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Question DetailsAsked on 4/20/2013

why won't freezer freeze ice cream

side by side freezer will freeze everything else rock hard, but will not freeze ice cream

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3 Answers

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Voted Best Answer

Most products "harden" at 20 degrees, ice cream needs to be
much colder to "harden".

Soft ice cream is a sign that your freezer is not set cold enough, or it is not freezing properly.

I assume you checked the setting, so it is likely not working properly.

Check underneath to see if the "coil" is full of dust, this is a common issue. Most have a coil underneath, and it can be vacuumed.

The space is very narrow, so attach the cardboard tube from a paper towl roll to your vacuum, you can flatten it to fit the space and increase the "reach".

If a dirty coil is not he cause, I'd check Angie's List, for a great Appliance repair guy!


Answered 7 years ago by BayAreaAC


Get a freezer dial thermometer (about $5-10 at grocery or box store) and check the temperature, then adjust the freezer (NOT refrigerator) setting dial (usually just inside the top of the reefer section) a number at a time colder and see how that changes the temperature.

Vegetables and ice cubes freeze hard at about 28-30 degrees F, so freezers are usually set at about 5-10 degrees F, and not above 15 for safety. However, ice cream that is high in cream content generally will be runny to about 25, and soft down to about 0-10, so you may need to set your freezer as low as zero degrees F.

The comment on cleaning the coils is very important - you should do that about yearly, or more often if you have shedding pets. Be gentle with them - you do not want to bend or kink them, as they carry teh refrigerant fluid, and repairs are expensive. The coils can be under or on the back of the reefer, and it is best to not only vacumn them out, but also to blow them out if possible before vacumning - with compressed air hose if you have it, else with a cleaned-out shop vac on blow setting. Be sure after you blow it out that the fan (usually accessible from the back by removing a cardboard cover after disconnecting power) is not blocked by a clump of lint - it should spin freely. The compressor (roundish tank with wires and tubing coming out of it) should also be blown / brushed off, as lint accumulation makes it run hotter, which reduces freezing capacity.

Also - try putting your ice cream as low in the freezer unit as possible (cold air sinks), and as far back as possible so it does not warm up as much when you open the door. Side-by-sides are bad for this, because all the cold air pours out every time you open the door. You might also try packing something around the ice cream to reduce the effect of opening the door - like bags of frozen vegetables, for instance, or even a wrapped layer of cardboard (although that will also make it take longer to initially freeze).

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


I am very grateful to the person who asked this question. I had the same problem today and was pretty unhappy thinking I had to replace my refrigerator.

But I read the first answer, "Check underneath to see if the coil is full of dust, this is a common issue. Most have a coil underneath, and it can be vacuumed." I gave it a try. I cleaned and vacuumed the mechanicals above, below and in back of it.

At first nothing happened. Then it made some funny noises for a few minutes. I was alarmed that it sounded like it was gasping its last breaths. An hour later I checked and the ice cream was still mushy, confirming my worst fears. But at least the refrigerator had stopped making noises.

An hour and a half later I couldn't go to sleep without checking one more time. I am glad I did. Refrozen ice cream may not be good to eat, but I will know tomorrow. Apparently my refrigerator has gotten right back on track. The ice cream is re-freezing and the refrigerator is humming along like nothing ever happened.

Answered 4 years ago by wh mom


Hey wh mom, Glad you found this! Thanks for taking the time to let us know!

FYI , once a yaer cleaning should prevent the issue in the future.


Answered 4 years ago by BayAreaAC

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