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Freezer accident

HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello H/A!

Some weeks ago I lost power to the freezer over a few days. As you can imagine, it was not very fun. All the meat was thrown away of course, I carefully tried some of the bread I stored there and luckily it was alright and all that had gone bad was the meat, fish and some ice cream. Since the door was closed the whole time I guess the thing stayed cool enough for at least a day.

Now I've defrosted it and scrubbed the thing very carefully four times. I've used plenty of fat solvents, and several types of strong cleaning detergent. I've been very thorough and have cleaned all the surfaces including the rubber seals around the door and the door itself.

It's all a bunch of plastic boxes and most of the meat was in one box so it was fairly easy to go through them all and clean them.

The first smell was very very bad but it became extremely lessened after the second scrubbing.

There's still a little bit of bad odor left when you open the door for the first time in a while, and it seems to get absorbed a little bit by microwave dinners packages (which are stored in paper boxes). So I want to try to get this little annoying lingering smell that is left out of the freezer.

I read online that ground coffee if placed openly in the freezer can work for this and that it can have a lasting effect, so I left a bag in there now. Will check in a bit and see if it helps.

I just wondered if anyone's had this problem and have any other ideas?

Edit: Note it's not a frost-free freezer so it doesn't have a filter or drain or anything like that.

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Posts

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    Open a box of baking soda, and leave it in there.

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  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Thank you!

    I'm guessing the idea is that the baking soda absorbs the smell?

    Any idea how long I should typically leave it in there?

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    It does, and you should leave it in there always. Put one in your fridge too.

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  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    You mean that it's generally a good idea to leave it in there, or is it because doing this doesn't have a lasting effect?

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    Just leave it in there. It will absorb all the smells forever, pretty much. I think there's a rule where you want to stir it up once a year or so, but I've never done that and have never had a problem.
    It's hard for anything to absorb smells if it's not present, right?

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  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I was wondering because I checked online and some people seemed to have the idea that it can leave the freezer as new if you leave it in there for a while.

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    Which is precisely why you just open the box and leave it in there.

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  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Aight! :)

    Thanks a bunch, and special thanks for responding so quickly!!

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Yeah baking soda is extremely good at binding to smells like that. Always have one in your fridge at the least.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Is there anything in there that was in the freezer before the accident? A cardboard box. A bag. Anything. That would have absorbed some of the smell, as well.

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  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    they sell baking soda in boxes speifically made for the fridge/freezer where the side will come off to leave a bigger surface area open without directly exposing the soda itself. its not needed but it does guaruntee that you don't spill a bunch of baking soda everywhere if you knock it over.

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    also, you should be careful what you clean your freezer and fridge with. most cleaners leave residue which is why in general you should only clean the inside with either baking soda based cleaners (or baking soda in warm water) or dishsoap (making sure to rinse well).

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Figgy wrote: »
    Is there anything in there that was in the freezer before the accident? A cardboard box. A bag. Anything. That would have absorbed some of the smell, as well.

    It really doesn't matter if anything was in there. The walls of most freezers are either made of plastic or are metal coated in a vinyl paint. Plastics (and vinyls) are, despite being largely waterproof, fairly porous and will absorb smells. Once the stink gets in, you're just not going to get it out. An old fridge, even one that's been empty for years and standing open, will still have a weird sort of smell to it if you shut the door and then open it up again a few days later. Molecules of stink get into the plastics and then outgas very, very slowly.

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  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I'll check into some more baking soda alternatives. Sucks that it can stick into the material like that.

    At least it's negligible now and very faint.

  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    There are a few containers still in the freezer from before, easy to clean containers though and not paper or bags or stuff like that. That might still contribute a bit. I hope not by much.

    After I cleaned the whole thing again yesterday it's even less than before. Figure if I clean it ten times I might get it all out. But it'll do, four's the charm.

  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    I learned the hard way when I lived in my first apartment: If you use hard cleansers in any part of your fridge or freezer all your dairy will taste like them forever no matter what you do. I put like three open boxes of baking soda in the damn fridge and any milk I bought STILL tasted like 409 after several months. So yeah, be careful what you scrub with.

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  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I'm glad that I'm not having that problem at least, that would suck! Only dairy products in there now is ice cream and they're packaged pretty decently in big plastics.

  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I want to sincerely thank all of you for contributing!

    While I couldn't find any baking soda boxes for this specific purpose I left a small plastic bag (widely opened) with like four teaspoons of baking soda in it inside the freezer just over the night. When I opened the door this morning there was no smell left! I took the bag out during work today and after coming back home, still doesn't smell anything!

    I'm gonna leave a can in there from now on, problem very solved!

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  • Natas_XnoybisNatas_Xnoybis Registered User regular
    yeah as suggested, just buy 2 boxes of Arm and Hammer baking soda, or the local generic, rip em open, put one in fridge and one in freezer and you are good to go.

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Arm and Hammer doesn't even sell a box of baking soda these days that doesn't have the refrigerator panels on it, as that is a huge part of their business. Any A&H box you find at a grocery store should have those panels. Not that you need them, but they are super handy, create better surface area, and stop you from spilling baking soda all over your fridge when you eventually knock it over digging around for the cheese.

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  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Honk wrote:
    I carefully tried some of the bread I stored there and luckily it was alright and all that had gone bad was the meat, fish and some ice cream. Since the door was closed the whole time I guess the thing stayed cool enough for at least a day.

    Bread in the Freezer? Mom is that you?

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  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    What, don't everyone store bread in the freezer? I thought that was common practice.

    Might as well update that all is still good. Can't believe how well baking soda works.

  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    One other thing you can to for prevention is to try to keep all the really spoil-able foods (meats, fish, dairies, etc) in seal-able plastic tubs that you could throw away if they get infested. Kind of expensive to do, but I imagine it would prevent the whole freezer from going nasty.

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  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Honk wrote: »
    What, don't everyone store bread in the freezer? I thought that was common practice.

    Might as well update that all is still good. Can't believe how well baking soda works.

    I've always felt freezing bread is going to cause it to lose flavor. My mother did it all the time and it drove me crazy.. with things like dinner rolls i suppose its okay but your going to get crystalization of any moisture in the bread when you freeze and thaw it out.

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