How to look after your freezer

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Whilst cluttered cupboards and overrun pantries deserve some attention, so too does your humble freezer.

Don’t be deceived by the independence of this trusty household item – bacteria, microbes, yeasts and moulds can still survive sub-zero temperatures and are capable of contaminating the room temperature food you put into your freezer. 

Given the role it plays in keeping your meats, meals and Magnums fresh, it’s advisable to undertake a regular freezer care regime. 

Not sure where to start? Take a look at the following suggestions to keep your freezer in a tip top and frosty condition. 


How to defrost a freezer 

Chicken pasta

Defrosting your freezer is a key practice to ensure it functions efficiently and is a hygienic environment to store food within. 

To make this process easier, try to use up the frozen contents so that you’re not rushing to clean before your food begins to thaw. 

When the time is right, ideally when there is just a bag of peas and oven pizza left, switch off your refrigerator at the plug and begin transferring the remaining goods into a cool bag or second freezer.

If you do not have alternative storage options, insulate your food in tea towels or newspaper and pack them together in a cold area. 

With the freezer switched off, it’s key to move quickly to capture the release of water. 

Old towels, clothes or trays will capture water sufficiently when placed underneath the bottom of your freezer door and should be kept there until the ice has completely melted. 

This step could take several hours and will require a clean up afterward to mop up the excess water.

Once tidy, you can begin to scrub the draws and walls of your freezer. Allowing your draws to come to room temperature is important here to avoid them cracking when in contact with warm or boiling water. 

According to Good Housekeeping, the best way to tackle stains in your freezer is to dilute bicarbonate of soda in water and use a clean cloth to scrub off marks or leftover food. 

To disinfect, spray a cleaning solution suitable for refrigerators onto a separate cleaning towel and wipe down the walls, door, seal and base of your freezer. 

Organisation is crucial for freezer care

Chicken & leek

With your freezer sparkling after its spring clean, organising your frozen goods is the next action you should take to keep your freezer in an optimum condition. 

Knowing what foods you can and can’t freeze is a start; starch-based sauces, leafy greens, creamy soups and cooked eggs do not keep well at lower temperatures so double check your produce’s storage instructions before you chuck them into the depths of your freezer. 

Ensuring your food is separated into sealed containers is another useful practice which will reduce cross-contamination and enable you to know what items need using soonest. 

Food which has been in the freezer longer should be stored at the front with newer additions moved to the back – a useful reminder of what you need to eat up first. Labelling your food with the date it was cooked is a handy tactic to reinforce this effort. 

Placing meals or produce into containers helps you to reduce food waste too by portioning what you can eat in one sitting. 

This is particularly important when it comes to meat which is often taken out of the freezer in large quantities, only for some of it to be consumed and the rest thrown away when it has gone off. 

Storing food in containers will equally help to maintain a good air circulation in your freezer – overstuffing your drawers can block the air vent and lead to your storage unit burning out. 

What maintenance do freezers need? 


Even if you’ve cleaned and immaculately arranged the contents of your freezer, it will still require regular maintenance. 

Good practices include: 

  • following the care instructions for your specific type of freezer.
  • putting your freezer in a cold place so it doesn’t have to work hard. 
  • always keep your freezer at least half full to regulate the temperature. 
  • replace the freezer door’s seal if damaged. 
  • leave space behind your freezer to enable air circulation. 

For more advice on looking after your freezer, check out our top tips for keeping your freezer in Good Condition!


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