Aug 2, 2013

Friends call me Snow Miser

It may come as a surprise but our modern day internet doesn't have much information about how to defrost a 70-some-odd-year old fridge. There are no webpages, blogs, or DIY YouTube videos dedicated to the subject. Apparently that’s not something people have to deal with much these days. 

Damn kids and their fancy self-defrosting refrigerators!! They don't know how good they've got it.

While most wouldn't consider this too life-threatening, I have to dissagr... Actually I have to agree. On a list of full blow home emergencies I don't think frosty freezer is even on said list. 

It was a tad daunting considering it’s probably months past whatever the manufacturer suggests, and you might even say, I had never defrosted it. Because I hadn’t...ever...defrosted it. The time had come. Not for any of these reasons, though; for something far more important: it was getting difficult to fit in my ice cube trays. I need ice.

With a lack of instructional videos to stream at a whim from my smartphone, I turned to the next best thing: my mother. A woman of many talents, who just so happens to be a top notch research librarian. If she couldn't help, I was doomed. When I called her in a panic, she just chuckled and said, “ I wondered when you would ask about that. Just do what Grandma always did. Boil some water in a pot and stick it in the freezer. The heat and steam will melt it in a jiffy.” 

Could it really be that simple? Was steam all I needed to defeat the icy arctic sarcophagus entombing my pizza rolls? There was really only one way to find out. I thanked my mom for her advice, told her I loved her (like a good son should) and hung up the phone with as much dramatic force as one can hangup a touch screen phone; for this was not a time for dilly dallying: this was a time for ACTION.

After chiseling out any still edible food items from the freezer cube, I boiled the water as instructed and placed the dangerously hot pot into the icy tundra. Immediately the temperature difference caused a reaction and steam began to rise. I threw my hands up into the air like a mad genius and screamed, “IT’S ALIVE!!” (Okay, I have a weird mad scientist appreciation but that’s another story.)

 To my surprise, it did work. The steam and heat loosened up the bricks of ice clinging to the freezer panels. It didn't come off as easy as I hoped but with a little extra love they broke free. The process took roughly 20 minutes. I did, however, have to reheat the water pot 3 times to keep it nice and toasty. If I’m a bit more vigilant about how long I go between defrosting this will be, as they say, “easy as a cake walk.” 


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  2. Robert, do what I do to defrost the freezer in my 1957 GE fridge.....use a modern day Shark Steamer (one that has a hose and wand). I can defrost my freezer which is much bigger than yours in 20 minutes flat, just think of how fast you could defrost yours in your GE

  3. Oh and Robert see the little wire thing with the red tip on the left side of your Super Freezer? That is the Tel-A-Frost Indicator according to GE when that frost gets thick enough to cover the Tel-A-Frost Indicator that is when it is time to defrost your fridge so it will run at its top efficiency PAT COFFEY

    1. So that is what the little red tab is. That has been driving me crazy. Thank you so much. Thanks for the tip on using a steamer. I will add that to my list of necessary tools for vintage home ownership.