How To Defrost a Samsung Ice Maker | Step-by-Step

Have you noticed a buildup of ice or ice crystals developing inside your ice maker? Perhaps it’s stopped working or is producing fewer ice cubes than it did before. Whatever the case, if you’re wondering how to defrost your Samsung ice maker, I will be glad to guide you through the process. 

I am going to tell you everything you need to know about why your ice maker is freezing up, how to defrost it (step-by-step), what you can do to maintain it, and how you can avoid the common mistakes associated with defrosting a Samsung ice maker. 

By the time you get to the end guide, your ice maker will be up and running once again. 

Why Defrost A Samsung Ice Maker

From a maintenance standpoint, you should defrost your Samsung ice maker once a month, on the basis that you use it regularly. If you don’t use it that often, you can stretch it out to once every three months. If you happen to notice any significant ice buildup, you should defrost it before it compromises the machine.

Defrosting the appliance does two things: 

  1. It extends the life of the appliance and keeps it functioning efficiently
  2. It removes any ice buildup that could damage the machine or prevent it from working as it should.

What Causes Excessive Freezing in Ice Makers

There are three primary reasons your Samsung ice maker might be freezing up. From simple issues such as how you are using your ice maker, to more complex mechanical or electrical failures. 

So as with all troubleshooting processes, let’s start with the most simple issue to diagnose and fix:

1. The influx of Warm Air

This is the most common reason for any ice maker to freeze up, is an influx of warm air. Every time you open your refrigerator, you allow warm air to infiltrate the cold compartment. Anytime warm air meets cold air, condensation forms, which once the refrigerator is closed, will freeze up on the unit’s evaporator coils. 

If you open your refrigerator many times throughout the day, you could be unintentionally causing a layer of ice to build up on the ice maker with every opening. For many people, opening the fridge is a habit brought on by boredom, but if you are constantly having to defrost your ice maker, you may want to take a look at the number of times you open your fridge in a 24-hour period. 

If this is the reason your Samsung ice maker is freezing up, you need to try and limit opening the refrigerator door. Try to grab what you need for several hours so that you don’t need to open the fridge again for a long time. The less you open your refrigerator, the less likely ice is to build up on the ice maker. 

2. Liquid Refrigerant Levels

Your Samsung refrigerator uses liquid refrigerant to keep its contents cool, in the same way, that your car uses the cooling refrigerant (R134A) in its air con system. If the refrigerant level is too low or leaks, the appliance will release warm air rather than cool air, which causes condensation. As we learned in the last section, condensation is not a good thing where refrigeration and freezer operation is concerned. 

If you are constantly dealing with frost buildup on your ice maker, and you have made an effort to not open the fridge door often, you may need to call in a technician to check your refrigerator’s refrigerant level. 

3. Faulty Compressor or Thermostat

In addition to the refrigerant, your Samsung refrigerator has several important components that work together to keep the unit cool. The two main parts here are the compressor and the forced defrost thermostat. The thermostat tells the unit when to stop cooling so that the unit can “thaw out.” If this thermostat is faulty, the fridge may continue to cool, forming ice, rather than turning off as it should. 

The compressor is another part that must function properly for the appliance to do its job efficiently. If the compressor fails, the self-defrost mode won’t be able to do its job as the compressor needs to shut off to allow the fridge to thaw. If either of these parts is faulty, they will need to be replaced to stop the buildup of ice on the ice maker. 

How to Defrost the Samsung Ice Maker Step-by-Step

You should defrost your Samsung ice maker periodically as part of a maintenance schedule. You will also need to defrost it if you notice a layer of frost has built up on the machine. To conduct a defrost, follow the steps below. 

1. Reset The Ice Maker

The first thing you need to do if you see ice forming on your ice maker or the machine isn’t working properly is to reset it. Resetting it often resolves many of the issues these machines have. Samsung has made it easy to reset its ice makers by placing a test/reset button near the unit. 

To reset the ice maker, locate the reset button. It may be labelled “Test.” Simply push and hold it for five seconds or until you hear a chiming sound. Release the button. At this point, you will need to wait a full 24 hours for the reset process to complete. After 24 hours, if the ice maker isn’t functioning as it should, you might need a repairperson. 

2. Access The Ice Maker’s Interface

If the reset doesn’t work, you can access its interface and force a defrost using a combination of buttons on the control panel. For tabletop models, push the “Power Freeze” and “Fridge” buttons and hold them for eight seconds. For models with a dispenser, press and hold the “Freeze” and “Lighting” buttons until the screen goes black and you hear a beep. Release the buttons. 

