Monday, July 9, 2012

Removing Refrigerator and Freezer Smells

One of the less-than-pleasant tasks of last week's storm and power outage aftermath was de-stinking our refrigerator and freezer.  Man, oh man, they stunk!  Think rotten scallops and an exploded, curdled milk container, and you're on your way to imagining the funk that stunk in our kitchen.

First, SPH and I removed all the spoiled food.  I tried not to get too upset over all the lost food, but it was hard to throw so much out, especially the frozen prepared meals.  Sigh.  "At least no one was hurt and our roof is still intact," was my line.

Next, SPH took out every single shelf and drawer from both the fridge and freezer and placed them outside for an old fashioned scrub down.  We used an all-purpose non-toxic cleaner since the shelves would be holding food, and then let them air out outside for a day or so.

Then, I scrubbed all the little nooks and crannies of the fridge and scrubbed some more.

Once all the mess was clean, it was time to get rid of the smells!  Here are four easy ways to get rid of the funk:

1.  Fresh Herbs/Essential Oils and Baking Soda:  Simply cut fresh herbs (we have rosemary and mint in abundance, so that is what I used) and sprinkle with baking soda, which will absorb foul smells.  Alternatively, mix a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender, peppermint or lemon with the baking soda.  Place in your fridge and close the door.


2.  Coffee and Oatmeal:  The coffee will overwhelm and absorb the foul smells, the oatmeal will help absorb foul smells and help leach our extra moisture.


3.  Newspaper:  Not sure why, but newspaper helped absorb the odor too.  Someone recommended this to me and it seemed to work!


4.  Fresh Air:  Sure, you probably can't carry your fridge and freezer outside, but if you are able, prop open the doors and let fresh air do the trick.  This method works best on minor funks, if you have a super stinky fridge, you probably don't want to try this one.  Be sure to turn the fridge off if you still have power and want to try this technique, as you don't want to waste energy.

After only a day and a half, our fridge and freezer smelled like new again.  Thankfully, the rank smells of last week are a distant memory!

Life is sweet,
SPC

6 comments:

JerseyBaby said...

"At least no one was hurt and your roof is intact." I'm having to repeat this too because I feel so badly for you all. My fridge needs a good cleaning, but I'm hoping Mother Nature doesn't force the issue.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

JB, that was the silver lining--our fridge desperately needed the cleaning. But yes, don't tempt Mother Nature!!

Laura said...

I'm so glad you were ok though... Ohio got a bum deal this past 2 weeks!

Anonymous said...

Another tried-and-true funky-smell removal tip: cat litter! Set a pan in there and close the door...works great!

Debra Scowden said...

We have a fish smell in our, from shrimp, but nothing seems to work. Did you use all four methods to remove the smell or just one? We have aired it out, used vinegar water, baking soda and coffee grounds. It has been a week and we still can't use it because food we put in, especially produce, comes out smelling fishy. Appreciate any input.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

We used all methods--the newspaper might do the trick, it absorbs odors. That is so frustrating though--did you happen to make sure you cleaned all the shrimp "gunk" from the fridge? Maybe there is a crevice or place that is harboring something still?