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Getting Rid of Rotten Food Smell

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We just bought a house and just realized that the ice box was unplugged. As I opened it I saw and smelled hell on earth! I plugged it back in because there is over three inches of rotten chicken, beef, fish, turkey, pork, cheese, and blood. Some how the smell got in my mouth and its all over my house. Should I unplug it or keep it plugged in to get this smell out of my house?

Philly from Vegas, NV

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Recent Answers

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By Sierra (Guest Post)01/22/2009

That just happened to me. My power was shut off and I went to stay with a friend, conveniently forgot that the meat in the freezer was there. I came home after a WEEK without power to find my apartment RIDICULOUSLY rank.

I got rid of the big stuff from the freezer (after I refroze it) and I febreezed the crap out of the place and lit incense (etc) but the darn thing still has the icky juices in the bottom. I just started dumping cleaning stuff in there, now what do I do? Mop it up? Chip it out? grr

By Kim Churchman [3]05/23/2008

I had that problem with a sheep hide that I forgot when I unplugged the fridge in the barn. I plugged it in so it was all cold, which helped cut the smell long enough for me to clean it up, then the coffeegrounds and baking soda deal, and now it's find again. The first couple of jars of milk I tossed out.

By Kelly05/23/2008

kitty litter...I've used that for alot of different things...Put it in a cup and put it into the icebox. Stick a cup outside in your kitchen also...It will help take the smell out.

By Pamela O'Brien [1]05/22/2008

Years ago I acquired a refrigerator that was quite new but had been left "as is" and unplugged for 3 years. I got a few boxes of baking soda, opened the door and as quickly as possible sprinkled (threw) the baking soda all over and closed the door. Didn't open the door (or turn it on) until a few days later. The horrible smell was completely gone. And I just had to wipe everything out and wash it. Good luck. And be patient.

By Marge Mayhew [2]05/20/2008

Several years ago we returned home from vacation and found that our refrigerator had died while we were gone! I had the freezer section loaded with fish, chicken and hamburger, all thawed and rotting! The stench nearly knocked me over when I opened the refrigerator door! The REALLY dumb thing is that in the first few minutes home.......my husband and I both opened the door AGAIN, to get a soft drink! We are such creatures of habit! I grabbed a roll of duct tape and taped the doors shut so more of the stink couldn't get out during his or my next "brain cramp"!! We took it outdoors and had it hauled away since it was old and obviously not working. If I were you, if you plan to try to salvage your refrigerator, I'd take it out doors during the "clean out, clean up" procedure.
My niece saved her new deep freeze after a similar incident. She scrubbed, bleached and used many, many products and could not get the stink out of the freezer. She finally closed it up with several opened cans of fresh, unused coffee grounds inside. After about a week the smell was gone. All I can say is "Good Luck"......been there done that! Maybe to kill the lingering smell in your house spray some Odorban or Oust?

By BARBARA HENSLEY05/20/2008

For the odor in the house, put out bowls w/ vinegar in rooms. Vinegar is used by painters sometimes to soak up smells. This should help some smell to go away so it's easier to be be in rooms.
Something I found by accident for a frig smell is mint mouthwash! Pour it on shelves or put in bowls on frig shelves and in freezer.
As to timeframe, I cannot say.
Of course, baking soda and activated charcoal can also be used to soak up odors both in and out of frig. Good Luck!

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