How to Get Fish Smell Out of Freezer

When we are lucky enough pull in a big catch for the day, the fish are filleted and placed within the freezer to be eaten at a later day. However, when we forget about our frozen reserves and the freezer experiences a power problem, disaster often strikes.

Getting the smell of fish guts out of the freezer is never an easy task, and often requires the appliance to be unplugged for multiple days. By following some of the below solutions, you can put the odorous fish contamination within your freezer behind you and freshen your freezer.

Clean Out All Fish Residues

1 Clean Contaminants With Warm Dish Detergent Mixture

As your first step, you will want to clean all of the contaminants from the freezer with a mixture of hot water and dish soap. Before you begin, you will want to unplug the freezer to liquify any ice remnants which may be harboring the odor. Next, mix two teaspoons of dish detergent with three cups of warm water and proceed dunk a dish rag within the mixture and wipe down the entire interior of the freezer. Make sure that no fish contaminants are left within the freezer before moving on.

Deodorizing Freezer Methods

1 Fill Freezer Vanilla Extract Crumple Newspaper

Once the contaminants have been cleared out, you can work in absorbing any of the remaining smells out of the freezer. Stuffing the freezer with crumpled newspaper dipped within vanilla extract is a popular way to remove the odor. Fill a small saucer with vanilla extract and lightly dip the edges of crumpled newspaper into the solution, and place within the freezer. Once the freezer has been filled, close the door and allow 2-3 days for the paper to absorb the unwanted fish odor and replace it with subtle aroma of vanilla extract.

2 Spray Down with Lemon Juice

Citric acid works well at cutting through odors and adding freshness within a confined space. Mix a solution of one part lemon juice with four parts water within a spray bottle. Spray down the entire interior of the freezer and close the door for 6-12 hours. After this time has passed, return to scrub down the interior one final time with hot water to remove any trace of the juice from the freezer’s interior.

3 Boiled Apple Cider Vinegar

The act of boiling apple cider vinegar and placing it within a freezer may sound strange. However, this household acid works well at combating fish odors within enclosed spaces. Fill a pot with one part apple cider vinegar and three parts water and bring it to a boil. Once the pot has reached a boiling point, pour the steaming contents within an large heat resistant bowl and quickly place within the freezer, making certain to close the door. After 4-6 hours return to remove the bowl and wipe down the vinegar stream from the walls of the freezer.

4 Spread Coffee Grounds Along Freezer Floor

Coffee grounds do more than make a cup of morning brew. They also work well at absorbing odors and replacing enclosed spaces with the gentle scent of coffee beans. First, make sure the freezer is unplugged, and that no moisture exists within the space. Measure one to two cups of coffee grounds and spread them along the bottom of the freezer floor making sure that no area is left untouched. Close door and allow 2-3 days for the coffee grounds to absorb the unwanted fish odor. Once complete, sweep out the coffee grounds and place the freshened freezer back within use.

5 Line Freezer Flooring In Activated Charcoal Briquettes

Covering the flooring of the fish ridden freezer with activated charcoal briquettes can do much to absorb the unwelcome smells. Selected 10-12 charcoal briquettes and place them strategically throughout the bottom of the freezer floor. Close the door and provide 5-7 days for the actives charcoal to absorb any remaining fish related organic odors. Once a week has passed, open the freezer door and simply remove the activated charcoal briquettes.

6 Sprinkle With Baking Soda

This household powder has been used for decades to treat and absorb unwanted odors. Sprinkle heavy quantities of baking soda along the floor of the freezer before closing the door. Allow the baking soda to sit within the freezer for 2-3 days before returning to the freshened freezer to sweep the baking soda out of the space and placing the appliance back within use.

7 Place It Outside

If placing the freezer outside is an option, doing so will do much in deodorizing the enclosed space. The open space, fresh air and even ultra violet rays of the sun have the effect of neutralizing organic fish related odors and freshening enclosed space. To apply this method, flip freezer face up outside, and open the door so that ultraviolet rays can make their way within. So long as the days remain sunny, leave the freezer like this for 2-3 days before returning to bring the freezer back within the house. As a note of precaution, place a tarp under the freezer while it is outside to prevent dirt and other material from making it’s way within the coils and working parts of the appliance.


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

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