How to Defrost Any Samsung Refrigerator (the proper way)

The most popular way of defrosting any refrigerator is to simply disconnect it from the mains power supply, remove all of the contents and leave the door open for a few hours. That will work really well so long as you have somewhere cool to keep all of the contents from the fridge and you have the time to spare. There are other ways to defrost your Samsung refrigerator which we’ll get into below.

Why Does Frost Form In Your Refrigerator?

One of the main causes of frost buildup in your refrigerator is you. The way you use your refrigerator is most likely to cause it to frost up. Not always, but mostly it’s down to the way you use your Samsung fridge.

There are other causes too so let’s look at why frost forms in your refrigerator.

The Introduction Of Warm Air

More than 90% of the frost that forms in the average refrigerator is caused by the introduction of warm air. How does warm air get into the refrigerator? Through the fridge door, every time you open the door of your fridge, you’re allowing warm air to enter. This is not a problem if you’re in and out quickly once a day.

But who works like that? We are constantly opening the fridge all day long. It’s part of our nature to operate like that, you make a cup of tea, you open the fridge for the milk, make toast, you need the butter, and so on. Plus all those times when you open the fridge door and then get distracted and leave it open while you answer the phone or speak to a family member.

Once warm air enters the fridge it comes into contact with the evaporator coils which produce cool air and this causes frost to form. The more often the fridge door is left open, the more frost will form.

The Level Of Refrigerant

If the refrigerant level is too low in your fridge the compressor cannot produce enough cool gas, and it releases a warmer gas. This has a similar effect to leaving the fridge door open, it forms frost. If, on the other hand, the refrigerant level is too high it could leak out in liquid form, into the coils of your refrigerator. Which can also form frost under the right circumstances.

 Faulty Components

If one or more components of your fridge are faulty or damaged, the formation of frost could be the result. Parts like the defrost thermostat for example, which is obviously used for defrosting the fridge. If it develops a fault, it’s unlikely to work as it’s intended and the result will be too much ice buildup. 

The compressor is another component that is essential in preventing ice buildup in your fridge. It sends the refrigerant gas around the system at high pressure which in turn eventually cools your refrigerator to the required temperature. If it becomes faulty or stops working altogether, one of two things could happen.

Either the fridge will pack up completely and everything inside will become too warm and spoil or pockets of frost will form. If you have just purchased a brand new refrigerator and it has developed a frost buildup immediately it could indicate the compressor is faulty. If this is what’s happening in your brand new fridge, it’s time to call the manufacturer.

If you have a self-defrosting fridge/freezer, it can cool for anywhere between 6 to 12 hours before going into defrost. The defrost is completed by shutting down the compressor and operating the defrost heater. Which of course, can’t happen if the compressor is broken.

If you have had your refrigerator for some time and the warranty has expired, call in a fully qualified engineer to assess whether it’s worth repairing or just replacing your fridge.

How To Defrost Your Samsung Refrigerator

The tried and tested way of defrosting a refrigerator is still just as effective as it ever was. You will need;

  • Towels (or cloths)
  • Bowls
  • A Plastic Spatula
  • A Bucket


  1. Isolate Power Supply
    Before you do any work at all on an electrical appliance, be sure to disconnect it from the power supply. 
  2. Remove Everything From The Fridge
    Empty the contents of the fridge and place them somewhere cool.
  3. Spread Towels Or Cloths Around The Floor
    All around the door area, spread enough towels around the floor to soak up any water that spills onto the floor (trust us, it will spill).
  4. Speed Up The Defrost Process
    Fill some bowls with hot water and place them on each shelf inside the fridge and then close the fridge doors for 10 to 15 minutes. Then replace the hot water in the bowls to speed up the process.
  5. Scrape Away As Much As Possible
    Using only the plastic spatula, start scraping away at the visible ice after the first 15 minutes of warm water exposure. Never use any sharp or metal objects to attack the ice as these could damage the refrigerator beyond repair.
  6. Continue Using Hot Water In Bowls
    Keep replacing the hot water until all visible ice is removed.
  7. Mop Up All Spills
    As the ice melts your fridge will start to fill with water around the lower area of the fridge. Mop this water up regularly.
  8. Wash The Fridge As You Go
    While defrosting the fridge, take advantage of the accessibility and clean the surfaces as you mop up the excess water. Clean the back, top and side walls, the shelves and salad drawers.
  9. Dry The Clean, Defrosted Fridge Completely
    Once all of the ice is removed and you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your fridge use a dry cloth to clear any remaining water residue. Then reconnect the power supply and restock your fridge.
  10. Allow To Cool Correctly
    It can take up to 24 hours for your fridge to reach the desired temperature.

Force Defrost

All modern Samsung refrigerators have a “force defrost” function which allows you to initiate a defrost whenever you need to just by pressing a couple of buttons. The average time it takes to completely defrost your refrigerator when using force defrost is around 20 to 40 minutes which is far quicker than doing a manual defrost (which could take 2 to 3 hours).

How To Initiate A Force Defrost

There are a couple of ways to start a force defrost depending on the model of Samsung refrigerator you own. 

On models with “Tabletop” controls, simply press the fridge button along with the power freeze button until the screen goes blank (usually around 8 to 10 seconds). Then press any button until Fd is displayed and you hear a beep.

