During a move people have many questions about moving appliances, none more so than the refrigerator. It’s big, it’s temperature controlled and it’s got a lot of perishable food inside. Removing all the food before a move is standard procedure, but it’s the ice inside that most people wonder about.
Given that the ice could melt in transit, you may be wondering if you should defrost the fridge before moving.
To Defrost or Not to Defrost the Fridge
Deciding whether to defrost your fridge before moving all depends on the distance. If ice has built up over time on the inside of the freezer it will start to thaw shortly after being loaded onto the moving truck. Once it does melt, the water will leak out and cause a mess in the moving truck.
A general rule of hoof is if your move is more than a 30-minute drive away, go ahead and defrost the fridge. It’s not difficult to do, and it will be one less thing to worry about on moving day.
Dos and Don’ts of Defrosting a Fridge
The good news is many modern refrigerators have automatic defrost controls so there shouldn’t be much (if any) ice build up. But if you wanted to maximize energy efficiency of the refrigerator you may have gone with a manual defrost model. If you have a manual defrost fridge and are moving further than down the street or across town here’s the must-know info about defrosting your refrigerator or freezer.
Do Figure Out if You Have a Manual Defrost Fridge First – Is your fridge a manual or automatic? Some refrigerators have a manual defrost setting while many newer fridges are considered frost-free. However, even frost-free automatic fridges can build up a thin layer of ice. If that’s the case simply turn the fridge off to defrost.
Do Plan Well in Advance – Most fridges take at least eight hours to defrost, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and give it a full day to complete the process.
Do Take All the Food Out Before Defrosting – This will help you avoid water logging the food and make the defrost process go a little quicker.
Do Put Down Towels – To minimize the clean up lay down a few towels inside to catch the water as the ice melts.
Don’t Forget to Unplug the Fridge Before Defrosting – This is a safety precaution that protects you and your appliance.
Don’t Scrap Off the Ice – Scraping the ice off the inside of your fridge can potentially damage the appliance, plus it’s a time-consuming tedious task. Defrosting is much easier and effective.
Don’t Forget to Dry the Fridge Out – Defrosting isn’t the final step. Once the ice has melted remove the towels and use fresh ones to completely clean and dry the inside of the fridge. If you skip this step mold could potentially grow inside.
How to Speed Up a Last Minute Fridge Defrost
If you forgot to defrost the fridge and don’t have much time before the movers arrive there are a few ways to help speed up the process.
- Put a pan of boiling hot water inside and shut the door. You may want to put a towel down first to protect the shelf from the heat. Replace the hot water every 10 minutes.
- Use a hair dryer to melt the ice. Just be careful not to touch the hair dryer to the ice or melted water.
- If the temperature is warm inside the house using a fan to circulate the air inside the fridge can help.
If the refrigerator is the last item loaded up onto the truck, you may have enough time to defrost on moving day if you start the process first thing in the morning.
Moving a Fridge That Hasn’t Been Defrosted
So you’re making a short distance local move and really don’t want to go through the hassle of clearing out the refrigerator for a defrost session. Refrigerators are one of the scariest things to move whether or not you defrost. Here’s what you can do to make a frosty refrigerator move easier.
Pack the fridge up last to minimize the chances of ice melt along the way. Let your movers know that you want to wait as long as possible to load the fridge so they don’t accidentally unplug and move it at the start of the day.
Keep everything in the freezer. This will help the temperature stay cold inside during the move. *Put meats at the very bottom of the freezer to avoid contaminating other food in the event of thawing.
Put towels down in case the ice starts to melt. The towels should be inside the freezer and underneath it on the moving truck.
Load the refrigerator at the very front of the moving truck. Doing so will make it easy to get the fridge unloaded quickly when you reach your new home.
Seal up the fridge tight. The last thing you want is for the freezer door to come open in the middle of transit.
If you need help with moving appliances of any kind give Square Cow Movers a call. Our professional moving bovines have handled just about every type of fridge there is, whether they’ve been defrosted or not.
Contact us or use the online for to get an instant moving quote!