Working in the food industry often means having to store a ton of food and beverages. However, unlike storing items like clothing or technology, food storage is usually more complicated. With most foods, proper storage conditions depend heavily on temperature, and, for that reason, commercial fridges and freezers are essential.
Unfortunately, though, when you use commercial refrigerators on a daily basis, you also have to deal with some of the complications that tend to come with them. The assortment of complex parts contained in commercial refrigerators, such as compressors, condensers, and fans, is the main reason these units can effectively cool your foods and drinks.
However, having more parts and being in constant use often leads to commercial refrigerators undergoing a lot of wear and tear. One problem that can arise as a result is ice build-up. Actually, there are various reasons why ice may be building up in your commercial freezer. Some of these causes are easy to fix, while others may require professional assistance.
If there is too much ice in your freezer, it could lead to increased freezer burn on some food items, impacting their texture and taste. On top of that, if too much ice builds up, it could damage the freezer’s coils, negatively affecting the unit’s overall performance. If you notice ice build-up in your fridge, it’s a problem that warrants your immediate attention.
Common Causes for Ice Build-Up in Commercial Freezers
All kinds of internal and external factors can contribute to ice build-up in your commercial freezer. One of the most common causes is hot air and humidity getting into the freezer. This often happens when the freezer door is left open for too long or when very hot or wet containers are placed inside it.
The problem may also stem from a broken seal. As commercial freezers age, the gasket seals on their doors are more likely to come apart. When that happens, it is easier for cold air to escape and warm air to enter, thus leading to ice formation. The same kind of wearing can happen to the freezer’s insulation as well, and as it deteriorates, that can lead to increased ice build-up too.
If your freezer has problems with a malfunctioning evaporator coil, that could also be the culprit of your ice build-up. Once you can identify the root cause of the ice build-up, you can come up with a plan to counteract it and return your ice levels back to normal.
How to Remove Ice Build-Up in a Commercial Freezer
A big part of has to do with getting rid of ice and frost as it builds up. No matter what the cause of your ice build-up is, if that problem persists, the collection of ice will continue to grow significantly. Fortunately, there are various ways to get rid of ice build-up.
One of the easiest ways to remove it is with a plastic spatula. Use the spatula to gently dig away at the ice, and collect the ice scrapings in a bucket. Another option is to dip a cloth in boiling water, then pour a few drops of rubbing alcohol on it. Using tongues, you can place the heated cloth at the top of the ice build-up, and the combination of the heat and alcohol will melt it.
If you do not have much time, one of the fastest methods is to heat up a metal spatula and place it on the ice until it melts. If you use this method, be extra cautious to avoid burning yourself or melting any parts of the freezer.
You can also try defrosting the freezer to melt the ice build-up. Just remove all the items stored in the freezer, unplug it, put some towels down inside it, and then let it sit with the door open for a few hours.
Tips to Prevent Ice Build-Up
If you do not like the idea of having to constantly deal with getting rid of ice build-up in your freezer, there are some preventative measures you can take instead. First, choosing the right freezer for your needs could prevent ice build-up from becoming a problem. One common reason for ice build-up is overloading.
However, if you know you will need to store many items in your freezer, then purchasing a more spacious unit can prevent the necessity for overloading. You can also avoid ice build-up on your food items (such as frozen veggies, frozen fruits,, , or ) by storing them in proper, freezer-safe containers that block out the air in the freezer.
Another good habit to get into is cleaning your freezer every few months. Whenever you clean it, you should remove all the items from within, defrost it, then wipe down the inside with a good cleaning spray.
Always ensure that your freezer door is shut tightly and regularly check the door’s seals since ice build-up can get much worse when there are any opportunities for warm air to enter the freezer.
Why Dealing With Ice Build-Up is Necessary
As there are so many different causes that can lead to ice build-up in a commercial freezer, it is something you will likely have to deal with any time you own a unit of this kind. Fortunately, you can limit the ice build-up you have to handle by following good maintenance practices and taking some fairly simple preventative measures.
Whenever you do find a significant build-up of ice in your freezer, just follow one of the removal methods mentioned above to get rid of that ice so your freezer can get back to its normal function once again. Otherwise, the ice build-up could affect the quality of your stored food items, and it could even destroy the freezer over time.