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Horrible Smell in Freezer After Hurricane Ivan?

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.

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Thanks in advance,

S. Robertson

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By Kelly (Guest Post)
September 26, 20040 found this helpful

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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By DearWebby (Guest Post)
September 27, 20040 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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Anonymous
April 15, 20160 found this helpful

Wash with club soada

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By Jill (Guest Post)
September 27, 20041 found this helpful

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!!

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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!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
June 28, 20180 found this helpful

Do you use the Mtn. Fresh Clorox full strength or dilute it when you leave it in the freezer?

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September 27, 20040 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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By Mimi in GA (Guest Post)
September 27, 20040 found this helpful

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

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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
September 27, 20040 found this helpful

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

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September 27, 20040 found this helpful

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.

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By CB in California (Guest Post)
September 27, 20040 found this helpful

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!

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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.

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By Margaret (Guest Post)
September 28, 20040 found this helpful

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.

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January 15, 20210 found this helpful

Hi did you have the freezer turned on with the litter?

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October 8, 20210 found this helpful

Do you leave the freezer on when trying to get rid of rotten food smells after an outage and the food was left to rot for at least two weeks following away from home on holiday? Many thanks Ray Wilkinson

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By Curious-1 (Guest Post)
October 4, 20040 found this helpful

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?

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Thanks for clarifying!

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By HEATHER (Guest Post)
October 5, 20041 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 22, 20200 found this helpful

Do I leave the freezer on or off and the door open or close when getting the smell of spoilt meat and blood out

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By Greg (Guest Post)
October 17, 20041 found this helpful

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?

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June 27, 20060 found this helpful

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

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By Dot (guest post) (Guest Post)
January 18, 20071 found this helpful

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!!

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By Nitz (Guest Post)
September 18, 20071 found this helpful

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!

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By (Guest Post)
November 17, 20080 found this helpful

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!!

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November 2, 20160 found this helpful

How long do you leave charcoal in freezer

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March 25, 20170 found this helpful

I use vanilla extract. Use natural as opposed to artificial extract. Pour it from the top edges to coat the sides and then the bottom. Let this dry, then rinse with water. If needed, wash all surfaces again with a baking soda/water paste and rinse again. Voila!

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July 23, 20170 found this helpful

power when out four 4 to 5 day there was some rotten meat . i clean it out it was fine plug it in and it has a really bad smell what do you use to clean it to get the smell out of it ? I don't want to throw it out .

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November 10, 20180 found this helpful

Why do the more expensive food items from grocery stores always seem to end up on these DIY home remedy lists (ie) fresh coffee grounds, vanilla extract, etc...!? (lol, sure, lets use vanilla extract at $50/gallon...good grief). The following recipe (below) has been in use for a long time and proven very effective at removing skunk odor from "skunked" dogs and works equally well at removing other stubborn odors...

Anti (Skunk) Odor Recipe
1 Quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 C Baking Soda
1 tsp Grease Cutting Liquid Dish Soap (ie) Dawn, etc...

Add all items (exactly as specified) into a bucket or spray bottle. Mix/shake well and apply. Rinse well, dry and repeat if necessary. WARNING: When using this on animals, do NOT get the solution into the animals eyes and do NOT let the solution remain on the animal for longer than 10/15 min at a time. Note: Mix and use right away... the solution loses it's effectiveness the longer it sits.

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June 28, 20190 found this helpful

My friends summer cabin lost power for a few weeks. They hired someone with a special tractor to lift the putrid monstrosities out of the cabin (as whole units), and then paid someone with a bulldozer to burry them! So... good luck! That may well be the worst smell in all creation.

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