34 answers

Stinky Deep Freeze!

I need to know how to get the stink out of a deep freeze. My hubby's grandfather last summer accidentely left the freezer unplugged for a week before he realized it. It was full of meat. All of the rotten meat has been disposed of and has left a horrible smell. Grandpa has put coal briquets in it to help but it doesn't seem to be working. Does anybody know of anything else to use to clear out the rotten smell? Or do we just give up and junk the Deep freeze?

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Thanks MOMS! I am going to try each and every method given to me if I get to the bottom of the list and it still stinks then I will get rid of it but I am gonna try to destink the stinky deep freeze. Thanks again ladies. I will let you know if it works :)

Featured Answers

I saw on Rachael Ray that you can wet crumpled newspaper and place it in there to absorb the smell. I haven't tried it in a freezer, but it worked in my fridge.

I had a similar problem a few years ago... I emptied the freezer... doused the thing in Clorox then proped the lid and let it air dry... after that, I put baking soda on about 5 or 10 paper plates (to absorb the odor) and put them inside the freezer with the lid closed for about a week. This did the trick for my freezer... hope it helps.

hi there;
try scrubbubg it with baking soda..then fill a big sock with foldgers coffee,,,just leave it in there...sounds crazy but it works..L. B

More Answers

Try some lemons cut in half on a plate and some baking soda. It seemed to work for us in a similar situation. Good Luck

You could try baking/bicarbonate soda, lots of it. Same thing happened to friend. She sprayed the inside with plain water so all the sides were just damp, then sprinkled about three packets of soda over the top so it stuck to the dampness, then left it for a couple of days, with it turned off but open. The soda dried out and tuned powdery again. She then brushed/wiped it all out and then did a final wipe over with vanilla essence. Seemed to do the trick. Good luck!

Same thing happened to us a couple of Summer's ago. (So yucky huh?!!!) Turns out that the stink that wouldn't go away after scrub, scrub, scrubbing was the tray that slides underneath the deep freeze. It's like a drip tray and it was full of blood from the incident and was just rotting away! See if you have one of those. It could be the source of your stink. Good luck!!

You could try washing it out with 1 gal warm water + 1/4 cup of borax to deodorize. Let it dry completely before closing and plugging in again. After that the coal briquets would work to keep it smelling fresh. Also, bleach is a very effective tool, or you could try Sol-u-mel from Melaleuca, which kills any odor, but smells odd at first and takes some getting used to...you also have to be a member in order to get it. I'd start with the borax and then work my way up. In the meantime, leave the door open to let it air out and keep it unplugged so you don't waste energy.

You'll probably need to do a serious of things. Try doing a deep clean with vinegar and water, let it air out for a while, then use baking soda to absorb odor, another clean, and then try leaving ground coffee in the freezer for a while. Not only will it absorb odor, but it will replace it with something much more palatable....and if you've thoroughly cleaned the freezer then you won't just be "covering up" the smell.

I had a similar problem a few years ago... I emptied the freezer... doused the thing in Clorox then proped the lid and let it air dry... after that, I put baking soda on about 5 or 10 paper plates (to absorb the odor) and put them inside the freezer with the lid closed for about a week. This did the trick for my freezer... hope it helps.

Make a baking soda paste and rub all over the inside of the freezer; let it set 24 hours or so and wash it all out. If it is still smelly, follow this cleaning up with some bleach water. This should take it out.

I saw on Rachael Ray that you can wet crumpled newspaper and place it in there to absorb the smell. I haven't tried it in a freezer, but it worked in my fridge.

Bleach should do the trick. Mix 2 parts bleach with 1 part water in a spray bottle (CLEARLY labeled) and squirt the heck out of it!! Is it possible to move it out into the sun when you know it is to going to be a very a sunny day? Nothing disinfects like the sun.