On “Dispenser” models press lighting and freezer buttons together until the screen goes blank (usually around 8 to 10 seconds) then press any button until Fd displays on the screen.

For both types, it is necessary to disconnect your refrigerator from the mains power after force defrost is complete to reset the appliance.

Model Specific Force Defrost


Various models have different ways to instigate the force defrost mode. Below we have listed the procedures for the more popular models.

How To Initiate Force Defrost On Samsung SRF680CDLS

To initiate a force defrost on the Samsung SRF680CDLS press and hold the energy saver and fridge buttons simultaneously until the screen goes dark. Tap on the fridge button and keep tapping until you get to the Fd option. You should only use force defrost if the automatic defrost isn’t coping with the frost buildup in your fridge.

How To Initiate Force Defrost On Samsung RF23J9011SR

To initiate the force defrost mode on your Samsung RF23J9011SR press and hold the freezer button and the cool select button at the same time until the screen goes blank and you hear a beep. Hit any other button and then from the 4 options choose Fd once Fd is displayed on the screen you will hear a continuous beeping until the force defrost is completed (around 25 to 30 minutes).

How To Initiate Force Defrost On Samsung RF24FSEDBSR

To Initiate a force defrost on your Samsung RF24FSEDBSR press and hold the energy saver and fridge buttons simultaneously until the screen goes blank (around 8 to 10 seconds). Then press the fridge button until Fd appears on the screen and you hear a beeping sound. This beeping will continue for the full duration of the force defrost, once the beeping stops, the force defrost has finished.

How To Initiate Force Defrost On Samsung RF263BEAESR

To initiate a force defrost on your Samsung RF263BEAESR press and hold both the fridge button and the energy saver button until the display goes off (around 8 to 10 seconds). Hit the fridge button 4 times which will then display Fd on the screen this initiates the force defrost mode to operate.

Other Methods For Defrosting A Samsung Refrigerator

If your Samsung refrigerator doesn’t have a force defrost function and you don’t have the time or inclination to carry out a full defrost using hot water etc, there are other ways of defrosting the worst buildups. These include;

Using Alcohol

Pour a small quantity of alcohol onto a soft cloth that’s been dipped in hot water, and place the cloth directly onto frozen, iced up areas of the fridge. The combination of alcohol and hot water will remove the ice quite rapidly. This works best on areas of thin ice which will break down relatively quickly.

Using A Hair Dryer

So long as you are careful, and use a portable hair dryer this method is a safe effective way to remove ice buildup from your refrigerator. Keep the hair dryer moving at all times and never concentrate on one area for too long to avoid any internal damage. Never allow the hair dryer or cable to come into direct contact with the ice.

Using A Fan

If you live in an area which is very warm, or your home is kept at a highish temperature, aiming a fan at the fridge entrance whilst keeping the doors open can speed up the defrosting process. 

How To Check The Defrost Function Is Working

To check that the defrost function is operating correctly on your Samsung refrigerator, move the dial on defrost. If the compressor shuts off and the heater starts up the timer is working correctly. If this doesn’t happen it probably means the timer is malfunctioning and needs replacing.

What Could Cause Your Samsung Refrigerator To Not Defrost?


There are a number of reasons your Samsung refrigerator does not defrost from a mechanical point of view. These include;

Faulty Control Board

The control board is responsible for distributing power to every part of the refrigerator which includes the defrost system. If the control board develops a fault it could prevent the defrost system from operating. This is a rare occurrence in all honesty and should probably only be checked as a last resort.

Faulty Defrost Thermostat

The purpose of the defrost thermostat is to regulate the temperature of the evaporator coils. Once the evaporator coil temperature dips below a certain level, the defrost thermometer triggers the defrost heater which subsequently melts the ice on the evaporator coils. If the defrost thermometer is faulty the ice will buildup on the evaporator coils and cause a buildup of ice inside the refrigerator.

Faulty Defrost Timer

The defrost timer activates the defrost heater at various times throughout the day to prevent frost buildup. If it is faulty this won’t happen which will lead to a buildup of frost and ice. A faulty defrost timer is often the main cause of the refrigerator not cooling after a defrost, It can get stuck in either defrost mode or cooling mode both of which can be problematic.

Faulty Defrost Heater

Once the defrost timer activates the defrost heater, it removes any frost from the evaporator coils thus preventing any buildup which in time would cause a buildup of frost within the fridge.

 Faulty Defrost Control Board

The defrost control board is responsible for operating the defrost system, if everything else is OK within the system, the likely cause of the problem will be the defrost control board.

To solve any of these faults requires a level of expertise that only qualified engineers possess. Only investigate the inner working of your refrigerator if it’s out of warranty and you are fully competent.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I force my Samsung refrigerator to defrost?

To initiate a force defrost on a Samsung refrigerator you will need to select and press a couple of buttons which are model specific. For general models try either the energy saving and power cool buttons or the fridge and power freeze buttons or the lighting and freezer buttons.

How do you defrost a Samsung double door refrigerator?

To defrost a Samsung double door refrigerator press and hold down the power freeze and fridge buttons simultaneously until the screen goes blank. Then press any button until Fd appears on the screen. Fd is the code for force defrost.

How long does Samsung forced defrost take?

The force defrost mode on a Samsung refrigerator takes anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes to complete. Be aware if there is a particularly large buildup of ice inside your refrigerator it could need two force defrost sessions to completely clear it all.

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