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Begining of year freezer de-ice, defrost and clean out!

I was so sure I had some tomato puree in the freezer last week and do you think I could find it??? No. Enough ice in there to start the next ice age but it seemed there was no tomato puree, not in the first five layers of ice at any rate.

I decided that I needed to give the freezer a bit of a spring clean (although its high summer here at the moment). Now, cleaning the freezer out has always been a bit of a chore. It takes for ever, the food melts long before I have got all the ice out and I often wreck the thing I have using to bash all the ice out of the freezer with. We aren't discussing the dings and dents that I have managed to put into the sides of the freezer either, by the way...

I decided there must be an easier way than wrestling with huge chunks of ice that don't want to be evicted from the freezer and so I googled "cleaning your freezer". It turns out there are MUCH easier ways to do this than a morning of ice bashing..

Here's what I did...

First - turn off the freezer/fridge! I have never done that before and of all the things that I did - I reckon that made the most difference to getting the ice out. Grab some old towels and place them at the base of the fridge/freezer to catch all that water when the ice starts to melt.

First take everything out of the freezer. A good tip is to pop it into an esky or chilly-bin (translated for my New Zealand reader! Hi Mom!) so that it doesn't defrost. Don't wash or knock the ice off, it will help keep things cold while you get on with de-icing.

With the freezer turned off - boil the jug and place the hot water into a heatproof bowl and carefully place it in the freezer compartment. Close the door and leave it to warm up the inside of the freezer for about 10 minutes and it will soften the ice of the sides of the freezer. 

Now another new tip for me was to use a wooden spoon to scrap and poke at the ice! It doesn't leave gouges in the side of the freezer like the metal fish slice thingo does. Poking a hole in the wrong place in your freezer is going to cost you a new freezer if you aren't careful!

Silicon fish slice thingos work much better too!

And in the space of 15 minutes, the freezer is ice free, clean and empty! Give it a wipe and make sure its dry so that your don't have ice forming the second you turn the freezer back on.

I left the "snow" to melt in the sink - I have a friend who said its fun to give the the dog to place with. In the summers its cooling and they like to lick and snuffle through the ice to get at the pea's and bits that have escaped their packets and are embedded in the ice. I haven't tried it - let me know what your dog thinks if your do!

While I had all the bits out, I made a list of things that had been in there for a long time and really needed to be used. Then I came up with some meals idea's for each of the ingredients ( I had a lot of frozen spinach in there that needed several meals to reduce it by half. All green offerings are viewed with suspicion by the family at the moment. I think they have spinach fatigue!) And yes, there is a Lobster lurking in there that the neighbour bought back from Perth - freshly caught by her son in law... about 6 months ago. I don't think he will be very wonderful now. Maybe a mornay...

And then I turned the freezer back on and popped it all back in - sorted into categories; meat here, veges there and fruits and desserts over there... Until I put new things in there that is! Now I have room to be able to store more things and I'm able to find what I know is in there.

For more in depth freezer de-icing, have a look here and have a look at this one for some great defrosting tips too! for defrosting tips with lots of pictures - check here!

Happy Defrosting!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for making my meal times more efficient, for not wasting food, and for cutting my power bill down a fair bit!
Frugal-ness:  5/5 for finding ingredients I didn't know I had at no extra cost!
Time cost: Probably about 1/2 an hour from who to go.
Skill level: Bit of googling, bit of jug boiling and a bit of ice bashing!
Fun -ness: Great fun to play with all that ice!Well for us Queenlanders that never see snow, it is!


Jeybird8 said…
I have another method for this - cyclonic weather leading to power outage for several days! Makes for a nice empty freezer and fridge which is very easy to clean!! I almost didn't want to fill it up again it was so pretty!! :-)
Practical Frog said…
Ah - yes! The Energex solution to getting the public to have a clean up and clean out. We went and bought batteries for the radio as its the first time we have lost power for more than 10 minutes in 15 years... We are so NOT prepared to lose power in this house. It simply never happens - or should I say hasnt happened. We lost ours for a whole 9 hours. Really upset the students computer/net use, but we decided to a few book read and some chores done with that power free time! - K xx
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