Sooner or later, this sad fate overtakes even the most advanced models of technology: the inner surface of the chamber is covered with a layer of frost and literally overgrown with a crust of ice. Absolutely all refrigerators need periodic defrosting, and many owners, alas, are mistaken, hoping to avoid the hassle of using the built-in No Frost system.
When and why is the defrost performed?
Defrosting the refrigerator has two key purposes : cleansing the chamber from ice and hygienically cleaning surfaces from accumulated dirt. In parallel with this, you greatly facilitate the work of the compressor, since from now on it does not have to experience an increased load (when compacted, the frost turns into a kind of heat insulator).
In the case of a two-chamber unit, it is necessary to focus on technical features. If the model is based on only one compressor, the refrigerating and freezing chambers will have to be defrosting at the same time, while the two-compressor device allows defrosting autonomously – disconnecting only the freezer from power.
In this case, you can not disconnect the refrigerator from the network, but just click on the appropriate button, although most developers still insist that this is contrary to safety rules. To be reinsured or not is a question that everyone decides on their own.
Each manufacturer informs about how often the refrigerator needs to be defrosted in the attached instructions. Certain adjustments are made by the habits of the household: if the door of the unit opens almost every half hour, the snow “coat” will form much faster. As a rule, for the uninterrupted operation of equipment, only 1-2 defrost procedures are enough for a whole year, but if the “ice age” occurs more often than usual, this number can be brought to 3 or even 4 – additional cleaning has not harmed anyone yet!
Which defrost system is the best?
The primitive method of defrosting and washing the chamber involves mechanical action. Manual defrosting is the lot of owners of middle-aged household appliances, which cannot cope with the task without outside participation, as well as some single-chamber models (for example, “LG” and “Electrolux”). In this case, after the “ice breaks”, it will simply begin to fall off in pieces and gradually turn into liquid, that is, you will need to collect water in a timely manner and eliminate possible flooding.
The matter is, of course, troublesome, but the whole process is controlled by a person, and not by a cleverly programmed unit. It is necessary to resort to traditional manual defrosting regularly – if the device is rather “old”, up to 1-2 times a month,
The popular No Frost option is famous for being ready to take over the defrosting entirely. In modern conditions, such a system is equipped not only with elite, but also with economical models of refrigerators.
An additional advantage of these units is associated with the accelerated circulation of cold air: frost actively travels around the entire perimeter of the chamber, cooling the loaded products as quickly as possible.
At the same time, one cannot fail to note certain shortcomings of the No Frost system:
- even full automation does not free you from manual labor at all, since the inside of the chamber needs regular wet cleaning (of course, after being disconnected from the network beforehand);
- the operation of the No Frost system is based on the use of exclusively dry air, which makes it necessary to store food in sealed containers – otherwise it will simply dry out.
An intermediate option between manual and automated defrosting is the so-called drip system. Its principle of operation is as follows:
- As soon as an unfavorable temperature regime is established inside the chamber, the refrigerator gives a signal, notifying the owner that it is time to melt the ice.
- The operation of the compressor is temporarily interrupted, and later, thanks to the built-in drainage hole, the melt water flows into a special reservoir.
By the way, it is with this nuance that the main drawback of this format is connected: mixed with the liquid, dirt particles, adhering crumbs and all sorts of small rubbish accumulated during the working period come out – accordingly, there is a chance to arrange a “jam”.
However, drip systems still have more advantages:
- They are autonomous, so your work will consist only in draining the thawed water and returning the reservoir to its original place;
- due to the fact that defrosting occurs in a natural way, you will not face the problem of malfunctioning complex automation;
- when you compare the cost of purchase and maintenance, drip-format refrigerators (there are many in the line of Bosch, Ariston and Beko) will be in a much better position than automatic engineering giants like Liebherr, Samsung or Indesit “.
Obviously, each of the defrosting systems has both positive and negative sides. Innovative automation deserves praise for saving time and effort, but at the same time, its brilliant abilities do not always justify high financial costs – against this background, the drip approach looks both more democratic and more reliable. As for manual defrost, soon it will completely sink into oblivion, completely replaced by more efficient mechanisms.
Preparing for defrosting
Before defrosting the refrigerator, set the temperature control to zero, and then disconnect the unit from the mains. Often, housewives neglect this rule, turning off the equipment locally, using buttons – in this situation, the likelihood of electric shock increases significantly, since some parts of the wiring remain energized and are easily provoked by contact with water.
Further actions will be as follows:
- Empty all compartments – no food should remain in the chamber.
