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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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I always thought washing with vinegar got rid of smells and the vinegar smell does not remain.

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In This Article
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Home and Garden Cleaning AppliancesMay 6, 2011
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