This happened to us also, the kids left it open and I found all of the bloody rotten meat last summer when it was 110 degrees outside. Thank god our freezer is in the garage and that mess wasn't in our house! Anyway~mine is a stand up freezer and I couldn't get rid of the smell no matter what I did. I finally found out that it has a drip pan underneath it that blood had dripped down into. Once I pulled that pan out and got it clean (I used bleach) the freezer stopped smelling! I am not sure about a deep freezer, but I would guess that it also has a drip pan somewhere on the bottom, and if you haven't cleaned that out, it is still full of blood causing the smell! I hope that maybe helps to solve your problem! Good Luck!

We had rented our house out last year and when the renters moved out they left meat in our freezer/refrigerator. IT STUNK! My husband cleaned it with bleach thourougly; it had even gone through the water dispenser. We then took the doors off of its hinges and allowed it to sit for a month. We thought it was a lost cause. We even gave it away because we thought the smell would never go away. As we had went to get the refrigerator for my parents there was not a smell at all. They haven't told me that they noticed any smells since they have plugged it in and started to use it. It was time consuming but it did work. Is it worth your time? Good luck. I have also heard vinegar will remove smells along with baking soda.

hi there;
try scrubbubg it with baking soda..then fill a big sock with foldgers coffee,,,just leave it in there...sounds crazy but it works..L. B

Try putting a box of baking soda in there. It worked for me when out power went out, our freezer defrosted while we were on vacation and the smell was awful. The baking soda (Arm & Hammer)worked great. It sucks the odors into the box and keeps it locked in the powder.
Good luck getting the smell out.

Also after wiping down with vinegar and water. I would place coffee beans in the freezer. Coffee beans are great for neutralizing.

My mom did this same thing to ours. She had to scrub scrub scrub. I think she used mr clean on one turn and then bleach. Our freezer doesn't smell anymore, so don't give up yet. You could also try and see if the smell goes away once it is on. The bacteria causing the smell can't live in the cold.

Try sprinkling baking soda in it,It might take awhile but it should help. It also works when you burn something in your favorite pan too, cover the burned food with water and add baking soda let set for awhile then scrape the pan, let set till all is loose then wash as usual. Hope this helps.

I would try baking powder also -- sprinkle it all over inside the freezer. If that doesn't work, I would try a Borax solution. Wipe it all over really well with that and leave it for an hour or so and then rinse it. (Borax is in the laundry area in the grocery store and is great for lots of uses!)

I would suggest making a baking soda paste and scrubbing down the entire inside and letting it set for a while. To make a baking soda paste you just mix a little water into some baking soda until it is spreadable, not too watery but pasty. Baking soda is good for obsorbing smells.

Of course you would still have your freezer unplugged while you are doing this. I would also leave it opened to air out and even put in those containers of baking soda they have for the refrigerators. They have the containers of baking soda that you can open on both sides and it is suppose to take odors out of your fridge.

If that doesn't work I would make sure it is rinsed out really well and use a strong mixture of pine-sol and wipe it down and let it set for a while before wiping it off. Pine-sol is a very strong smell and it might get rid of the meat smell.

Good luck!


We had this happen to us and the worst was the thawed turkey-horrible smell. Honestly, junk the freezer; we never could get the smell out and it made any food in there stink as well... We tried everything to clean it out and it just didn't work.

Hope this helps.

Is it full or empty? It needs to stand open empty for a while. Also, rub it down with a vinagar and water solution. Let it sit open for about a week and see if it still smells. Then I would try spraying it with Tilex Mold and Mildew that will clean it out if nothing else will!
C. B

We moved into a house that had an old NASTY deep freeze in it. The homeowner came to move it out after it sat unused for months and when we put it outside, we realized when it thawed there was standing water in the bottom that had gotten stagnant and GROSS! Even on the porch, the stench was horrible. We emptied the water and dried the inside with paper towels. Next we filled it back up about half way with a gallon of clorox bleach and HOT tap water and let it set, closed up, for 24 hours. The next day, we emptied it again and left the lid open, outside in the hot sun for two days, spraying the inside with diluted bleach water once in awhile. The smell was pretty much gone by the time the owner hauled it off. He says he keeps a baking soda box in it at all times now and has had no problems. Good Luck!

