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Summit Appliance | Felix Storch

Is your ice cream building an igloo in your freezer, or is it time to defrost? Before you sharpen your ice pick, take a glance at these tips for fast, clean, and safe defrosting.

DO Plan ahead. The complete defrosting process may take a few hours, so cold food will need to be kept in an iced cooler.

DO Multitask. Take advantage of the forced freezer eviction to go through the contents.

DO Turn off the unit. Keeping it on will only waste energy and slow down the defrosting process.

DO Heat a bowl of water and place it in the freezer to speed up the melting. Reheat the water every 15 minutes or so.

DO Place a towel, old newspapers at the bottom of the refrigerator and freezer compartment to soak up the melting liquids. A slim pan that can hold a little water is even better.

DO Wash and dry. After the unit is defrosted, clean the inside with soap and water. Rinse the soap away and wipe down, but make sure the interior is completely dry before you turn it back on.

DON'T Use an ice pick, knife, or other sharp object to punch through the ice. You may puncture the walls and damage the unit. If you need to scrape off some material, use a plastic spatula instead.

DON'T Be careless with electricity. If you use a vacuum or hair dryer to heat up the unit, remember that standing in a puddle of water or letting the appliance touch melting ice may cause electrical shock.

DON'T Forget to wipe down the seals of your unit's door. It's an all too easy--and unhygienic--place for food to get stuck.

DON'T Close the door when defrosting. You need all the warmth you can get and should let the air circulate inside.

DON'T Wait until you can't close the door to finally address the ice buildup. You should defrost when the ice thickness reaches ¼ or ½ inch. Otherwise, your freezer is working harder to cool your food, wasting energy and raising your bills in the process. Plus, the more ice you let build, the longer the eventual (and inevitable) defrosting process will be!