Defrost a Samsung Ice Maker: Step By Step Guide (Easy to Do)

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The Samsung ice maker on certain models has a history of being problematic. Newer fridge releases by the company have resolved the issue. Yet, for people with specific models, the ice maker frosts up more frequently than expected.

For other owners, running a Force Defrost cycle on their Samsung fridge approximately once a quarter is beneficial for ice maker performance and prevents ice build-ups or blockages. 

In this article, I explore different approaches to defrost your Samsung ice maker quickly and to better maintain it to reduce the frequency of future icing issues. 

Reasons for Defrosting Your Samsung Ice Maker

Ice makers made by Samsung are fraught with problems. Certain versions tend to ice up or stop working altogether. 

However, don’t knock old Sammy too much because, generally, icemakers are a pain to deal with. So, they’re loved for their convenience, but they need a little TLC along the way too.

That’s the deal!

Samsung Ice makers frost up for various reasons (sometimes more than one cause is applicable, so be aware of that reality too).

Below are a few of the most common reasons:

  • The ice maker bucket is frosted up and cannot be pulled out.
  • Internal ice maker components are iced up, so no ice is being produced.
  • Air vent blockages created dust and debris accumulation, and improper temperature regulation is occurring.
  • Bad door seals allow warmer air inside the ice maker, preventing it from working correctly.
  • The defrost heater has failed, so the ice maker no longer defrosts successfully. 
  • The refrigerant is at a low-level altering temperature regulation control inside the ice maker. 

Related >> 9 Causes for a Samsung Ice Maker Freezing Up

How to defrost a Samsung ice maker

How to Defrost Samsung Ice Maker

The old-fashioned method to defrost an ice maker, just like with an isolated freezer compartment, was to leave its door open. 

In some cases, unplugging the refrigerator and defrosting the entire fridge was the chosen action. 

Modern fridges now have control panels allowing for more precise actions, including defrosting only a freezer or only defrosting an ice maker. 

Samsung includes their Force Defrost (fd) mode within Control Panels to initiate a defrost for only the ice maker itself, rather than the freezer or the entire fridge.

This is far more convenient and saves food from going to waste. Also, given that ice makers can freeze up more frequently than a freezer does, all for the better.

Note: Care is needed to select the correct mode. Otherwise, there is a risk of accidentally defrosting the entire freezer or chilled food compartments by mistake. The modes are difficult to disengage and reset back to normal when making a mistake. 

How to Force Defrost Samsung Ice Maker

Before we access the Control Panel, you may wish to remove the ice maker bucket first. 

It is up to you whether to remove the Samsung ice maker bucket before initiating the defrosting mode. Sometimes, it is iced up and cannot be removed, in which case, please move to the next section explaining the defrosting process.

When the ice maker bucket is still removable, some owners prefer to remove it and place a dry cloth or towel at the bottom of the ice maker. 

This captures water produced during the defrosting process and less water to dry up later. 

To remove the ice maker bucket:

  1. Press the tab located on the top-right side of the ice maker bucket. This acts as a latch of sorts. It requires firm pressure to release it and permit the bucket to slide out.
  2. Once the push button latch is released, take hold of the front of the ice maker bucket, lift it, and simultaneously pull it out. Again, the need to lift upwards allows it to rise above internal components and slide freely. 

Now onto the defrosting process:

The method to Force Defrost a Samsung ice maker varies. There are at least two established methods for activation of the Force Defrost mode depending on your Samsung fridge model.

The methods are split between Samsung fridges, where the Control Panel is inside the fridge, and models where the smaller Control Panel is on the front door’s exterior

Force Defrost Samsung Fridge Models With an Interior Control Panel

For the first type of Samsung fridge, the Force Defrost mode is activated by opening the fridge door, moving to the Control Panel, and preparing to access it.

The Control Panel is just inside the right panel wall, slightly back from the opening. 

