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Need Help with an Odour/Odor


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I bought a nice rib primal when beef was on sale before easter and have been dry aging it in my all fridge fridge.

On Friday the hubby was doing some wiring, unplugged the fridge and neglected to plug it back in.

So essentially I've had about 20 lbs of beef putrifying in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. It's not a pretty smell. The whole room doesn't smell any more but opening the door of the fridge is not advised.

Any thoughts on what I can do to rehabilitate the fridge? I've got plates of baking soda in there now, and I'll put some charcoal in there with it - but I'm thinking that's not really going to do the trick.

Are there any products out there that act like Febreeze for dead bodies?

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try a few plates of coffee grounds. my condolences on the smell and the beef. and perhaps the husband.

The hubby was terribly sorry - I actually feel a bit responsible - I know the fridge is on an extension cord, and I know he was working on wiring down there - and it did occur to me to mention that he should watch it because I was aging beef in that fridge - but I didn't quite get around to it!

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What about Nature's Miracle or one of the other enzymatic pet stain cleaners?

I wondered if one of those might work. I find the pet stain stuff makes me wheeze so I'm a little hesitant to go straight to that.

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I would also clean the fridge with lemon juice, it is amazing stuff for cleaning the stinky cutting boards so it might help eliminate some of the odor.

I am sure the vet has some awesome stuff for skunk odors if all else fails :biggrin:

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If this is an extra fridge (not your daily use unit), try letting it air out (unplugged, door open) for a week or so.

I second this. You'd be surprised how effective fresh air and a little time are. The stink might even be gone in as little as a day if you can have the fridge outdoors in plenty of fresh air and sunlight.

 

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Yeah, if you can--even if it means surviving for a while with that shitty old bar fridge in the garage--trundle that sucker outside, somewhere under shelter obviously, and let it air out. And too, if you can get replacement shelves of the right size--I'm assuming your shelves are plastic--I'd ditch the old ones and buy new ones.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I was always told to dilute a bit of vanilla essence in water and use this to wipe out the inside of the fridge.

Yes, and soak a bit of paper towel in vanilla essence and leave it on a fridge shelf after you've wiped it out. This really does help.

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We had a terrible, terrible experience with the refrig/freezer at our family vacation home. Like arriving a hot summer week later to find that the temp setting had accidentally been turned off! The stuff of nightmares... We no longer store any meat products in the freezer, ever and are fairly fanatical about clearing everything out at the end of summer. And this was over a decade ago! I recall we had to totally clean and deodorize the entire unit with healthy dose of a baking soda/water solution. There might have been bleach involved too but not positive. Making sure to get in all the gaskets, drip pan, etc. We also left some coffee grounds to absorb odors and eventually everything was back to normal.

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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Call your butcher! He's gotta know...

Had that thought earlier today too.

So far I've taken all the racks but one out of the fridge and given them a good scrub - they are airing out in the sink now.

In the am I'll wash down the insides with vinegar (thinking skunk here) and wash the last rack.

It smells a whole lot better already - but not perfect yet. Next thing will be the open door and airing out for a couple of days.

Wish I could take it outside but getting it where it is was a major accomplishment.

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A dilute Sodium Bisulfite solution works wonders on odors because it releases a little Sulfur Dioxide gas which oxidizes odor molecules. (Like burning a match to get rid of odors). Be sure to wear rubber gloves and goggles and don't breathe a lot of the vapor if you try this. It is no more toxic than bleach which also works by oxidizing the odor molecules.

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Several hundred thousand people in my immediate area had the rotten fridge experience simultaneously almost six years ago. In most cases, the fridges were too far gone to save. (See that part here.) If the meat leaked enough liquid to pool at the fridge's bottom, there's a good chance that it cannot be saved. If liquid seeped beyond the plastic casing into the insulation, you will never-ever-ever be rid of the odor. On the other hand, if the bottom of the fridge is seamless and no liquid pooled onto it, you can give it a thorough washing, air it out, then run it for some time, closed, with a bunch of activated charcoal inside it. Be sure to move the refrigerator and ensure that the defrost pan/drip tray hasn't spilled onto the floor beneath--another source of potential odor.

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bleach, diluted slightly and liberally applied, rinse thoroughly with water and let the fridge air dry. if it still smells weird, do another wash this time with a baking soda solution.

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Wish I could take it outside but getting it where it is was a major accomplishment.

Open windows and a fan may be almost as good. Basically, just try to circulate as much fresh air through as possible.

 

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For 9 yrs or so I worked for a Jeep dealer south of N.O. Every now and then we'd have a real horror show come in after someone had left 30 lbs. of shrimp in the back of a cherokee or grand. The smell would get into the evaporator and stink up the air system. Also had someone who's son was supposed to go bait the crab traps, he loaded his gear plus a large bin of fish heads then got distracted by a friend and went to do something else. Those fish heads rotted in that vehicle for 3 days in the hot sun. eeeeeeek.

The auto supply stores sell a product called Fridg-a-Fresh, I may not be spelling that right, but the stuff is out there. Works when absolutely nothing else will. It's for getting the nasty mildew odor out of a/c systems in cars that have taken on water or other calamities that cause extreme stink.

Good Luck!

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So I've washed the entire fridge, taken off all the door shelves etc and washed them. I've sprayed with vinegar and washed down and I have the fridge off with the door open.

So far a good sniff inside seems to be ok. I'll give it a bit more time open, then close it up and run it for a while and see how that seems, then put the shelves and stuff back in and see how it goes.

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Several hundred thousand people in my immediate area had the rotten fridge experience simultaneously almost six years ago. In most cases, the fridges were too far gone to save. (See that part here.) If the meat leaked enough liquid to pool at the fridge's bottom, there's a good chance that it cannot be saved. If liquid seeped beyond the plastic casing into the insulation, you will never-ever-ever be rid of the odor. On the other hand, if the bottom of the fridge is seamless and no liquid pooled onto it, you can give it a thorough washing, air it out, then run it for some time, closed, with a bunch of activated charcoal inside it. Be sure to move the refrigerator and ensure that the defrost pan/drip tray hasn't spilled onto the floor beneath--another source of potential odor.

Fortunately no liquid escaped the confines of the drip rack the primal was sitting on - so I think I'm safe from seepage.

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Well I think that the smell is gone! I was discouraged this afternoon when I got back from launching then rehauling the boat (cause filling up with water is just so annoying) because as I came in through the garage the smell was there.

Went into the house however and there was no smell - stuck my head in the fridge and it smelled OK. Turns out the tray of charcoal that I had put in the fridge to help absorb the odour/odor was in the garage - and it was what smelled! So I guess charcoal really does take on the smell.

I've turned on the fridge, put back the door shelves and I'll give it a good sniff in the morning and decide if I'm ready to try the rest of the shelves.

Thanks everyone for your help - I'm going to hang on to all these ideas for future cleaning projects.

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Well - this am after being closed up all night with fridge on - stinks again. Back to square one! I think I'll look for one of those enzymatic cleaners mentioned - anyone know an undertaker?

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