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Maytag Appliances

How to Defrost the Freezer

Has the Freezer been Defrosted recently?

  • Defrost and clean your freezer when frost has built up to about 1/4” (6mm) thickness.
  • Complete defrosting and cleaning should be done at least once a year.
  • In high humidity areas, a freezer may need more frequent defrosting and cleaning. See “Defrosting and Cleaning” in the Use & Care Guide for complete instructions. If you would like to download or view product literature for your appliance, please visit our Manuals and Literature page.

Before Defrosting:

  • Turn the temperature control dial to the coldest setting, approximately 6 hours before defrosting, to ensure frozen food is at the lowest temperature before removing it from the freezer.
  • Remove the freezer basket (on some models )


  1. Unplug freezer or disconnect power.
  2. Remove all frozen food. Wrap frozen food in several layers of newspaper and cover with a blanket. Food will stay frozen for several hours. You may also store frozen food in a cooler, additional refrigerator, freezer, or in a cool area.

Models With a Drain System:

  1. Remove the drain cover by pulling it straight out. 
  2. Remove the rubber stopper from inside the bottom of the freezer.
  3. Place a pan under the drain, or attach a hose to the threaded end of the hose adapter and direct the water into a separate drain. 
  4. After the defrost cycle, make sure the drain cap is securely replaced.

NOTE: Check the drain pan frequently to avoid water overflow. Have a second pan handy for easier emptying.

Models Without a Drain Dystem:

  1. Remove water using a sponge or baster to remove excess water from the freezer bottom and empty water into a large pan.
  2. Place pans of hot water in the freezer with lid open to speed melting.
  3. Use a plastic scraper to remove frost.

NOTE: Do not use electrical appliances such as a hair dryer or heaters to speed defrosting.  Do not use an ice pick, knife, or other sharp-pointed tool to defrost the freezer because you can damage the freezer.

  1. Wipe water from the freezer walls with a towel or sponge. Wash the inside walls with a solution of mild detergent in warm water or two tablespoons (26 mg) baking soda to one quart (0.95 L) warm water. Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners.
  2. Rinse well and wipe dry with a clean soft cloth.

Cleaning the Exterior Surfaces:

  1. Use a clean sponge or soft cloth and mild detergent in warm water to clean the outside of the freezer, the door liner, and the gasket.
  2. Rinse well and wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth.
  3. Wax painted metal surfaces on the outside of freezer to provide rust protection.
  4. Replace all frozen food.
  5. Plug in freezer or reconnect power.