A mini-fridge is one of the must-have items for a dorm room, office, garage, and bedrooms. A lot of people buy a mini-fridge to increase the refrigeration capacity in their homes. Moreover, a mini-fridge is economical to purchase and use in the long run. Its operational cost is minimal compared to running a big fridge.
However, mini-fridges are slightly difficult to clean and maintain because almost all of them come with manual defrosting. A lot of people are on the hunt for finding an effective way to defrost a mini-fridge without making a mess. Defrosting your fridge is an integral part of cleaning a mini-fridge.
This article will discuss how you can defrost a mini-fridge without making a mess and flooding the floor. Defrosting a mini-fridge is important because ice-build up in the freezer section makes it difficult to store things and reduces the freezer’s capacity. Moreover, ice in the freezer section can also hurt your hands while you keep or remove something.
How to Defrost a Mini-Fridge without Making a Mess?
It is crucial to keep your mini-fridge clean and frost-free to ensure proper working and long life. A dirty fridge with lots of ice forces the compressor to work more and the stored items are also at risk of contamination and going bad.
Most homeowners are either too busy to clean the fridge or are too ignorant about the fact their mini-fridge needs their time and care. They only repent when they have to make costly repairs. Defrosting and cleaning your fridge may seem like a difficult thing to do, but it is not impossible. You just need a few hours and some household stuff to defrost and clean your fridge.
Let’s learn how to defrost your fridge without making a mess!
Step 1: Plan Ahead
The best time to defrost and clean your mini-fridge is when it is not fully loaded. You need to make sure that there is nothing in your fridge that will go bad in 4-5 hours. However, if you have another fridge at home, check that items removed from the mini-fridge can be easily adjusted in your primary fridge.
Please keep in mind that overloading your fridge is not a good idea, but 5-6 hours won’t make much difference. It is best to lower the machine’s temperature by 1 or 2 points when you are storing additional stuff in your machine.
Read More: What Temperature Should a Refrigerator Be?
Step 2: Prepare your Mini-Fridge
- Remove all the food from your fridge and do this early in the morning so that you have ample time to defrost and clean your machine.
- Unplug the machine from the socket, and don’t forget to wrap and hook the wire above the floor.
- Place towels around the door and fridge sides to capture the water that will come out. Be prepared for a lot of water. We recommend using bath towels as they are good absorbers.
- Remove all the shelves and drawers from your mini-fridge. It will speed up the process, and you can wash and dry the shelves during the time your fridge defrosts.
- If your mini-fridge has a built-in freezer compartment, leave its door open.
- For mini-fridges with separate freezer compartments, you may notice the shelves may be stuck in the freezer section of your mini-fridge. Wait for some time to let the ice melt and only remove them once they are free. Forcing the shelves out can cause them to break.
Step 3: Quicken up the Defrosting Process
So, now your fridge is ready and set for defrosting, there are two ways that you can let the process happen.
Natural: Keep the door(s) of your fridge open and let nature take its course. This process may take up to 12 hours, depending on the weather conditions on the day. Hot and humid weather aids defrosting, while cold weather delays ice melting.
Use Hot Water: Place a bowl of boiling water in your mini-fridge. If your mini-fridge is one door, a single bowl will suffice. For two-door mini-fridges, you may need two bowls; one for the freezer and one for the fridge. The steam from boiling water will speed up the melting process. You can replace the boiling water every 30 minutes to enhance the process.
Some people suggest using a hairdryer to melt the ice in the freezer section. Don’t do this! Don’t mix water and electricity. It is dangerous. You can get electrocuted.
Another way is to use a fan. You can turn on the ceiling fan; it will help you defrost quicker. Some people also use a pedestal fan directed at the fridge. Only use a fan if it is kept at a safe place and away from water.
Step 4: Remove the Ice
Most freezers come with an ice scraper that you can use to remove the ice manually. Make sure that you don’t force the ice out. Only remove the ice that has been partially melted. Forcing the ice out can hurt your fingers.
Step 5: Cleaning the Fridge
Once all ice has been melted inside your refrigerator, it is time to grab a clean towel and wipe all the water and stains in the fridge. If the stains are stubborn and won’t come off with the towel, use a commercial cleaning product to remove marks and stains from the fridge. You can also make a cleaning mixture with 2-3 drops of mild dishwashing liquid in warm water.
While commercial products leave a good smell inside the fridge, a bowl of baking soda is also a good option for cutting odors from your fridge.
Don’t forget to clean the gasket (rubber seals around) the door while cleaning the machine. Clean the outer side of the machine with a soft cloth gently in a circular motion and along the grain of the metal.
Step 6: Washing Shelves and Drawers
If you haven’t washed the shelves and baskets before, do them now. Don’t load these things in the dishwasher. Dry them with a towel and insert them back in the fridge.
Step 7: Setup Everything
Ensure that your mini-fridge is dry, all the parts are dry, and the floor is clean and dry (around and below the machine). Install the parts back and turn on the unit.
Let the machine run empty for 2-3 hours for a solid chill, and then keep everything back.
Tips for Defrosting a Mini-Fridge
Make sure you follow the tips given below for defrosting and cleaning a mini-fridge. Remember, when in doubt, always consult the user manual. It has the best and authentic information relevant to your machine.
- Never use a metal scraper to remove the ice in your mini-fridge. It can damage the internal walls of the fridge and reduce the cooling capacity and speed.
- Always turn off and remove the plug before defrosting and cleaning your machine.
- Never use a blow dryer to melt the ice inside the freezer. It may seem tempting to get the work done in a couple of minutes but saving time is not more valuable than your safety.
- Don’t delay defrosting and machine cleanup. Defrost as soon as you see 0.25-0.5 inch ice in your machine.
- You can also use a warm wet washcloth instead of boiling water. Spread the warm wet cloth over the ice layer and let it sit there for 10-20 minutes before reheating it again.
- It is a great idea to pick a warm day for defrosting. Some people also suggest moving your fridge in the sun for a quick defrost. However, it is only possible when you can move the fridge without any difficulty.
- If your mini-fridge has an automatic defrosting mechanism, you don’t need to turn off the machine for defrosting. Each machine has a different setting for auto-defrost; refer to the user manual for guidance.
- If you plan to store your mini-fridge for a long time after defrosting and cleaning, make sure that the interior is completely dry to stop mold growth inside and cover the compressor. It is best to pack the machine in the same way as you received it.
You may think that defrosting is difficult and tiring work. It takes some time, but it is not at all difficult. The process is as simple as washing a few dishes and wiping the kitchen counter. Your fridge does a lot for you; it also deserves some care and time after 1-2 months.