Freezer Smells Horrible: Quick Fixes for Nasty Odors

July 21, 2023
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Causes of Freezer Odors and How to Eliminate Them

Your freezer smells horrible and we’re here to help. In this section, we will discuss the main causes that bad freezer smell. Typical culprits are mold and mildew, food spills and spoilage, and freezer burn.

Bacteria and Fungi Growth

Bacteria and fungi (like mold and yeast) can grow in your freezer when food starts to rot. Spoiled food not only leads to an unpleasant smell with extremely foul odor, and can also promote the growth of dangerous bacteria like Listeria.

Listeria is a type of bacteria that can actually grow and thrive in temperatures well below freezing. To prevent these unpleasant smells, always keep your freezer clean and inspect your food for any signs of decay. Remove spoiled items immediately to stop mold and mildew from spreading.

Food Spills and Spoilage

Being sloppy with your freezer storage can greatly contribute to having a bad smelling freezer. Spilling food or not properly sealing food in airtight containers gives bacteria a perfect opportunity to thrive, even in frozen conditions.

When bacteria break down stored food, they release a strong odor. To avoid this, store food properly in airtight containers and clean up spills as soon as they happen. This will minimize the spread of bacteria, keeping your freezer fresh and odor-free.

Freezer Burn

Freezer burn can also cause unpleasant smells in your freezer. It occurs when food is not stored properly, allowing dry air to dehydrate and oxidize the food’s surface. To prevent freezer burn and the associated odors, wrap food tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or use vacuum-sealed bags. These methods will help lock in moisture and keep your food fresher for longer, eliminating freezer burn and the resulting odors.

Removing Unpleasant Freezer Smells

Cleaning and Sanitizing

You’re Probably Going to Need to Do Some Scrubbing to Get Rid of That Smell

To fight off bad smells it is time to do a deep clean of that smelly freezer. First turn off your freezer. Empty it and put your food in a cooler. Remove drawers and shelves for cleaning.

Mix warm water with dish soap. Clean your freezer with a sponge. Get rid of spills and stains. Clean drawers and shelves too. Dry everything with a clean towel. For strong odors, mix a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water. Wipe down surfaces with it. Rinse and dry.

Using Baking Soda to Eliminate Odors

Baking Soda is Extremely Effective in Dealing with a Smelly Fridge or Freezer

Baking soda works well for neutralizing bad smells. It doesn’t only get rid of refrigerator odor, it also can work great in freezers. Fridge N Freezer Baking Soda from Arm and Hammer can neutralize smells by absorbing them. Just follow the directions on the box and put it in your freezer.

You can also mix baking soda with warm water. Add white vinegar to create an even more effective solution that will effectively clean and deodorize your freezer.

Cleaning a refrigerator with Baking Soda to Get Rid of an Awful Fridge Smell. Clean Your Defrosted Freezer with Baking Soda the Same Way to Get Rid of Bad Odor in Your Freezer

Utilizing Coffee Grounds

You can also use coffee grounds to fight freezer odors. Put used, dry coffee grounds in a bowl. Place the bowl in your freezer. Wait a couple of hours. Your freezer will smell fresh again. If needed, repeat this step. Remember that regular maintenance is key. Check for old food and clean spills as needed. This helps to maintain a fresh-smelling freezer - and can also work to combat fridge odor.

Preventing Future Freezer Smells

In this section, you will learn methods to prevent a bad smell from taking hold in your freezer. By following these steps, your freezer will stay fresh and free from unpleasant odors.

Proper Food Storage

Using the right containers helps keep your freezer smell-free. Store your food in an airtight container before placing in the freezer. Freezer Safe glass containers tend to seal a bit better than plastic ones. Glass containers also won’t absorb the smell of the food being stored.

  • Seal food in airtight containers or plastic bags
  • Double-wrap meats within wax paper or plastic wrap
  • Arrange items neatly to ensure proper airflow

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

It's vital to clean and maintain your freezer. This helps prevent bad smells from forming.

  • Clean various surfaces with a blend of water and baking soda
  • Wipe away spills and crumbs as they occur
  • Check for proper door sealing to block off odors

Conduct regular checks of the gaskets and condenser coils. This helps avoid issues and keeps your freezer running well. In the end, you'll enjoy a fresh and odor-free freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my freezer smell like sewer?

Your freezer may have a foul smell that is reminiscent of a sewer due to expired rotten food or bacteria growth. Check for any spoiled items and dispose of them properly. Unplug your freezer and clean it thoroughly with a disinfectant. This should help eliminate the unpleasant odor.

Why does my freezer have a weird smell and taste?

Freezers can sometimes develop a strange odor and taste due to various reasons like expired food, bacteria, or mold. You need to investigate the source of the odor and remove any spoiled items. Clean the freezer with a mixture of water and baking soda or put a box of baking soda in your freezer, as it can help neutralize bad odors. If the weird taste remains, consider replacing any affected containers or food items.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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