There are two types of ice build-up:
Powdered Ice is the most common type and forms over a longer period of time, having a powdery texture like snow - a tell tale sign is crystals forming on your food packaging. This type of ice is formed from warm air creeping into the fridge, usually due to the door being repeatedly opened and closed.
Another cause could be that there's a problem with the door seal, which is allowing excess air to enter. Using a damp cloth, wipe the seals down to remove any crumbs or dirt that might be caught in it. If the door seal is considerably worn or there's a tear, you'll want to consider buying a new seal. To find new parts, go to the Partsmaster website and type in the make/model of your fridge.
Solid Ice is found more in the base of chest freezers or anywhere that water can leak and become frozen. To find out how to find a potential leak, read our article on:
Most modern fridges and freezers are frost-free but older models will need regular defrosting to prevent the build-up of ice. You should always defrost if the ice becomes 3mm or more thick.
Before you begin defrosting:
- Make sure you store any chilled/frozen foods in a cool place. To be safe, wrap frozen foods in newspaper and pack them all together in a box (or try asking a neighbour if you could place it in their fridge-freezer for a few hours)
- Unplug the fridge/freezer, remove any drawers and place a wedge in the door to keep it open
- Place a tray or towels at the bottom of your fridge or freezer to mop up the water as the ice melts
- Avoid using sharp implements to remove any chunks of ice; this can lead to the evaporator at the back being pierced and stops the fridge from working
- Once the ice has thawed, clean the freezer and drawers with warm water and a small amount of detergent. Wipe dry and replace drawers.
- Plug the fridge/freezer back into the mains and make sure the thermostat is set correctly
- Now you can restock with your fresh and frozen food
Always refer to the manufacturer's manual for specific details.