How to Get Smell Out of Freezer

Freezers provide an airtight frozen environment to preserve left-overs for a later date.  However, if the freezer is improperly closed or experiences a power outage, an overpowering smell can develop with time.  This rancid odor is almost always the result of thawed food that has gone rotten.

The first step to get getting rid of a freezer odor is to remove all of the contents and throw away any food that has gone rotten.  Although removing the rotten food is usually effective, the following solutions can help to freshen especially difficult odors in a freezer.

Freezer Smell Removal Tips

1 Wipe Down

Mix a solution of dish soap or baking soda with warm water.  Using a soft sponge, perform a thorough wipe down of the walls and floor of the freezer, leaving no areas untouched.  If the stench is still present after preforming these steps, please move forward with the following solutions.

2 Kitty Litter

Sprinkle fresh cat litter in into a large cookie sheet and place it within the freezer. Close the freezer door and allow for the absorbent granules to sit overnight.  Continue this process nightly until the cat litter has absorbed the odors and has left your freezer smelling fresh.

3 White Vinegar Steam

Create a solution of white vinegar and water in equal parts, and pour within pot. Place the pot on the stove and heat until a boil begins to appear.  Next, move boiling pot into freezer and close the door. The boiling vinegar will produce a stream that can quickly cover the interior walls and flooring on the freezer.  Return to the freezer after two hours and wipe the vinegar from the freezer siding.  The smelly residues will react to this acid and create a water soluble material that can easily be wiped away.

4 Activated Hardware Pellets

Buy activated hardware pellets from the hardware store. Place these pellets on a cookie sheet and proceed to place the sheet inside the freezer.  Keep freezer closed overnight while the pellets slowly absorb the stench of rotten food odors. Remove sheet in the morning and consider repeating this method for a second or third night if any odor remains.

5 Imitation Vanilla

Pour imitation vanilla into a small sauce bowl and dip 10-20 crumpled paper towels within the ingredient.  Place the vanilla dipped paper towels within the freezer and close the door to sit over night.  By morning, the vanilla will have masked the residual stench and left a soft and welcoming aroma inside the freezer.

6 Coffee Grounds

Pour coffee grounds into a shallow pan and place within the freezer over night. By morning, the coffee grounds will have absorbed much of the odor and added a subtle aroma of coffee. If any unwelcome smell remains, try this for a second or third night until the odor is removed.

7 Crumpled Newspaper

Give freezer a light spray of Windex to moisten the walls. Proceed to wad up several balls of newspaper and stuff them within the space.  Once freezer is sufficiently packed,  Close freezer and keep the door shut for 24-48 hours.  After this time has passed, the Windex and newspaper will have lifted and absorbed much of the residual odor.

8 Bleach

When all else fails, bleach works great in breaking down the odorous proteins left from rotting food.  Simply mix bleach with water in equal parts and wipe down the interior of the freezer to eliminate any remaining odors.

9 Flip Freezer

If smell remains after trying all of the above methods, it may be an indication that the odor’s source is located in other parts of the appliance.   Often, when the meat decomposes, it’s juices can drip down into the coils and into the freezer’s base.  To check for this, flip the appliance on to it’s face and scrub down the coils and base with a bleach mixture if odorous residues are found.

10 Open Freezer

As a final resort, check to see if any meat juices have potentially dripped inside the insulation of the appliance.  Carefully remove parts of the appliance to expose the interior insulation.  Wait for a clear day outside, then place the interior insulation in direct rays of the sun. After a few days sitting in the sun, the open space, fresh air and UV rays will help to neutralize the odor.

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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