How to Safely Stop and Remove Excessive Ice from a Mini Fridge

While it’s useful to have some ice in the freezer compartment, too much of it ends up affecting how well the mini fridge performs.

When there’s a thick layer of ice, the mini fridge is not able to cool as well and the end result, its energy consumption increases.

If this is the issue you’re facing then read on. This post outlines steps you can take to safely defrost your mini fridge and keep it from building up that thick layer of ice that hurts its performance.

Why your Mini Fridge has a lot of Ice

If the fridge has a lot of ice, it may be because of the following reasons:

#1. The thermostat is set to the coldest setting. Try setting the mini fridge to a lower setting such as a 3 or 4 (mid-point setting) instead of a 7, the coldest setting as it can lead to a thick layer of ice buildup.

Some mini fridges require manual defrosting. Combined with using the coldest setting for the mini fridge, it may also require that you periodically manually defrost the mini fridge to limit the build-up of ice if it does not have an automatic defrost feature (Consult the mini fridge manual if your particular model has one).

Should you not do this on time, you’ll end up with a thick layer of ice in the mini fridge freezer.

Tips to Stop the Buildup of Ice

Therefore to stop the buildup of ice in the mini fridge:

#1. If your mini fridge has an auto defrost function, regularly check that the drain tube is not clogged and allows the water from the defrost to drain out of the fridge. If the fridge has a manual defrost, monitor the build-up of ice periodically and manually defrost it.

#2. Aim for the mid-temperature setting usually a 3 or 4 assuming the thermostat scale ranges from 0 to 6 or 7.

How Much Ice is too Much

Several manufacturers recommend that you limit the thickness of ice to no more than 1/4 ” (0.64 cm) thick for your mini fridge to continue operating efficiently.

Tips to Safely Defrost your Mini fridge

First off, do not use sharp objects such as a knife or a screwdriver to break up the ice. Doing so risks damage to the fridge.

To defrost the mini fridge (manual defrost)

#1. Turn down the thermostat to the lowest setting usually a zero.

#2. Unplug the mini fridge from the mains and open its door.

#3. Lay a clean towel on the shelf below the freezer compartment to soak up any water from the defrosting ice.

It is also advisable to remove any bottom shelves and lay another towel at the inside bottom of the mini fridge. This helps absorb any water that may not be picked up by the first towel.

#4. Allow the ice to defrost naturally. Check on it every hour or so. Each time check if you can pry large pieces of the ice from the freezer compartment to speed up the defrosting.

You may have to wait for several hours for all the ice to defrost or until you are able to manually remove the loose blocks of ice with your hands.

Do not use any tools like a screwdriver as they can damage the freezer.

#5. Once the ice is removed, wipe the inside freezer dry. Set the freezer thermostat to the mid setting usually a 3 or 4.

Use a thermometer to check that it is able to maintain a maximum temperature of 40 °F or below to safely preserve the food contents and a freezer temperature of 0 °F.

It may take up to several hours for the inside temperature of the fridge to attain this temperature. You may have to make adjustments to the thermostat setting to achieve this temperature.

Closing Thoughts

If your mini fridge has a lot of ice buildup and does not have an auto defrost feature then plan to manually defrost it to from time to time. Do not use any sharp objects or else you risk damaging the mini fridge.

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