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Horrible Smell in Freezer After Hurricane Ivan

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After Hurricane Ivan, power was off for 8 days, lost every thing in the freezer. I could not get home for a while, now the freezer has a horrible smell and I can't get it out. Tried bleaching the entire inside and still nothing. Also have baking soda inside.

Thanks in advance,

S. Robertson

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By (Guest Post)11/17/2008

I have tried bleach water, vinegar water, pure vinegar, three different ordor sprays, baking soda & water which worked the best. I thought next trip the dump when my son and one other person told me about charcoal. I just happened to have a new bag. I filled a baking dish and closed it up. At first i thought i wanted the smell to be gone after spending days and days trying everything people told or gave me. But honestly the charcoal worked!!

By Nitz (Guest Post)09/18/2007

We had our freezer go blink also, we have removed everything even the freezer, the house still smell bad, how do I get rid of the smell in the basement and the lingering and coming upstairs??
please help!

By Dot (guest post) (Guest Post)01/18/2007

I had the same problem after cleaning out my freezer. TERRIBLE FISH ODOR! We tried the newspaper, coffee grinds, vanilla, bleach and baking soda. Nothing worked. I was ready to bring this 2 year old freezer to the dump just to get the smell out of my basement when i decided to give it one last try. I sprayed about 1/2 bottle of lysol mold and mildew spay all over the racks and coils, especially the tubes running down the back side. Then i got a kitchen bursh and scrubbed all the racks and coils and rinsed about three times with plain hot water. I even sprayed some down the drain tube and rinsed that. Well the smell is GONE!!! There must be something in that cleaner that neutralizes that fish smell. Good luck!!

By Peg Ward [5]06/27/2006

The charcoal will work---you can get the regular Kingsford or even the cheaper store brands. No self lighting though

By Greg (Guest Post)10/17/2004

I had the same problem after Frances. The inside of our fridge is clean but the tile floor around it smells rotten. It seems to get worse when the fridge turns on and off. Any tips?

By HEATHER (Guest Post)10/05/2004

Are you supposed to leave the fridge on and running or off?

By Curious-1 (Guest Post)10/04/2004

I noticed several people mentioning "charcoal" in this thread. Exactly, what *kind* of charcoal should be used for this purpose, and where does one get it?

Thanks for clarifying!

By Margaret (Guest Post)09/28/2004

Several years ago we had a power outage while we were out of town. When we got back our freezer was filled with rotten meat. We tried everything, and I do mean everything!! Nothing worked until we put saucers filled with cat litter on every shelf. We closed it up and did not open the door for about 3 or 4 days. When we did open it the rotten smell was gone. We wiped it down to get the cat litter smell out and then left the door open for a couple of days. Viola'! The freezer was good as new.

By CB in California (Guest Post)09/27/2004

You might try an old pair of knee high socks, fill them with fresh dry ground coffee. Put the filled socks in the freezer with the door closed for several days...should do the trick! This is also a great way for when you are moving; a refrigerator or freezer can be closed up for days. If in storage months!!! The coffee is a life saver.

By Lisa Trudeau09/27/2004

I read somewhere just today that someone had a similar problem and what he/she did was to wipe out the inside with vanilla extract.

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel [9]09/27/2004

Charcoal does work well but make sure you DON'T use the self starting kind, just use the plain old briquets.
- Susan

By Mimi in GA (Guest Post)09/27/2004

Clean the freezer with a paste made of baking soda and Lemon juice. rinse it thoroughly. After cleaning, put some large dishpans filled with charcoal briquets in and allow to sit for a couple of days. This should eliminate your odors

By Jackolyn Smith [14]09/27/2004

Charcoal works great for getting rid of odors. Take regular charcoal, not briquettes, and put some in the freezer along with some crumpled up newspapers. Leave the door closed for a couple of days. That should remove most of the odor. After you get rid of the odors, you can wipe down the interior with Vanilla Flavoring, that will help too.

By Jill (Guest Post)09/27/2004

I had the same problem with my freezer after Ivan. I had lots of fish and shrimp in mine. What a stench!!

After emptying the contents, I turned off the power and used a strong solution of white vinegar and "mountain fresh" scented Clorox bleach in water. I wiped down everything, including the racks, and in the grooves of the door gasket.

After everything had dried, I placed some of the same scented Clorox into a glass dish and set it on a middle shelf. I turned the freezer onto the lowest setting and left it for 24 hours. It still had some lingering odor, so I left it one more day. Perfect! It's just like a brand new freezer!!

I used this same thing on my garage refrigerator with success, and my house refrigerator as well. It takes about a day for the bleach smell to dissipate, then you are back to normal!

By DearWebby (Guest Post)09/27/2004

Turn the freezer off, open the lid and let it warm up.
Cleaners are not effective at freezing temperature. Use a sponge mop and scrub it out with an ammonia cleaner, but never mix it with bleach. That produces poison gas.
If that does not do the trick, then the cause of the smell is from the insulation or the mechanical compartment.
Do not use straight ammonia or strong solvents, because they make the plastic freezer liner brittle or damage it.

By Kelly (Guest Post)09/26/2004

Try using charcoal in the freezer. I have heard it works for those experiencing odor problems. I would also consider leaving the freezer door open as I was told a non-working freezer with closed doors will result in smells. Finally, my mom always recommends vinegar for everything. It is worth a try.

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