Odor In Basement After Defrosting A Freezer

Two weeks ago we defrosted our freezer. Right after that we noticed a strange odor from the hallway in the basement where it is located. We thought it might be sewer gas and had a plumber come in, but he found nothing.


Eventually the smell was noticeable upstairs - some times, not all the time.

We pulled out the freezer and it was totally wet right behind it. The carpet smelled like cat urine. We yanked out all the carpet, bleached the floor twice, and cleaned the outside of the freezer thoroughly.

We checked under the freezer and there were no dead animals and no smell coming from inside the freezer.

The smell comes and goes. At times it is stronger than others. At times it is not noticeable at all. It doesn't seem to be dead animal related - being it is not consistent and has diminished.

we are looking to move the freezer to the garage to see if this is the cause.

Welcome any suggestions, ideas, things to look for.

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June 20, 20181 found this helpful

You had some kind of leak from the freezer. Do take it outside and see if the basement odor disappears

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June 20, 20181 found this helpful

Was the freezer defrosted because you wanted it to be? Or was it defrosted because it stopped working?


If defrosted because it stopped working then it must be the smell of spoiled food.

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June 21, 20181 found this helpful

If you have a cat, is it possible the cat did pee in the area? Cats can make themselves small to get into small spaces and that pee smell can linger even after cleaning...getting worse on humid days.

If not cat, then you may want to check to see if the drainage plug at the bottom of the freezer (if your freezer is like mine) is clean...from top to end. It can cause a huge stench if gunk gets trapped there (and it can go to the run off hose also). Follow your freezer's directions to clean that out and hopefully that is the solution.

If all is clear, what is the floor made of? If it is wood, is it possible there is a dead animal under the floor boards? Mice are tricky little buggers and squeeze themselves into small spaces and get stuck.


One last thing...are you the only one who smells it? I only ask because I have had sinus infections and smelled "garbage" for days and hubby didn't. I finally figured out what was going on (I had no cold symptoms) and when the doctor put me on an antibiotic after confirming the infection the smell disappeared.

Good luck!! Smells are such a stinking (yes, pun intended) challenge.

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June 21, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you all for your responses and your help. Checked out all that you mentioned... We decided to move the freezer to the garage.

Grabbed a cooler we used before to defrost it...there was a smaller cooler inside....it was on the top shelf of the rack in the hallway with the freezer.

Opened the cooler and the stench took my breath away. There were 2 smaller coolers in there - one was open - the other was not. Pulled them out and noticed the one that was closed was heavy.


It was also the one that contained a turkey breast that never made it back into the freezer after we defrosted it....

So.... as stupid as we both felt for having missed it - we are grateful the source has been found - and grateful for all your kind assistance.

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