How Long Does It Take To Defrost a Fridge?

I can honestly tell you that it is always frustrating to see frost accumulating in a fridge, though a recurring event. This frustration is especially true when one is about to relocate or restock a refrigerator or even when housekeeping. Before indulging in this task, knowing how long it could take to defrost a fridge is beneficial.

Defrosting a fridge could take from about an hour to an entire day. This time is usually relative to the amount of frost built up as well as the surrounding temperature. Time taken is also dependent on the process adopted in defrosting, as we will discuss in a bit.

My first defrosting never happened until after two years of utilizing my refrigerator, having no idea about this task. As you would have guessed, it was messy, loathsome, unnecessarily occupying, and boring, to say the least. Nonetheless, let me make your experience better by sharing answers to the whys and how as regards defrosting.

How Long Should I Wait?

The time taken to defrost a fridge depends on the amount of frost accumulated. So, if you wait too long to defrost, then you may have to wait longer for the refrigerator to defrost.

Additionally, time is spent in removing the contents of a fridge before defrosting as a cautionary measure. So, if you plan to defrost, then allot some hours from your schedule because that is what it will cost. Whatever the case, I will show you how to speed up defrosting as we move further.

Why Is There So Much Frost In My Fridge?

Frost is simply a solid state of water or moisture. When water from open containers drops on the surface of a functional refrigerator, temperature causes them to solidify, forming frost. An increase in the amount of water on the surface of a functional fridge will cause an increase in frost formation!

Another source of frost is air, especially hot air. As hot air enters a fridge, the temperature causes the moisture in it to be condensed. Before long, this condensed water in the fridge, especially at the evaporating coil, also solidifies to frost. Remember, each time the refrigerator is opened, hot air enters, increasing the amount of moisture and hence the amount of ice accumulated. 

Did the advertisement say; non-frost refrigerator? It could be, but it is just like any fridge with an unhealthy compressor and defrost thermostat. It will keep forming and accumulating frost.

A more sublime reason I experienced is the wearing out of the door gasket. This gasket is the rubber surrounding the freezer door to form a tight seal when the door is closed. Unfortunately, it only leaves the door partially open when broken, leading to moisture build-up and, eventually, frost formation.

What Happens If I Do Not Defrost My Fridge?

I find it very difficult to imagine life without a refrigerator. Yet, that is the life I would live, at least temporarily, if I fail to defrost my refrigerator when due. A fridge will slowly grow ineffective as frost accumulates unaddressed.

With a properly functioning fridge, it becomes more and more difficult to store things as the frost accumulates. Yes, frost is solid and, therefore, not compressible. Instead, it takes a fixed shape and occupies a designated space, a space meant for other things.

As frost continuously accumulates, it eventually frosts over the evaporator coil. Once this happens, airflow is blocked, making the fridge incapable of proper functions. In other words, a refrigerator with accumulated frost over an extended period becomes inefficient.

When Do I Defrost My Fridge?

Since the effects of frost accumulation are not instantaneous, I believe that one could easily keep postponing defrosting. Yet, the creeping effects could much easily magnify. Hence, the need to keep an appropriate routine for defrosting.

I would recommend that once the frost is accumulated, defrosting should follow immediately. Once the layers of frost make it impossible to see the surface of the fridge, then you are a bit late. A standard of 2mm should be the maximum frost accumulation before defrosting. 

How Can I Avoid Frost In My Fridge?

I can confidently say that moisture that forms frost cannot be eradicated entirely from a fridge. Moisture is contained in almost everything found in a refrigerator. However, you can appropriately control frost formation and accumulation. How so?

One way is by keeping all containers sealed with a lid to prevent moisture from escaping. Also, do not place hot or warm food in the fridge since the steam is a ready source of moisture. 

I strongly recommend proper organization in the fridge to facilitate ease of locating items. This organization will significantly reduce the amount of hot air rushing in when the fridge is opened. In addition, it is essential to maintain the health of the gasket seal by refraining from banging the door of the refrigerator.

 Drying off food before storage helps significantly in reducing moisture. I personally try to maintain a balanced temperature around 0ºF to prevent frosting in my fridge. So far, I can assure you that this principle works out just fine!

How Do I Quickly Defrost My Fridge?

Natural defrosting is done by unplugging, opening, and allowing the frost to dissolve by interacting with the atmosphere. This process can be pretty time-consuming and messy as the frost dissolves slowly into the water and seeps out all around. I would never recommend scraping out the frost, not even with a plastic spatula, no matter the haste. This could cause damage to your fridge!

Allowing your fridge to defrost mechanically, on the other hand, is unreliable. It is a continuous process as the refrigerator keeps running and produces more frost. For speed and efficiency, I would recommend what I call a ‘hot water treatment.’

Hot water treatment entails boiling water and placing it in the frosted fridge that is enclosed and turned off. In this way, heat from the water melts the frost all around since it is a closed system. This process is fast and could defrost an entire refrigerator within hours.

In hot water treatment, a lot of towels have to be available to soak up the condensed water. It is usually best to place some at the base surface of the fridge. Remember to dry up the fridge properly after this process to prevent retaining moisture. 

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