40 + year old Freezer!

I am very lucky to have my Grandmothers very large/ deep chest freezer, when we moved we were unsure if it would work when plugged in luckily it did and we have been using it for the past twenty years ok , the ice over the years has been expanding around the sides of the freezer I know I need to defrost it properly but I'm reluctant to do so as this would mean unplugging and the worry if it doesn't re start!! Can I possibly ask for ideas how to do this hopefully without unplugging?
Also another question - still freezer related I have one top basket in my freezer which has sadly broken recently , I try to be organised with what food ( bags , named homemade food etc) but like with all freezers things get left on the bottom only to find them months later..!! :oI would like to know a better way of organising especially the bottom of the freezer and what people use, boxes, bags? Many thanks J


  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    Can't really help you with the organising as I haven't had a chest freezer for years.

    As the plug of my freezer is very inaccessible I have defrosted it without pulling it all out though. First turn it down to the lowest setting. Then I find the best way is to use boiling water. I put it in metal trays (roasting tins) and close the freezer so that a mixture of the hot trays and the steam start to defrost it. Then when it's loosened up a bit I start to pull the ice out. It takes several trays over a period of time.

    You could just pour boiling water on the ice in a chest freezer. Then you'd have to pull out as many pieces as you can, remove slush with something like a dustpan, then ladle out the remaining water and mop up the rest with old towels. It's a messy job but very satisfying when it's done.

    Good luck!:)
  • edited 29 July 2018 at 3:18PM
    PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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    edited 29 July 2018 at 3:18PM
    We have a 35 year old upright freezer which defrosts without any trouble. They have no moving parts and a I don't think you will have any trouble with getting it to restart again.
    The problem is storing all the food, if it,s like ours, ie usually always full, while it defrosts.

    If you have picnic cool bags or can borrow some extra ones from somebody, pack the stuff in them, we also line one of these pop up garden rubbish disposal bags with and old blanket or newspaper and pack everything in one of them. Then switch off the freezer and use a succession of large saucepans filled with boiling water inside the freezer to melt the ice. On occasions I have also used a hairdryer to remove stubborn ice but be careful not to put it too close to the inner plastic lining.

    As for organising food, could you get some old wire supermarket baskets to store different categories of product in, ie all meat in one basket, all vegetables in another. Then you can lift whole baskets out at a time to forage for what you want.

    When repacking,try and store different categories of product in the same location, ie all meat back left, all vegetables front right, etc so you know roughly exactly where stuff is stored

    The other alternative would be to use these huge see through polythene storage boxes and pack different categories of product into each so yiu can lift a box out at a time. I must say, I wouldn't use a chest freezer from choice because their depth makes it difficult to rotate food efficiently but as you,ve got one, try breaking down the storage into smaller convenient units.

    And if you can remember when repacking it, make an inventory of what you've got and where it's stored. It will make menu planning much easier and help you to use up the older stuff.
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