- If the system does not have a built-in container for collecting liquid, it is advisable to install a drip tray before defrosting.
- It is also recommended to attach a drain hose (it is inserted into the drain hole to facilitate the drainage of defrost water).
- In order not to interfere with rapid defrost, remove all drawers and trays.
Note: If a high temperature regime is established in the room, it is better to temporarily postpone the defrosting procedure or at least postpone it to night hours. Otherwise, the refrigerator will take too long and “painfully” to gain momentum, which means that the compressor and other components will experience an overload.
What to do after defrosting?
After the walls of the refrigerator completely throw off the snow “fur coat”, you should come to grips with cleaning the inner and outer surfaces.
The following products will help to thoroughly wash and disinfect the departments:
- Vinegar solution : Mix table vinegar with water one to one. First of all, wipe the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a napkin dipped in a soapy composition (you can take dish liquid – it will perfectly remove greasy stains), then rinse and treat the technique with diluted vinegar. In addition to hygiene, vinegar (including natural apple cider vinegar) perfectly removes unpleasant odors.
- Baking Soda + Laundry Soap : Chop a 50g bar of soap on a grater, mix with baking soda and dilute with half a liter of water. Blot with a rag, then rub the refrigerator well inside and out. To remove stubborn stains, gruel from diluted soda can be wrapped in gauze and applied to the stained area for 20-30 minutes. Finally, do not forget to rinse thoroughly.
- A weak ammonia solution (1: 7 ratio) will overcome even the most old dirt. Soak a sponge in a hot mixture and lay it over the stain for half an hour (if necessary, the period can be extended by another quarter of an hour). Rinse with plenty of clean water.
- Toothpaste / Toothpaste : Just put a little on a porous sponge and rub over the entire surface inside the refrigerator. Rinsing is required as usual.
Note: in the process of washing the refrigerator, it is unacceptable to use metal brushes, coarse sponges, as well as abrasive cleaning agents.
Special attention should be paid to cleaning the rubber seals: dirt quickly settles in them and bacteria easily multiply. A hot solution of laundry soap is suitable for processing, which must be further washed off with clean water.
It is equally important to monitor the condition of the water collection tray: if it is occupied by mold, use bleach like “Whiteness” diluted in a ratio of 1:10 for hygiene.
During defrosting, housewives are faced not only with the problem of contamination, but also with foreign aromas, which clearly have no place in the environment for placing food. The following methods will help to destroy odors:
- Squeeze the juice out of 1 lemon, and then thoroughly wash all the “insides” of the chamber with it.
- If there is no fresh citrus, you can get by with vanilla essence or essential oil (not only lemon, but also grapefruit, cinnamon, orange, mint is suitable). Pour a couple of glasses of water into a spray bottle, add 10 drops of fragrant oil, add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda and shake vigorously. Spray the compound on the walls and shelves of the refrigerator, then wipe with a cloth. By doing this, you will also take care of disinfection.
- Try rubbing the inside of the unit with a clove of garlic. If possible, leave the refrigerator in this state for a few hours, rinse later and let it air for another hour.
Note: If odors often attack your refrigerator, place bowls of freshly ground coffee, dried coffee grounds, leaf tea, lemon slices, or crushed activated charcoal on the shelves. The natural deodorizer should be renewed from time to time.
After completing the hygiene, be sure to wipe the shelves, walls and seals of the unit with a dry soft cloth (preferably gauze). The floor around you also should not be wet – make it a rule to make sure of this every time before connecting to the mains in order to safely avoid short circuits.
Do not rush to fill the switched on refrigerator immediately after defrosting: you must wait for a noticeable drop in temperature. In total, it takes a whole day to fully return to the usual, regular mode of operation, although, of course, it is possible (and even necessary!) To lay food much earlier – 30-40 minutes after the resumption of food.
Frequent problems and how to fix them
Returning from a “well-deserved rest”, the refrigerator may suddenly start to be capricious – for example, it will stop producing cold and frost or refuse to work in principle. Let’s talk about how to deal with such situations.
The refrigerator does not turn on
If the refrigerator does not turn on, first of all it is worth carefully examining the outlet – there is a possibility that the voltage is lost, or the plug is simply not in good contact with it. Checking the quality of the power is quite simple: connect a small household appliance like a hair dryer or a lamp. Does it function without problems? This means that the root of evil must be sought elsewhere.
Option number 1: the thermostat has broken
To confirm this assumption, you must have at least minimal experience in electrical installation: directly connect 2 wiring going to the regulator (of course, the unit will need to be de-energized in advance). If the check gives a visual result in the form of a “miraculous” reanimation of the refrigerator, the problem really lies in the breakdown – you will have to contact the master.
