Author Topic: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged (Read 2684 times)

ChipmunkSavings

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How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« on: December 09, 2016, 02:02:26 PM »
I've unfortunately had the misfortune of finding my chest freezer completely melted a couple of weeks ago. Works fine, just unplugged it by mistake. By the time we realized it, two weeks had gone by and things really fermented in there. I cleaned it up, poured a lot of bleach into it to try to get rid of the smell, no luck.

So far, I have tried :
- Baking Soda;
- Bleach ;
- Soap and water ;
- Vinegar and water.

The freezer was recently re-plugged on a trial period to see if it still worked correctly. Temperature seems fine. There is still a lingering somewhat strong smell left, even after all the cleaning. Do you guys have any ideas for a way to get rid of that?

My family thinks the freezer should be thrown out. Being a frugal mustachian, I wanted to make sure I have exhausted all the possibilities before that, especially considering that it works fine other than that!

Should be noted that the smell is strong enough that items left in it will smell bad as well (especially cardboard packaging).

Thanks for your help!

AZDude

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 02:05:32 PM »
Is the smell trapped in the fan motor or somewhere else in the workings of the freezer and not in the actual container?

Maybe spray some Febreeze or similar product into the motor?

Frankies Girl

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 02:09:30 PM »
Baking soda. Leave an open box of baking soda in the freezer, and it should absorb bad odors.

Otherwise, I'd suggest unplugging it, and leaving it open to air out with a bowl of vinegar and box of baking soda in it to help. Leave it this way at least a week then close it and plug it back in and leave the box of soda in there (switching out once every other month). Check to see how it smells after a week or so of running with baking soda to capture the odors.

Otherwise, I would suggest checking out charcoal - supposed to be really good for deodorizing.
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ChipmunkSavings

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 02:18:27 PM »
AZDude : I am not quite sure how to figure out if it is in the motor. Do you need to take the freezer apart for this?

Frankies Girl : I left the baking soda box in the freezer, open for a week, and then closed and plugged. Still smells bad. Charcoal : meaning what you use for your BBQ?

Thanks for the replies.

GreenSheep

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 04:35:37 PM »
Having been through Hurricane Katrina, when everyone's fridge/freezer was in the same predicament, I can tell you there is simply nothing that will get rid of the smell. You just have to grit your Mustachian teeth and throw it out. I tried everything. My neighbors tried everything. My friends tried everything. It was written about in newspapers, etc. No one ever came up with a solution, as far as I know.

Hate to be pessimistic, but I'm just trying to save you some time and keep you from throwing good money after bad.

yachi

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 06:29:53 PM »
The cardboard packaging is helping you get rid of the smell!

I had a refrigerator in a rental house that had a horrible smoke smell. I was doing renovations, so I cleaned it, then filled with with crumbled newspaper. I switched out the newspaper weekly for fresh newspaper. The newspaper seemed to absorb the smell. I had a piece of meat rot in my car once (college prank). After finding it, getting it out, & cleaning it up with concentrated lysol & the smell went away fairly quickly.

You want to clean behind any grills, panels, or drip pans that you can access. Maybe google your freezer model + exploded view. To see what you can remove. You could then fill it with newspaper & cardboard that you will discard later. You could go way overboard by filling it with granular activated carbon, but that's like $100/cubic foot, which would cost more than a new freezer.

ChipmunkSavings

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 07:29:00 PM »
Thanks guys! I will try the newspaper option considering that's rather easy to do, and if not I guess I will have to buckle down and get a new one (second-hand of course).

M2 pilot

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 07:58:43 PM »
Charcoal absorbs odors rather well

swick

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 08:51:21 PM »
We moved into a rental where someone had been storing rotting fish in an unplugged freezer. The freezer and the room that it was in STANK. We got the cheapest, biggest container of ground coffee we could find and put it in dishes throughout the room and in the freezer, took a few changes of coffee grounds over a couple of weeks, but it eventually worked.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2016, 06:27:47 AM »
If bleach and baking soda haven't done it, I'd call it a loss. Used freezers aren't that expensive.
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MustacheMathTM

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Re: How to get rid of rotten meat smell after freezer was unplugged
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 06:09:13 PM »
Wipe down the interior with either rubbing alcohol or the cheapest vodka you can find. (Try not to breathe too many fumes either way).