Whether you are a university student or you just have a mini fridge at home, defrosting a mini fridge is optimal to keep the fridge working efficiently. Most refrigerators these days, mini or otherwise, are frost-free and do not need any manual defrosting. But, if your mini fridge does not have an automatic defrosting system, you’ll have to do it manually.
To defrost a mini fridge, remove all the food inside and unplug the fridge. Let the fridge defrost fully. Some mini fridges can take a few hours to defrost while some might take overnight. If there is a lot of ice in the fridge, it will take longer to defrost.
In this article, we will give you a detailed guide on how to defrost a mini fridge. We will also be giving some tips to make defrosting your mini fridge easier so make sure to stay until the end!
How To Defrost A Mini Fridge
Defrosting a mini fridge is a must, especially if you use it to store food items aside from drinks. Even if your mini fridge is just used for drinks, it is good practice to defrost it regularly. This will prevent mini fridge ice buildup and keep your fridge fresh and clean.
Defrosting a mini fridge is also a chance to clear out any food items past their expiration date. Defrosting a mini fridge is relatively simple and it will depend on the type of mini fridge you have.
Most mini fridges have an automatic defrosting system or a frost-free freezer that melts the ice automatically. If the mini fridge has a manual defrosting system, you’d either have to let the ice melt or scrape some of the ice off
If your mini fridge does not have a frost-free freezer or an automatic defrosting system, here is how to defrost a mini fridge:
- Remove all the food
Remove all the food and drinks that are inside the fridge before you start defrosting it. Perishable foods should be put inside a cooler to prevent them from spoiling. If there are any food items that need to be discarded, now is the time.
Defrosting a fridge can take a couple of hours especially if there is a lot of ice that builds up inside. If you do not have a cooler, ask a neighbor if you could put perishable items in their fridge while yours defrost.
Keep in mind that there are some foods that cannot be put back in the fridge/freezer again after they have been thawed. Planning ahead and checking out which food you can use before defrosting a mini fridge is a good idea to prevent unnecessary food waste.
If there are removable shelves in your mini fridge, remove them and clean them separately with soapy water. You can also use a mixture of warm water and vinegar if there are food stains on the shelves.
- Unplug the Mini Fridge
After you’ve removed all the food, drinks, and any removable shelves, unplug the mini fridge to start the defrosting process.
- Lay down a towel
If there is a build-up of ice inside the mini fridge, the ice will melt and water will drip down. Moisture from the fridge will also cause excess water to drip down the fridge.
Put an old, thick bath towel and lay it underneath the mini fridge and on the floor around the fridge to prevent water from spilling to your floor or worst, damaging your flooring. A thick towel will absorb excess water and will not cause too much of a mess in your space.
- Defrost the Mini Fridge
The defrosting process will actually start once you unplug the mini fridge. If your mini fridge has a lot of ice that builds up over time, it will take a while for the ice to melt and defrost your fridge.
If you are a university student leaving for vacation, defrost your mini fridge at least 24 to 48 hours before you leave to fully defrost the fridge. Some people leave their fridges to defrost overnight to allow the ice to completely melt.
To fully defrost a mini fridge or whatever type of fridge for that matter, make sure to leave the door open. This helps the temperature to rise to make the defrosting process quicker.
- Remove ice to hasten the defrosting process
If you want to defrost your mini fridge quickly, you can scrape off the ice using a plastic spatula. Doing so will make the layer of ice thinner making it melt easier.
One thing to note is to do this carefully. There is a possibility of damaging the mini fridge if you hit the interior of the fridge too hard. Using a metal scraper may also damage the interior of your fridge.
There are ice scrapers that are designed as frost shovels to scrape off the ice but, a plastic spatula or a wooden spoon will do.
- Clean your Mini Fridge
Once the mini fridge has been fully defrosted, clean any excess water inside the fridge. Take the damp towel away as well and wipe off any excess water on the floor.
This is also a good time to clean the inside of your mini fridge.
Wipe the inside of the fridge’s door and any shelves and drawers that are built-in. You can clean the inside of the mini fridge with a mixture of warm water and vinegar mixture. This can help remove any food stains and absorb any odors from the fridge.
Make sure to also wipe the nooks and crannies of the fridge and dry the interior before putting back any removable shelves and plugging the fridge back.
Aside from cleaning the fridge with warm water and vinegar, you can also keep the fridge from having odors by putting baking soda inside. Baking soda neutralizes the odor in the fridge which prevents smelly odors. You can replace baking soda every three months to keep your fridge from smelling.
- Plug it back in
Once the mini fridge is clean and dry, plug it back in. The mini fridge needs to have a couple of hours to be cold again before you can put all the food back in. When the mini fridge is properly chilled, you can put all the food back inside. Make sure to check which food can be placed back inside the fridge.
Tips For Defrosting A Mini Fridge Easier
Most people defrost their fridges when they see a thick layer of ice building up or when it is only time to go away for a school break. It is best to defrost a fridge often to avoid ice from building up and to keep the fridge from performing efficiently.
It will also be a longer defrosting process if there is a thick layer of ice in the freezer compartment. If there is a thick layer of ice, you can use a plastic spatula to scrape off the ice a little bit to quicken the time for the ice to melt. You can also put a bowl filled with boiling water in the freezer to melt the ice quickly as the fridge defrosts. The steam will melt the ice quicker and you won’t have to do any scraping.
Whether you want to or not, defrosting a mini fridge is a must if you do not have a frost-free freezer. You can defrost your mini fridge every three or four months or if you start to see frost buildup. The more often you defrost your mini fridge, the easier and quicker the defrosting process would be. Defrosting does take a lot of time but it is an easy process.
Hopefully, this article helps you decide to defrost your mini fridge for at least three or four months to keep your fridge working efficiently!