To activate the Force Defrost mode:

  1. Press the Fridge and FlexZone buttons together for six seconds.
  2. The Control Panel will flash to confirm mode selection has been accessed.
  3. Now release the two buttons as the illuminated panel flashes continually.
  4. Press the FlexZone button. This disables the flashing panel effect. Expect to now cycle through different refrigerator modes until reaching the correct one… 
  5. Press the FlexZone button to cycle through the sequence. The panel usually displays FF, OF, rd, and then Fd. Stop pressing the FlexZone button once you reach Fd mode.
  6. Avoid FF and OF modes at all costs.
  7. A long initial beep will occur. Then shorter beeps will commence and continue to repeat through the entire Force Defrost cycle is completed (or until the mode is reset).
  8. Once the beeping has stopped, the mode is complete. Open the fridge door and remove the towel or cloth inside the ice maker. Remove any remaining moisture.
  9. If previously removed, now slide the ice maker’s bucket back into position. 
  10. The Control Panel should return to its standard display. However, in some situations, it will switch to display either OF or FF. These refer to a factory display showroom mode where the fridge illuminates but isn’t cooling or freezing.
  11. To exit Demo Mode, hold down the Energy Saver and Power Freeze buttons for 3 seconds until the fridge audibly alerts you and the internal temperature levels display once again. Alternatively, refer to your manual to discover how to exit the showroom modes for your model. 

Force Defrost Samsung Fridge Models With an Exterior Door Control Panel

For the second type of Samsung fridge, the Force Defrost mode is activated on the rectangular-shaped Control Panel on the fridge door (the right-side door on most models).

To activate the Force Defrost mode:

  1. Press the Energy Saver and Fridge buttons (one on either side of the display) together for 8 seconds. 
  2. Once accepted, the display will clear, and a loud beeping will begin. Release the buttons. 
  3. Now Press the Fridge button alone. One press at a time to cycle through the available modes. Usually, these are FF, OF r, rd, and fd. Stop at Fd mode. 
  4. After the Fd mode is selected in this manner, it is activated. The beeping sound will continue for as long as the defrosting process is running.
  5. Once the defrosting cycle has been completed, Press the Fridge button once to exit the Fd mode, which returns the display to its regular setting. 
  6. Dry the inside of the ice maker.
  7. Reinstall the ice maker’s bucket if it was previously removed. 

Tips for Maintaining Your Ice Maker So It Doesn’t Become Frosty Again

Here are some tips to better maintain the ice maker.

Resetting the ice maker is possible: There is a button just for this on many Samsung ice makers. Locating it is challenging, so to save time, I’d suggest referring to your product manual. 

Related >> How to Reset Samsung Ice Maker

A defrost cycle should activate after the ice maker is reset, assuming the defrost function is working, and there are no faulty parts or system malfunctions. 

Remove Frost: Look for frost build-up periodically and scrape it off as needed. A thin frosty layer quickly becomes multi-layered when left alone, and this is where the trouble starts!

Wipe down the seals: The seal around the ice maker may become dirty or misshapen. Wipe it down. Ensure it provides a smooth seal throughout. Otherwise, debris and warm air are allowed to enter the ice maker. 

Don’t need the Ice maker? Turn it off: It is possible to turn off the ice maker while the rest of the refrigerator operates normally. This avoids ice build-up. 

Related >> How to Turn On and Off a Samsung Ice Maker

Run a Defrost Cycle periodically: A defrost cycle should be run either when significant frost is first spotted or every three months as part of maintenance planning. 

For larger frost issues, running multiple defrost cycles is sometimes necessary to clear everything away from pipes, panels, interior walls, chutes, vents, and elsewhere. 


Can you Defrost Samsung Ice Maker with a Hair Dryer?

No, you should never defrost your ice maker with a hair dryer. While it would seem to make sense, the risk is that the extreme heat of a hair dryer can damage the components and ice maker housing. Also, it invalidates any manufacturer’s warranty too. 

How Long Does It Take to Defrost My Samsung Ice Maker?

The defrost cycle needs between 30-60 minutes to complete. The defrost heater considerably speeds up the time needed. By comparison, manual defrosting requires up to a day to finish. 

How Often Should I Defrost My Samsung Ice Maker?

I suggest defrosting a Samsung ice maker every quarter. This assumes frost wasn’t visible before that; if so, run a defrost cycle ASAP. 

Why is My Samsung Ice Maker Not Making Ice After Defrost?

Other issues with the ice maker or the fridge could prevent ice production. These include ice maker part failures, a worn-out rubber seal on the ice maker, unclean condenser coils, blocked vents, and more.

Some issues are specific to the ice maker, whereas others originate with the refrigerator but affect the ice maker too. 

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Niels Joensen is the founder and chief editor at Niels is a professional painter who runs his own painting company. When not painting he likes to write about home renovation and appliances.