Getting Rid of the Smell of Rotten Food in the Freezer

The freezer was turned off and we were away for 5 weeks. We came back to a freezer full of rotting pungent food. Please help! What can I do to get rid of the smell? Please!

By Maggie

May 7, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Wash completely. (I'm sure you've done that a few times already) then spray with lemon oil, let rest for a day, then wash again. You can also place a bowl of ground coffee in there for a few days to absorb the yucky aromas. If you would like to make a lemon "oil" of your own, you can boil lemon halves previously used for lemonade etc. in a salted water until the liquid has reduced to half. I start with 1/2 litre water to two lemon halves.

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May 7, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Our daughter's small chest type freezer was off for about 3 weeks and she did not know it. She did not have much meat in it but had a lot of frozen tomatoes. It was full of food and it smelled rotten. We took it out on the deck, scooped out the liquid mess and put it in 5 gallon buckets and poured it out in the woods. The smell about got us.

After getting it cleaned out, we scrubbed it with Clorox water and that did not get rid of the odor. Then we tried white vinegar and still it smelled bad. We also cleaned with lemon juice and soda. It still smelled bad so we let it sit outside in the hot sun with the top open for a couple of days. It still had the odor in it and I thought she would have to junk it but we took it back inside and plugged it up and let it run.

She put a bag of charcoal in it and gradually filled it with jugs of water so it would be full. After a few months, the odor was gone and the freezer was fine. No odor at all.

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May 14, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Coffee grounds, un-used! I put fresh coffee from container on a plate & place in freezer and keep changing till "rotten" smell goes way!

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If the food stayed in the fridge/freezer, those will work. However, I have seen a lot in 12 years of property management. Once it is in the insulation, it's pretty much a big white box.

Cut the plug from back, put a pad lock on it, and use it for bait or fishing hear. You won't get the smell out of the insulation.

I wish you luck. All suggestions are good one.


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May 9, 20110 found this helpful

This works for rotted food odors in your refrigerator/freezer/ice chest after cleaning out the freezer take a gallon of warm water and dissolve a tube of mint flavored toothpaste and then wipe down the entire in sides, no need to rinse.

This worked every time and if you just have an odd smell in refrigerator or freezer squeeze about an inch of the mint toothpaste spreading around on a paper towel and just leave in the refrigerator or freezer.

This has worked on several freezers and a couple of ice chest where they forgot the fish in them.

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May 9, 20110 found this helpful

I had that happen to our freezer full of meat, mostly venison, fish and hamberg meat but a lot of other meats too, Everyone told me that my freezer was done and I wouldn't get the smell out. We cleaned it with javex, put in a plate of baking soda(for a day or two), changed it for another couple of days. Meanwhile I dried used coffee grains. I then put a platefull of coffee grains in the bottom of the freezer for a couple of days. Did this for about a week or two. The smell is now completely gone and we are using it again. I have an allergy to any smells so have an over ablility to smell what others do not and I now don't smell anything. Hope you try this. I know it will help.

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May 9, 20110 found this helpful

I would definitely try Fresh-Wave. It comes in liquid ,spray and crystals. The liquid is usually used for laundry, but bet you could wash out the freezer with it also. Google it to see where it is sold in your area.

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August 27, 2011 Flag
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My 8 yr old son and I have been caught up in the rioting in London. After 2.5 weeks we have been able to come home. The power was out for a long time and then came back on. The food in my freezer had defrosted, gone moldy, then refrozen when the power went back on.

I have gotten rid of the food, cleaned with Fairy liquid, then Dettol. The smell seemed to go. I put the freezer back on, but when I opened the door the smell has come back. Any suggestions for getting rid of this odour? The freezer is built in under the counter so I can't move it and can't afford to replace it.

By Alison

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August 27, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Alison, glad you're back home safe and sound!

Here is what the USDA recommends for methods to remove odors from your freezer, plus some suggestions for what to do if you don't have success the first time. ... Refrigerators_and_Freezers/index.asp

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August 27, 20110 found this helpful

We have always had good luck with using fresh (un-used) coffee grounds, as mentioned in the article referenced by la34a. An open box of baking soda is also a good bet. Good luck!

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August 29, 20110 found this helpful

When I had a similar experience I tried most of the things listed in the USDA fact sheet without much luck. My freezer was almost new so I was unwilling to part with it. I bought a 5 pound package of clay kitty litter, poked holes all over it with an icepick and put it in my freezer, closed the door for a week. When I checked it there was no more odor. Hope you can get clay kitty litter in the UK.

Good luck to you.

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August 29, 20110 found this helpful

Try placing a small open saucer of fresh coffee inside the unit, close it and leave the coffee there for a day or two. I have found that fresh (not used) coffee will eliminate odors in refrigerators, freezers and microwave ovens. It does a much better job than baking soda.

You can also try using a small brick of charcoal, like that used for barbeques, to keep foul odors out of the refrigerator.

And too, you can put a banana with the peel pulled down, but not removed, in the unit. Suggested by a friend, I used that when some milk spilled onto the car carpet. It worked, no nasty smell.

A small bowl of white vinegar will keep a room odor free.

And last but not least, crumpled newspaper is great for stuffing shoes or other things to absorb and remove odors.

I hope one or all of my suggestions will be of some help.

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