Option number 2: contacts on the electronic board spoiled
Traces of corrosion or oxide will be eloquent evidence of this trouble: remove, inspect and carefully clean the control board.
Option number 3: The button that starts defrosting is fired
This theory is checked in the same way as the serviceability of the thermostat – by shorting the corresponding wires. A broken button is either replaced or repaired by a master.
In other cases, only a qualified specialist can determine the defect – a breakdown of a protective relay or even a compressor is possible.
The refrigerator has become louder
Older refrigerators are doubly vulnerable to defrosting. The owners of outdated models like “Minsk” or “Oka” often complain that the unit is starting to gain momentum with unhealthy passion, continuously working for over 12 hours in a row. In most cases, such a deviation is associated with the burnout of the relay – de-energize the equipment and wait for the arrival of the master.
If, after defrosting, the refrigerator stops freezing (with the engine running and there are no connection problems at all), the trouble is probably a freon leak. This failure causes the compressor to pump warm air, not chilled air, which is heated by the engine. Of course, without a specialist there is no way to cope with it.
Only the freezer works
In a situation where only the freezer is operating, the breakdown of the evaporator may be to blame. Such an incident often happens to those who desperately rush the unit with defrosting – for example, peeling off the ice from the walls with a sharp knife. The service center will help to “cure” the kitchen sufferer.
Deviations in the operation of refrigerators with the No Frost system provoke malfunctions of mode settings: sensitive electronics do not remember the previous parameters or give out erroneous information. Fortunately, current models are rapidly “getting smarter”, increasingly equipped with a display lock option – they no longer have to be reprogrammed after each shutdown.
Storing thawed food
Almost any food thawed has a shorter shelf life. To avoid the threat of poisoning, these amendments must be taken into account:
- The raw meat is returned to the refrigerator for a maximum of 5-6 days. The day before, it is recommended to rinse it thoroughly with cold water and place it in a glass container, covering it with a plate. It is very good if you immediately marinate the pieces with spices.
To make sure that the thawed product is not spoiled, you can do this: cut a small slice and throw it into boiling water (the option with frying also takes place). If the meat does not exude a “smell” at the exit, everything is in order with it.
- At room temperature, defrosted chicken meat should be stored no longer than 8 hours – however, after frying or boiling, you can safely count on the whole day. The refrigerator allows you to extend the freshness up to several days.
- As for minced meat of any kind, after defrosting it must be used immediately – it is not permissible to re-place it in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Thawed sausage, placed in the refrigerator in a packaged form (it is advisable not to use cellophane), safely retains its taste for many days – just like the usual fresh one.
- Thawed cheese , in fact, fully retains its nutritional properties. Hard varieties can withstand subsequent storage longer than others (up to three to four weeks) – they try to place them on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator, wrapping them with a layer of foil, parchment or cling film (when using a plastic bag, it is recommended to throw a few cubes of refined sugar). Parmesan should be consumed a week in advance.
Note: if it is not possible to put the cheese in the refrigerator, “swaddle” the piece in a towel dampened with salt water, and then put it in a glass or ceramic bowl with a lid. Keep the food out of direct sunlight and it will stay fresh for at least a whole week!
- Thawed fruits and vegetables are consumed without delay – these products are classified as perishable and inevitably turn sour during the day.
- Mushrooms that have survived thawing remain not only useful, but also quite tasty. It is better not to delay cooking, since, unfortunately, returning to the refrigerator is already impossible – bacteria multiply at an alarming rate.
- The same feature is inherent in fish : after defrosting, it is also better to cook it right away (maximum, you can count on daily cooling).
- In the freezer, cow and goat milk is stored for up to six months, only it should be boiled beforehand. When transferring products to the rank of defrosted, this period is reduced to three days.
More stringent requirements apply to breast milk – freezing lasts no more than three months, and it is better to thaw it right in the refrigerator. The shelf life is three days, a slight change in color and odor is recognized as the norm.
- Many housewives prefer to store bread in the freezer for up to 2-3 months – after thawing, it becomes much softer. You need to eat such a product as soon as possible, since the process of hardening is rapidly gaining momentum. But it is better to never put baked goods in the refrigerator!
Note: it is extremely undesirable to combine black and white breads during storage – the loaves will become stale ahead of time and very soon become overgrown with mold. Instead, arrange the rolls in different bags and provide good ventilation by punching a few small holes in the plastic.