How Long It Takes To Defrost A Chest Freezer?

A chest freezer gives you more space to store food and drinks, but the maintenance required may be different than a traditional refrigerator freezer.

Most chest freezers are frost-free, but there are instances where they will need to be rewarmed.

How long does it take for them to thaw? We asked the experts how long it would take and summed it up in this post.

Depending on the model of chest freezer you own the time it takes for it to thaw can vary. It would take about 24 hours for the ice to be thick.

It usually involves waiting because chest freezers often require manual defrosting. 

You should give the freezer a whole day to cool down if you let the ice melt naturally. It could take as little as 2 hours for less frost to build up.

It’s important to know about the defrosting cycle and different ways to approach the freezer. We are going to discuss why you should thaw a chest freezer.

How To Defrost A Chest Freezer Quickly?

When you let the chest freezers thaw on their own, they take a day to cool down.

The method only requires you to unplug the freezer and keep the lid open, but it takes up more time than other methods.

Other ways to help speed up the process are available. The following are included in these.

Placing A Bowl Of Hot Water Inside

Place a bowl of boiling water in the center of the chest freezer after the appliance is unplugged, then keep the freezer closed.

It creates steam, which causes the ice inside to melt quicker. The water should be changed to freshly heated batches every 10 minutes or so.

Since it could cause warping from the heat, the bowl should not directly touch the freezer.

If you want the freezer’s interior to be unaffected by the heat, put a damp towel under the bowl.

Scraping The Ice Off

You can use an ice scraper, spatula, or spoon to get rid of the frost from the freezer. The method relies on removing the ice rather than melting it away.

If it is not done carefully, it could damage the freezer and shorten the time it takes to thaw. If you use this method, you can wait for the ice to be softened before you remove it.

There is a risk to both you and the freezer from dealing with harder blocks of frost. If you want to avoid these, let the ice melt for a bit until it is soft enough to use as a scraper.

gE White Chest Freezer

Wiping The Freezer With A Hot Towel

You can use the hot towel method, which involves soaking a towel in hot water and wiping the frost off of it.

The ice will melt quicker because of the heat from the towel and wiping movement. It’s important to let the warmth settle first before you start wiping on the ice.

Until the frost completely thawed, repeat the steps mentioned earlier. The bowl of hot water should be replaced with a freshly heated version.

Is It Possible That Chest Freezers Have a Defrost Cycle?

Compared to upright freezers, chest freezers don’t have a defrost cycle, which refers to a freezer system that recognizes the formation of frost and repairs it.

Most upright freezers and refrigerators use a separate fan assembly for the chest freezer. Some frost-free models can be used for lower ice build-up.

Since they don’t have a defrost cycle, chest freezers are ideal for storing frozen food for a long period.

The quality of stored food is maintained by consistently keeping them frozen.

Where Will The Water Go When You Defrost A Chest Freezer?

Most chest freezers come with a drain located at the bottom of the freezer. Some of the drains have a hose attachment that they can use to release the water.

Don’t forget that not all chest freezer models have a drain plug, so make sure you check the freezer for a drain before you thaw it.

When wet, the insulation in a chest freezer can be susceptible to mold growth.

If you’re handling a freezer that doesn’t have a drain, scraping off the ice is a good way to thaw it out.

You will be able to dry it easier if you reduce the amount of water that comes into the freezer.

How Much Time Do I Need to Leave the Freezer to Put the Food Back in?

When food reaches the desired temperature, you can put it back in the freezer. It will take about 30 minutes to cool, and 4 to 12 hours to maintain the proper temperature.

Food can be kept in a freezer at a temperature of zero degrees. Wait for the freezer to achieve this temperature before storing the frozen food inside.

If you want to know if the freezer is cold enough, place an ice cube tray with fresh water and wait for it to freeze.

How Often Is It Needed To Manually Defrost A Chest Freezer?

It’s recommended that a chest freezer be defrosted every 6 to 12 months or when the frost build-up is less than a quarter of an inch.

The amount of ice collected in the freezer depends on how much the freezer is used. It’s a good idea to keep it open for 3 to 4 months to increase the chances of ice formation.

If you have a self-defrost freezer model, it’s a good idea to manually reprogram it to save on energy costs.

It is possible to check out manual defrost chest freezers since they take up 40 percent less energy than self-defrost models.

For extended storage, these are better because they keep food frozen until you can thaw it yourself.

Chest Freezer

What Happens If Your Chest Freezer is Not Defrosted Regularly?

Defrosting is needed to keep the freezer functioning in its best condition.

Allowing too much frost to accumulate in a chest freezer will cause an increase in energy consumption because it works harder to keep cold.

When this happens, the freezer system also wears out. Another reason to thaw a chest freezer is that it takes up a lot of space that can be used for food.

The large storage capacities of chest freezers make them popular. They don’t get rid of ice on their own, unlike fridges.

Too much ice can cut down on the amount of food you can store at once. Further damages to the freezer system can be caused by frost buildup.

Most chest freezers don’t have a heating coil or temperature sensor to prevent frost. It’s important to thaw them when necessary to keep them working well.


Because of the way they are built, chest freezers usually require manual defrosting. They don’t have a way to keep food frozen for a long period.

It would take up to 24 hours to thaw manually, but you can shorten this with different methods.

Regardless of which steps you take to get rid of frost, you should always keep a chest freezer open for maintenance.

When there are signs of ice formation in a chest freezer, experts recommend it be defrosted once or twice a year.

Allowing the freezer to cool to the right temperature is important for proper food handling.

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