I need advice . . .

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kathy813, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I need ideas on how to get a terrible smell out of a refrigerator that I keep in my classroom. I had to take it out of the room at the end of the school year since they were recarpeting. husband brought it home and put it in our garage. I thought he had cleaned it out and he thought that I had cleaned it out.

    So . . . a container of chicken salad and a hardboiled egg were left in the refrigerator in a hot garage for the summer. At the beginning of this school year, husband opened the door and was almost knocked over by the smell. He cleaned it out using vinegar and windex and then brought it to school.

    Unfortunately, the smell remains. I have tried cleaning it several times with Kaboom foaming cleanser and have two boxes of baking powder in the refrigerator. I sprinkled some of the baking powder on the shelf and on the bottom of the fridge. I also read that coffee grinds would absorb the smell so I tried that to no avail.

    It seems like the smell has permeated the plastic. Does anyone know anything else I could try?


  2. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Once upon a time we came home from a cook out at the beach and forgot about an ice chest that still had some food in it, so it got left in the garage. A couple of weeks later I saw it and didn't remember emptying it so I lifted the lid to take a look. The stench was hideous.

    I washed it out with baking soda and then let it air out. It got a little bit better, but it was still kind of stinky. I put a thick layer of baking soda in the bottom and put in wadded up newspapers for a day or 2. That worked pretty well.

    Here's a link: http://www.msue.msu.edu/objects/con...sion_id.493416/workspace_id.-4/01500029.html/

    They have a lot of suggestions. Activated charcoal or cat litter seem like they may work.
  3. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Clean with diluted bleach and put it out in the sun- doors open.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

  5. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Cut a lemon in half and an onion in half. Leave them in the fridge with the door shut. They'll absorb the smell.
  6. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I've also heard that you can use a bowl of cat-litter to absorb bad smells, but it seems pretty gross to put cat-litter in your fridge! :sick:
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I was thinking I had heard about the activated charcoal too. Also vinegar seems to do a ton on smells. I would take it outside in the sun if you can with the door open but that might not be possible. It might take a combo of things. If nothing else, could you go to walmart and buy a tiny bottle of essential oil and soak a rag with that and wipe the walls down with it.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't know what baking powder will do but usually baking SODA is what is used to get rid of bad odors.
  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    donna, I always get those two confused. LOL I meant the stuff in the little yellow box.

    So far, it still smells. I think I will have husband bring it home this weekend and leave it open with the sun on it like Sig suggested. I will also try the charcoal and/or cat litter.

    runawaybunny, that is an awesome link. Just what I needed!

    Thanks to all for the suggestions!
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    maybe mix the charcoal into the cat litter! Along with a bowl of vinegar and a box of baking soda....lol
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    husband decided to thaw out frozen burgers (you're supposed to put them on the grill still frozen) in my brand new refrigerator many years ago. The juices ran in between the infinitesimally small gaps in the plastic molding of the body of the fridge. It reeked of rotten flesh within days and there was no way I was getting rid of an $1,800 appliance I had purchased the month before.

    He put a mixture of bleach and water into a spray bottle and set the dial on "stream". He sprayed into those gaps until the bleach water ran out and wiped up the gunk with paper towels. It took hours and at least 4 spray bottles of bleach water before it ran clear. It worked, though.

    If I were in your shoes I'd call the power company and have them recydle it. You get $50 in the bargain. Then I'd look for a new/used one on Craigslist.

  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is a small fridge that I keep in my classroom. It cost me around $100 brand new. If worse comes to worse, I'll just buy a new one.

    I was just hoping that I could salvage this one. I found a spray that our custodians use that said it killed bacteria and eliminated odors. I sprayed the heck out of the thing before I left today.

    We'll see what happens.
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    We had a friend with the same problem with a freezer. We cleaned it with baking soda, a paste on the walls...let it set. Then washed with vinegar, foamed all up. Then bleach. Then we put bags of charcoal in it. It was eventually salvageable.

    Or you could find your local Habitat for Humanity re-store and buy a new used one for a couple hundred or less.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Charcoal, the kind for the grill that isn't fast lighting, is great for odors. One thing you MUST do is change it every couple of days until the smell is gone. If you leave it, or anything else that absorbs the odor, in there longer than about 2-3 days, the smell won't stay absorbed in the charcoal (or baking soda or newspaper or whatever). Frequent changes are one of the keys. You can also try unscented febreze even though it doesn't say it works on plastic. My aunt had a similar problem with a cooler and she says that febreze worked really really well for her.