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Tue Sep 19, 2017, 08:58 AM

So my refrigerator sat for 8 days without power. I threw out a bunch of rotting food

And now it seems as if I can't get the smell out and it seems as if it is coming from behind the back of the freezer. I always used to get some gnats in the refrigerator which I just accepted as part of Florida but there was an awful lot of them in there when I began to clean it out.

I kind of fear putting food in there now and wonder if I should invest in a new refrigerator. I remember this happening to my mother's refrigerator a few years ago when they were gone for about 3 months and it lost power for at least several days and she ended up getting a new one.

Thoughts?

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Reply So my refrigerator sat for 8 days without power. I threw out a bunch of rotting food (Original post)
Maraya1969 Sep 2017 OP
Not Ruth Sep 2017 #1
janterry Sep 2017 #2
FSogol Sep 2017 #4
CentralMass Sep 2017 #3
Ohiya Sep 2017 #5
Fla Dem Sep 2017 #6
TexasProgresive Sep 2017 #7
crazycatlady Sep 2017 #8
hlthe2b Sep 2017 #9
Kali Sep 2017 #10
FakeNoose Sep 2017 #11
Codeine Sep 2017 #12

Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:01 AM

1. Homeowner insurance might cover the food and the fridge

 

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:03 AM

2. Here's what I found online


Wipe the inside of the fridge or freezer with equal parts vinegar and water. Vinegar provides acid, which destroys mildew.
Leave the door open and allow the refrigerator to air out for several days.
Stuff both the refrigerator and freezer with rolled newspapers. Close the door and leave for several days. Remove the paper and clean the interior with vinegar and water.
Sprinkle fresh coffee grounds or baking soda loosely in a large, shallow container in the bottom of the refrigerator and freezer.
Place a cotton swab soaked with vanilla inside the refrigerator and freezer. Close the door for 24 hours. Check for odors.
Use a commercial product available at hardware and housewares stores. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.


https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2012/07/how-to-remove-odors-from-a-refrigerator-after-a-power-outage/index.htm

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Response to janterry (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:05 AM

4. Baking soda and charcoal (crush up those briquettes) are good at odor removal too. n/t

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:03 AM

3. You might look for and clean the "drip pan".

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:08 AM

5. For Gnats

We had a gnat invasion this summer after harvesting lots of tomatoes.
This worked for us.
In a shallow bowl mix about half a cup of apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of dish detergent stir and leave on the counter overnight. Rinse and repeat as necessary!

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:16 AM

6. Not uncommon for fridge to smell after it's been shut off for a while.

I've moved several times and took fridge with me. Hung sock full of ground coffee inside fridge part and another in freezer. Never any odor, and one move had the furniture and refrigerator in storage for 3 months.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:19 AM

7. My guess is the evaporator coils need cleaning

There are 2 sets of coils; condenser coils usually at the bottom and need to be cleaned regularly of dust and hair, the evaporator coils which are close to the freezer. This may require a service call. But first wipe out all surfaces of the fridge including the freezer, shelves, doors and seals with something like Clorox wipes. After that there is the old standby, baking soda. Putting an open box doesn't do much good, spread a layer on the bottom of the freezer and replace it every couple of weeks.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:27 AM

8. coffee grounds also remove odor

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 09:33 AM

9. How is your Mom, Maraya?

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 06:48 PM

10. regular old bleach

a tablespoon or two in a couple quarts of water - wipe down everything you can reach and then let the bowl sit uncovered in the fridge for a day or two. rinse and it should be good. use a small open bowl of baking soda or filter carbon/charcoal in the back. refresh every month or so...

(you can also just use a small box of baking soda itself instead of a bowl)

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 06:55 PM

11. These are all good suggestions

I'd also say this: check to make sure you don't have a dead mouse or other critter under the fridge.
Florida has more than its share of critters!

Good luck

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 08:37 PM

12. Chances are good you've got a little leak

 

in the fridge somewhere and the liquidy nastiness from the melting and rotting food dripped down under or behind the housing somewhere. If you can't find it rest assured it'll dry up and stop smelling eventually.

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