Hasn’t it has happened to everyone at least once? Something has run afoul in the refrigerator, and the entire kitchen smells like, we have to say it, an outhouse. The question is, how do you get the rotten smell out of the refrigerator? Hoping that when you find the source of the smell, remove it, and throw it in the outside trash can, the smell will go away, is futile. That stink is going to require some significant cleaning that is not for the faint of heart. But, there are ways to clean a refrigerator that sometimes work.
The Top 7 Things to Do to Remove Odors from a Refrigerator
- Remove racks, bins, and shelving from the appliance. In a plastic bowl, place 2 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent and fill the vessel with hot water, says SFGate Home Guides. Use a sudsy cotton cloth to wash the removed shelves and other removable parts. Pour detergent mixture down the drain and rinse shelves, bins, and the rest of the parts. Add 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach into a bucket and fill the bucket with a gallon of cold tap water. This is the “sanitizing solution.” Use this water to rinse the refrigerator parts. Using hot water from the tap, wet a clean cotton cloth on which you have sprinkled baking soda. Wipe the interior of the refrigerator and the door gaskets. With a clean cloth, dampened with tap water, wipe away the baking soda residue. Soak a clean cotton cloth in the sanitizing solution and wipe the compartment walls and doors. Some manufacturers do not recommend using bleach on gaskets, however. Leave the doors open for 15 minutes to evaporate moisture and circulate air. Reassemble the parts into the refrigerator.
- Once refrigerator is clean put a cup of vinegar, oats, or coffee grounds to absorb bad odors.
- Sprinkle a box of baking soda on a baking sheet and place it in the refrigerator. Keep the door closed until the odor goes away. Then discard the baking soda.
- Put an open cup of vinegar in the refrigerator to neutralize odors.
- Place “activated charcoal” (found in pet stores or drugstores) in some shallow bowls or on a baking sheet. Lower the temperature of the refrigerator and leave them in the fridge for several days.
- According to Consumer Reports, cleaning the evaporator on a fridge, although a bit of knowledge is needed to get to it, will take away foul smells. Your user manual should give clear instructions on how this is done.
- Place lemon wedges all around your refrigerators’ interior to remove funky smells says FabHow.
These tips are well-worth using if you have food that decays in your fridge but, in our business, we encounter jobs that include disposing of freezers full of rotten meat, or a failed freezer cleanup and odor removal procedure.
Broken or Unplugged Fridge and Freezer Sanitation Service
When a fridge or freezer has lost electricity, is unplugged, or has sat unattended for a lengthy amount of time, the odors inside result from:
- Putrid food
Now is the time for industrial strength cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection. Non-running fridges that are filled with food products eventually start to smell noxious. For situations like this, you are going to need a professional biohazard cleaning business to help you. Refrigerators in this shape are health hazards.
The steps for cleaning a refrigerator with decaying food inside involve:
- Disposal of the food that is rotten
- Air scrubbing with a portable filtration system to eliminate the odors
- Disinfection of contaminated refrigerator parts, the exterior of the fridge, and the area around the refrigerator.
- Cleaning of food’s by-products (i.e., microbial growths, ephemeral spoilage organisms)
- Possible removal of freezer or refrigerators
Health Hazards from Spoiled Edibles
Food poisoning, which can last for some time, can be a severe condition depending on its intensity. Other illnesses that can occur from eating spoiled food, writes the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, include:
- Hepatitis A
- Botulism, and more
Symptoms of foodborne sickness can be fever, stomach cramping, vomiting, dehydration, and diarrhea.
How to Dispose of a Freezer Full of Rotten Meat
Sometimes, the condition of the fridge or freezer is such that the appliance is no longer usable. In this case, you will need to get rid of the appliance and the rotten food that was left inside. You will need a professional biohazard cleaning team. These professionals will:
- Restore your environment to a suitable living condition
- Sanitize your home
- Remove the refrigerator or freezer and recycle it
- Remove the rotten food and treat it as biohazard waste
Keeping Your Refrigerator in Good Shape
One way to avoid the messiness and trouble of having your refrigerator break down is to keep your fridge in tip-top condition by following these easy tips:
- Your mom was right. Try to avoid opening and closing the refrigerator door as much as possible during the day. Studying what you want for a snack lets too much cold air out into the room, which puts a strain on the appliance.
- Using warm water and soap, clean the gasket on the fridge’s door. This will keep the seal tight.
- Let food cool-off before putting it in the refrigerator. The heat of the food can raise the fridge’s temperature.
- Vacuum the condenser coils. When dust gathers there, the fridge can overheat, and the compressor breaks down.
BioRecovery has been around for over 17 years. We provide experienced, caring professionals who can supply the recovery services you need. We are available 24 hours a day and can handle your services discreetly and in a superior manner. We adhere to all our industry’s best practices and guidelines put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
At BioRecovery, we care about our customers’ unique circumstances, and we are pretty good at understanding what they want and getting it done quickly. Most of our services are covered by your insurance company.