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,