How to Clean a Freezer Drain

Freezers are supposed to keep frozen goods nice and cold, but an excess of ice buildup indicates a clogged freezer drain. Excess moisture develops when the freezer door is opened and closed; the freezer drain is the tube that drains it away, allowing the freezer to maintain a proper temperature. You can fix a clogged drain with a few household items.

  1. Remove all frozen food items and place them in a cooler to keep them from thawing as you clean the drain.
  2. Unplug the freezer and leave the freezer open to allow excess ice buildup to melt. Wipe up excess liquid with a towel.
  3. Turn on the hair dryer to the highest heat setting and point it at the drain. The drain pipe is located at the back of the freezer and is indicated by a small hole in the floor of the freezer. Hold the dryer 2 inches from the drain, allowing hot air to blow down the hole for five minutes.
  4. Straighten a wire coat hanger and use it to clear the drain. Hold the hanger in your hand and push it down into the drain, moving it up and down to break up ice chunks along the drain. If there is any resistance, remove the wire and heat the pipe with the dryer for another five minutes.
  5. Heat 1 cup of boiling water in a saucepan on the stove, and pour the water down the drain. This will melt any remaining ice buildup inside the drain. Pull the drain pan out from the bottom of the freezer and pour any accumulated water down the sink.
  6. Plug the freezer back in and put the frozen food items back inside once it has returned to a proper temperature.

Things You Will Need

  • Cooler
  • Towel
  • Hair dryer
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Small saucepan
  • Stove


  • Don’t work on the freezer while it is plugged in. While most electrical components are safely contained within the freezer, unplugging it will avoid potential electrical issues.

About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.