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Fridge is clean but has a nasty smell coming out from the back

Meat defrosted from a lack of electricity and has since been cleaned but it seems water has seeped somewhere because a nasty odor is coming mostly from the back.

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  • Master
  • 451 Answers

There may be a tray under the fridge that collects any water from defrosting . It usually evaporates from the compressor fan blowing over it . Remove lower front cover and back cover to access and clean this tray. Unplug unit before attempting this just to be safe. Hope this helps.

Posted on Jan 01, 2014

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6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Cyril J
  • 45 Answers

SOURCE: Fridge problem

usually the smell is the water dripping into the pan under unit place cleaners and use charcoal inside unit to remove odars that collect on evaporator and get concentrated then go to drip pan

Posted on May 16, 2008

  • 1314 Answers

SOURCE: odours from fridge

frigidare makes a product called fridge- aid you can get it at lowes or any appliances parts store its made of activated coconut charcole it might solve you promblem

Posted on Jan 15, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: odor in fridge

Probably getting a new Fridge-mother doesn't want to continue to deal with repairs. Thanks anyway.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008

  • 833 Answers

SOURCE: Odor in GE side by side Fridge

Sounds like mold.  I'd try Lysol or one of the other products that claims to treat the odor cause in the air.  Spray a quantity into the empty fridge and freezer and turn it on.  Let the fans spread the stuff around. Try to find the internal vents which seem to pull air into the coils to spray into.

Posted on Nov 27, 2008

techjuli
  • 157 Answers

SOURCE: Bad Smell in Fridge

To remove odors:
1. Remove all items from refrigerator or freezer. Throw
out any spoiled foods. Take out removable parts and wash
them and door gasket with mild detergent in warm water.
Rinse well and wipe dry.

2. Wash interior walls and door liner with solution of 1-2
tablespoonsful of baking soda to 1 quart warm water, and
wipe dry. Leave door open and let it air out well, with a
fan directed toward inside, and opened windows if climate
permits.

3. If odor still remains, try one or all of the following
means of odor removal.

a. Spread baking soda out on shallow pans (like shallow
glass casseroles, pie plates, or jelly roll pans lined
with foil) and put pans on shelves to absorb odors, or on
the bottom and in baskets of chest freezer. Leave open
and unplugged.

b. Buy activated charcoal (which is specially treated to
remove odor molecules from air) at some department store
housewares sections, appliance store, or pet shop. Spread
out on shallow pans and put on shelves of refrigerator.
Turn refrigerator on low setting and run empty a few days
so odors will be absorbed.

c. Spread cat litter in shallow pan in cabinet, turn on
and run empty a few days. If odor is disappearing but is
not all gone, replace old litter with fresh litter.

d. Pour several ounces imitation vanilla (not pure
extract) in a shallow saucer, put on shelf and let run
empty a few days.

e. Put fresh ground coffee in cereal bowls inside the
refrigerator and let run empty several days. A slight
coffee odor may remain, but will disappear after washing
again with baking soda solution.

f. Pack each refrigerator shelf with crumpled newspaper.
Set a cup of water on the top shelf or sprinkle the
newspaper lightly with water. Allow refrigerator to run
for approximately 5-6 days. This method takes a bit longer
but has been effective in removal of strong odors.

g. Buy a commercial odor remover, and follow instructions
exactly. Several companies manufacture a liquid
concentrate which sells for about $3.00 for 1/4 to 1/2
ounce. A couple drops are put on a piece of cotton and
placed in the area to absorb odors, in the cabinet or
in a room.

Three of many brand names are: "Odor-Away" by Wrap-on
Co., available at hardware and hospital supply stores,
"SuperCD" IBL Household Products by Crackerbarrel Sales,
Avenal, New Jersey, available in pet supply department
or special products in grocery, or "Clean-Air" at some
appliance repair shops.

Hospital supply stores carry Dow Chemical Hospital
Disinfectant and Deodorant Spray. Spray into cabinet and
quickly shut the door. Repeat.

4. If none of these methods removes all the odor, then it
has probably penetrated into insulation. Contact an
appliance service company for an estimate on cost of
removing the liner and replacing the insulation. If cost
is too high you may prefer to get a new appliance. It
could be used for occasional cooling of soda pop where
the odor will not get into the beverage.

