had a bit of winter weather hereabouts, and our little slice of heaven was coated with a few inches of ice for ten days. Electric power was not available, due to ice damage. A newly-minted rural dweller (used to and once more does live in New York, as opposed to York, as an artist) but at that moment was going ‘back to the land’) strapped on a pair of studded boots and hiked up to our place to bemoan the fact that, without electricity, all the food in her freezer was going to spoil.

    I listened to her tale of woe, and agreed that that losing all those groceries would be a shame, then gently asked, “Since the problem is that everything is frozen solid, and no help is coming, why not stack the contents on your back porch, in the freezing weather?”

    We were never again quite so friendly as once we had been. I have no idea why.


  4. Now you tell us, after Mrs C de-frosted the freezer last weekend, by putting bowls of steaming hot water in, and allowing the ice to melt out and drip onto old towels on the floor.


  5. Notwithstanding Microdave’s exhortations to re-model the inside of your freezer, I go with Julia. A hairdryer may not be quite as fast as pressurised hot water, but it’s a lot less messy.


  6. I defrost my freezer on a day, or days when the temperatures are forecast to be below freezing. I then bag the freezer contents and put the bags outside. The freezer doors are opened with bowls and paper strategically placed. No fussing.


  7. I use a steam wallpaper stripper me – red hot knife through butter.

    Works great and won’t melt the plastic and go all Salvador Dali like if you linger a bit too long with a hot air gun……


  8. I use the hot water method, a couple of deep roasting tins half filled with boiling water (fill them when they are in place). Kitchen towels in front of the freezer and a tray to catch any run off. The freezer has a small spout on the bottom shelf so that the melting water can be easily caught, a nice design touch. Most of the ice just falls off and can be picked up. The only problem I usually have is with the top of the freezer where there are nooks and crannies which are difficult to get to. Leggy’s hot water gun sounds like an ideal method of dealing with that problem and I have one of those pressurized spray guns …somewhere. Probably hiding with all the missing socks.


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