3. Start The Forced Defrost

Use the “Lighting” button to cycle through the options available to you. Look for “FD,” which stands for “forced freezer defrost.” In this mode, the freezer will begin defrosting and any ice buildup will melt. 

4. Be Patient

The forced defrost will take about an hour. You will be able to tell it is working by the water that accumulates in the freezer compartment. During this time, remove the ice bucket (if it isn’t frozen in place) and place a towel in the compartment to absorb the water. While the defrosting is taking place, do not open the refrigerator or the freezer. 

5. Defrost the Refrigerator

Once the forced freezer defrost has been completed, you can run a forced refrigerator defrost if there is ice in the fridge compartment. To do this, choose “RD” from the interface and let the cycle run its course. You will know the cycle was successful in both the freezer and fridge defrosting if there is a puddle of water at the bottom of the unit and no ice is visible inside the appliance. If ice remains after performing a forced defrost, you can run the cycle again or unplug the appliance from its power source to manually defrost it. 

6. Clean Up The Water

Be sure to clean up any water that has pooled at the bottom of the refrigerator/freezer. Any water that remains will freeze and begin accumulating more ice as the appliance continues to cool. Use a towel to completely dry the unit thoroughly. 

7. Get Support

If your Samsung ice maker still freezes up or doesn’t work properly, you can contact the manufacturer for support. Samsung has excellent support, updates, and troubleshooting help by calling 1-800-SAMSUNG. I would advise calling this support line before performing a manual defrost as your appliance may need a firmware upgrade to begin working properly again. 

How to Defrost the Ice Maker chamber on Samsung Refrigerators with FORCED DEFROST Mode DIY

How Long To Defrost Your Samsung Ice Maker

If you perform a forced freezer defrost, expect it to take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. 

If you perform a manual defrost, it can take up to 24 hours for the unit to defrost. 

Tips For Defrosting A Samsung Ice Maker Faster

Generally, you do not need to do anything beyond starting the forced defrost cycle, but if you want to help the process go along a little faster, you can try the following. 

Place bowls or pans of hot water in the freezer compartment. The steam from the hot water will help the ice melt faster. If you use this method, be sure to place hot pads or thick towels under the bowls or pans as the heat may damage the surface of the freezer. Keep in mind that the freezer will cool the water down quickly, so you will need to replace the hot water often to keep the steam rolling. 

Use a hot metal spatula. Heat a metal spatula over your stove burner. Use caution as it will be hot to the touch. Place the spatula against the layer of ice in the freezer to hasten the melting process. Reheat the spatula as necessary to melt the ice. Alternatively, you can place the hot spatula in the freezer compartment and close the door. The hot metal will gently melt the ice. Again, use a towel or hot pad beneath the spatula to prevent damage. 

Scrape the ice away. As your ice maker begins to thaw, use a plastic scraper to gently remove any loose or thin ice. By getting rid of any ice that is easy to remove, you shorten the defrosting process, so your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard. 

Preventing Samsung Ice Maker From Freezing Again

With any luck, your Samsung ice maker is working like it should after performing the forced defrost outlined above. Now that it is working correctly again, there are a few things you can do to keep it from freezing up in the future. 

  • If you notice frost buildup on your ice maker, use a damp cloth to remove it right away. Alternatively, you can use a scraper to get rid of it as well. Don’t let ice continue to build up. 
  • Check your ice maker weekly for frost buildup. If you notice it frosting up regularly, use the method outlined above to defrost it. 
  • If you are going on vacation, turn your ice maker off. This will prevent frost buildup and save energy. 
  • Check the rubber seals in the ice bucket and clean them regularly to prevent frost and other debris from building up on them. 

Mistakes To Avoid When Defrosting Your Ice Maker

Defrosting your Samsung ice maker is a straightforward process, but there are some common mistakes people make when doing so. Make sure you read further to discover what they are so you can avoid making them yourself. 

  • Don’t wait until you can’t close the door of your freezer to defrost it. The more ice that builds up, the harder your fridge will have to work to keep it cool, which wastes energy and costs more. Plus, it will take longer to defrost it when you finally do it. 
  • Don’t forget to wipe down any rubber seals once the ice has been removed. Keeping the rubber seals clean ensures the ice maker stays as cold as possible and extends the life of the unit. 
  • Don’t open the door(s). If you are conducting a forced freezer defrost, do not open the door. Doing so will hinder the process and make it take longer. 
  • DO NOT use an ice pick, knife, or any other sharp tool to chip away at the ice. If you break through the layer of ice, you could damage the surface of the unit. If you must “help,” use an ice scraper instead. Ultimately, it is better to allow the appliance to defrost itself automatically than to attempt to remove the ice yourself.
Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and