Did you know the average American spends just under six hours per week cleaning? However, when it comes to spring cleaning, you might find that you’ll double this number by polishing, dusting, and scrubbing all of the nooks and crannies in your home. 

However, one area of your home that’s often overlooked when it comes to cleaning is your freezer. Though cleaning a freezer may not seem like a big deal, ensuring it’s free from mold, mildew, and other bacteria can help keep you healthy.

If you’re unsure how to clean a deep freezer, you’ll want to keep reading to learn the ins and outs of the process.

Remove Food

Before you begin cleaning, you’ll need to remove all the food currently in your freezer. 

However, as these products are all frozen, you’ll want to relocate them to another freezer. This is due to the fact that the process can take a while, and you don’t want your food defrosting in the meantime.

If you don’t have a secondary freezer you can store the contents in, using a cooler with plenty of ice is a good alternative option. 

This step also gives you the opportunity to take inventory of and clear out old products that are past their due date. Knowing what you have in your deep freezer can help ensure you use all of the products before they go bad.

If the food is covered in frost, looks discolored, has been in the freezer for over a year, or emits an odor, err on the side of caution and discard it.

Defrost the Freezer

Next, you’ll need to begin the process of defrosting your freezer. After all, you can’t clean a freezer caked in ice!

This process may differ depending on the model of deep freezer you have, so taking a look at the owner’s manual ensures you complete the process correctly.

Generally, to defrost a freezer, you’ll need to unplug the freezer to ensure it’s disconnected from the power source, helping to speed up the process of defrosting. Though many freezers have an off switch, unplugging is the best option.

Next, you’ll need to keep the door open to help speed the process along. You could also opt to place a pot of hot water in the freezer to help improve the efficiency of melting the built-up ice.

Finally, you’ll need to prepare large amounts of water in your freezer. As the ice melts, the subsequent water can lead to a large mess. Prepare with towels and buckets to catch any falling water.

Interior Cleaning

Once the freezer has melted, you’ll want to remove any remaining water from the surface. Wiping down the walls ensures the cleaning solution is able to reach the walls of the freezer. 

Next, you’ll want to remove shelves or organizational inserts and set them aside to be cleaned later.

To clean a deep freezer, you’ll want to begin by using a mixture of warm water and dish soap to remove any grime, stains, scuffs, or spills that may be stuck to the inside walls.

Next, you can move on to sterilizing and disinfecting your freezer. To ensure that your freezer is free from any leftover bacteria, you’ll want to use a bleach mixture. 

Dilute one tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water, and use that mixture to wipe down the interior. Be sure to complete this step after washing with water.

However, if you have a persistent smell when cleaning a deep freezer, you can skip the bleach and opt to use vinegar, baking powder, and water mixture to help eliminate the odor. Mix the ingredients until you get a paste-like consistency, spread it on the interior of your fridge, and let it sit. Wipe with a wet cloth to remove, and you should notice an improvement in the odor.

If there’s still a lingering smell, you can place loose baking soda in an open container at the bottom of your freezer.

Finally, you’ll want to dry the interior with a towel and leave the door open to let any remaining dampness dry. 

Exterior Cleaning

Next, you’ll want to clean the exterior of the freezer. Generally, this is an easy step as it requires a warm mixture of soap and water.

However, you’ll also want to ensure that you disinfect the door handles and any other high-touch areas around the freezer to ensure you eliminate any germs. 

You may also want to use a melamine sponge to remove any tough marks or stains from the exterior to help it look like new.

This is also a great opportunity to remove any dirt or dust from the back paneling of your freezer, as this can lead to overheating and subsequent failure to cool. 

Also, with the door open, you’ll want to inspect the gasket for issues like tearing or separation. If it’s starting to come up from the fridge, using a bit of glue can help secure it in place. However, you may need to look for fast appliance repair if the entire seal is loose or coming up, as this can impact the efficiency of your freezer. 

Don’t Forget to Clean the Coils

When deep freezer cleaning, the one area you don’t want to forget about is the coils that condense the coolant to help keep your freezer cold. 

In some cases, you may find that your freezer isn’t running as efficiently as it should be. In order to prevent this from happening, one method you can try is cleaning your coils.

As you already have your unit turned off, you can take advantage and clean out the coils. Often dust, dirt, and grime will accumulate inside of them, making it difficult for your freezer to get the cold air it needs.

After you locate them on the exterior rear of your freezer, you’ll want to take a vacuum hose and suck up any stubborn dirt and dust sitting on top of them. You can also use a paintbrush to free up any debris stuck in tight spaces for extra thoroughness.

Clean Shelves and Inserts

Next, you’ll want to clean the shelves and any inserts you have in your fridge. If you have stubborn stuck stains, let your shelves soak in a warm mixture of soap and water. This will help loosen any stuck dirt or grime.

If you have shelves with clear plastic, using a window cleaner to help ensure they shine is a great way to improve the appearance of your fridge. 

If you have wire basket inserts, it can be a bit trickier to clean as the wire makes scrubbing tough. Using a bristle brush to reach the hard spots is a great way to ensure you get the crevices and eliminate any spills or stains.

One of the best deep freezer cleaning tips is to consider investing in inserts or shelves if you don’t have any, as they help keep your freezer more organized and easier to clean when the time comes. 

Organize Food

Finally, you’ll want to organize your food. Though this may not seem important, it helps to ensure that nothing goes unnoticed, leading to leaks and subsequent odors. 

Luckily, there’s an easy way to create an effective system for your frozen food. Try to keep items with a longer shelf life towards the bottom of the freezer, and the items you reach for the most on top for easy access.

When putting new food in the freezer, be sure to label it properly. Include what the food is, the date you put it in the freezer, and how long it’s expected to last. You can find a list online to help you ensure you’re not keeping food past its due date, even in the freezer. 

You should also keep a whiteboard or list on the outside of your deep freezer to keep you up to date with the items inside, how long they’ve been in there, and what you need to add to your next grocery list

Your Guide on How to Clean a Deep Freezer

Though you may have never cleaned your freezer before, there’s never been a better time to start! In general, you’ll want to deep clean your freezer once a year to ensure it’s free from any leaks, spills, or odors. 

If you’re ready to start your spring cleaning early this year, thanks to this guide on how to clean a deep freezer, you’ll want to check out the rest of our website. There, you’ll find more home and lifestyle hacks to help you live your best life.