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

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2 Answers

The fridge/freezer smells like sewage inside when you open doors. Drip pan clean, inside is clean, no spills.


It would be wise to check the water drain of any auto-defrost function is clear so the fidge remains dry inside.

During the defrost cycle water droplets form on the back panel and trickle down to a funnel near the bottom where a hose drains the water into a tray attached to the top of the motor unit where it will evaporate.
This is why the instruction manual usually states nothing should be allowed to touch or rest against the back to impede or divert the water flow. The funnel or the tube can easily become blocked resulting in a damp environment and bacterial growth.

Wiping all surfaces with Milton's sterilising fluid or similar is what I recommend but plastic is an organic substance and the odour can penetrate the surface of the plastic requiring the process to be repeated periodically.
A deodouriser will help and there are many types on the market including one made from stainless steel which must be placed in a small tray of water to work. No one knows how or why they work but I have heard anecdotal evidence they work very well though I haven't tried one myself.

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The fridge and freezer smell like a dead animal. cleaned the inside with bleach but still smells for weeks. model w10212088


There are two reasons for bad smells. 1. Long time not being used. 2. Lack of cleaning inside compartment.

Solution: Unplug fridge. Keep open fridge door. Dip a dry cloth in soap water and start cleaning each and every compartment. Keep freezer door also open. And then clean with another dry cloth. Keep both doors open for nearly 5 hrs. It will be enable fresh air to **** the smell inside fridge.
After 5 hrs close the fridge and run on empty for one hour. Keep food items after one hour. Please keep all food items closed vessel. Not only it's avoid odor but also be hygienic.
If you use to keep fish items in freezer, clean fridge once in a week.(Spray roo spray in the room when you keep fridge door opened. Don't spray into fridge.)Helpful.

Jan 30, 2011 | Whirlpool Refrigerators

1 Answer

How do you get the rancid smell out of a freezer from defrosted meat?


HI,YOU COULD TRY WASHING IT OUT WITH 1PART BLEACH AND 3 HOT WATER,I CLEANED A FRIDGE WITH THIS, THAT HAD BEEN TURNED OFF WITH THE DOOR SHUT FOR OVER A MONTH,BRIAN

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1 Answer

Refrigerator smells horrible , but there is NOTHING spoiled in it.


You might have something smelly in the defrost drain pan. The easiest thing to do would be to take the back off the fridge and see if the defrost drain pan smells bad...if so just clean it out with soap and hot water. don't use anything too strong smelling to clean it though, you don't want your fridge to smell like bleach or pine sol.

Good Luck!

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Smell developed in refrigerator, it is thoroughly clean


The drain is at the bottom inside the freezer section. It is possible a piece of something got behind a panel, or otherwise in a "hidden" spot. Or something is in the defrost water tray underneath and every time it defrosts, it gets wet and releases the odor again. Look in the drain pan by removing the kick plate (bottom grate under the doors) and look to see if anything is there. Use a few open boxes of baking soda in the fridge (to absorb odors), and wipe the inside with some vanilla extract. that combination will help with the odor. But the source of the odor needs to be removed first. It sometimes can be hard to find.

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below the unit is a tray for defrost water to evaporate.remove front grill,slide out tray carefully and clean with soap and water

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1 Answer

Smell with fridge


we had travelled to see grandmother for two days. Apparently my husband switched off the electicity from the mains. Came back found food in the freezer had defrosted meat, fish, liver etc and there was blood in it. i cleaned and all was well. After a week started to notice a foul smell coming from the back of the fridge where the stainless steel is. IT keeps getting bad by the day

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Spoiled meat thawed in freezer, I cleaned the freezer but can't get rid of the smell.


thats a terible smell too if its a frost free you may have to take the inside panels apart and clean behind it also on the self defrost mod.their is a drain pan under or in the back that would have filled with nasty juices dan

Jul 15, 2008 | Refrigerators

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Fan blows out a smell from underneath fridge could it be leaking gas.


call the repairman back and say forget it ,on the motor youll see a flat pan ,like a cookie sheet on top ,the excess water from the freezer drains into a tube and into that pan as the motor gets hot it evaporates the water,just clean the pan,shut down fridge,unplug and let motor cool,clean the pan and tell hubby not to waste good beer lol

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