Yikes! How did your chest freezer get so iced-up? De-icing a freezer can be an arduous, messy chore, but there are easier strategies to get rid of the ice and make the most of your freezer space.
Try these ways to de-ice your chest freezer with less mess and no stress:
Remove all of the food first. You must remove all of the food from the freezer before defrosting. This may involve making-nice with a neighbor to borrow some cold-storage for a little while. This also presents the perfect opportunity to clean out what is currently in your chest freezer, which will make room for some summer treats!
Leave it plugged-in. There is no need to un-plug your freezer for this method, unless you plan on defrosting and thoroughly cleaning the appliance. If you simply want to get rid of the ice and make some space, then leave it plugged in and cold.
Invest in a putty-knife. Visit a hardware store and invest in a putty-knife. No, a regular knife, butter-knife, or ice pick will not work; it must be a putty-knife so that you do not run the risk of puncturing the lining of your chest-freezer during defrosting.
Be careful and remove the ice in chunks. Carefully hold the putty-knife at a 45-degree angle to catch the ice just under any lip or edge that you find. Give it a slight push and the ice should come out in chunks, maybe even large sheets. If it doesn't come out that easily, use the putty-knife to scrape the ice down to where you can drop it into a bucket that you keep nearby.
If you are fortunate enough to own a self-defrosting freezer, then you won't have to worry. However, if your freezer is older (ten + years), it is recommended to defrost these regularly to curb energy costs and to preserve the performance of the motor. Use this technique to de-frost your freezer and to make room for your frozen goods, once again!