Have you tried sprinkling a box of Arm N hammer in the bottom of it for a few days and leaving the lid closed the vacumming it out. It works well on a lot of things, just a thought!

the reason for the smell is because the insulation in it has mildewed and they is really no way to get that smell out. I have tried about everything i know and heard of in the past but nothing worked for me so ended up getting rid of mine. sorry to have tell you this but maybe someone else might have a solution for you.

I had a hard time getting the stink out of our diaper pail, but I found a good solution that I hope will help you too.

I get it all rinsed out, then I spray it liberally with Scrubbing Bubbles (lime green can with lid, branded). I then let it sit in the sun for an hour or so. Then I rinse it out. For some reason that does the trick even though bleach mixtures and cleansers have not. Even sitting in the sun rinsed out with no special cleaners for 2 weeks will not get the smell out.

Good luck!

I'm afraid I don't have good news.

I did a similar thing with our freezer. I turned down the temp and didn't realize I had turned it off. A couple of days red juices began dripping out the door. I had 1/4 of a cow of meat that was all wasted. :-(

I cleaned it top to bottom a couple of times and tried every deodorizer out there but it still smelled. Then, after a year I thought the smell was gone and put some 5 lb flour sacks in there. A short time later I took one bag of flour into the house and opened it and was bombarded by the yucky rotten meat smell. YUCK! My flour smelled like the melted freezer.

We decided to dump it and get a new freezer. This was the only option left for us. We were lucky because the stinky freezer was old and so getting rid of it was easy.

If you figure out a way to clean and get rid of the smell - be sure to share it with us. Good luck!

This is a little concoction that has worked for me to remove skunk odor, vomit and pet mess smells out of carpet and car seats. If you sprayed this in the freezer and let it soak in it should take care of it. The recipe:
1 quart of hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon dishsoap
Mix all together in a spray bottle. This stuff DOES NOT STORE! I have tried. After a while it will foam up out of the bottle and try to escape. Use it all. This has been a life saver time and again. I have even sprayed it on a closet carpet and left it after a cat peed in there and it totally killed the smell. Good luck!

Eeeeew! Good luck.

Don't know if this will work or not... Try scrubbing it down with a paste of baking soda and water. Or soak/scrub with white vinegar. Both of these are good sanitizer/deodorizers, and environmentally friendly.

Less environmentally friendly (and less skin/eyes friendly - be careful if you do this) is a bleach solution or an ammonia solution. Caution - so not EVER mix these two. Quite dangerous.

Hope this helps.

Kitty litter works wonders for getting stinky, burnt, and other smells out of appliances. You should change it every day or so until the smell if gone. Also white vinegar also works well. Just put it in a couple of bowls (same as kitty litter) all around inside the freezer. Start changing the white vinegar when it starts to become "cloudy".

A friend of ours bought a motor home with the same issue in the refridgerator. He went to a cleaning supply place and they sold him some stuff that specifically for this problem. They also told him to put newspaper in it. Hope this helps!

unplug, clean out completely, bleach, wash and rinse, vinegar, wash and rinse, reload, replug, and keep 2-3 open boxes of baking soda

boil water and dump bleach in it then put it in the freezer and close the lid. repeat this until smell goes away. ive done it for the same problem in my fridge. good luck

SCOE10X. that is all i have to say. this works AWESOMELY on so many stinky items that i had. it even got cat pee out of my carpet! www.scoe10x.com

It works better than nature's miracle.

We had a similar experience. What worked for us was a combination of things: first, wipe down the entire interior with white vinegar, let it dry, and then wipe it down again with a baking soda paste, if you need to. Let that dry again, and then wipe it down with just water. Make sure to vent the freezer while you are letting it dry. The vinegar will neutralize the smell and the baking soda will get it out of all the little crevices and help get rid of any bacteria that may be in there and still causing a smell. Good luck!

I'd try washing it down with a bleach water mix. Leaving it open to air out a week or so, go back if it still smells try one more time with lemon water- let it air out. Then put a box of baking soda in it and turn it on and see how it smells :)
Good Luck

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