Here are a few different tips I’ve collected over the years to clean really, really foul smells.
Things like your fridge dying while you’re away on a trip and you come back to rancid food that was sealed inside it for a week.
Or if the camper trailer had a long forgotten package of hamburger left in it during the off season and wasn’t discovered until you were packing up for a trip months later.
That rank, that foul.
What To Do First
- The first thing to do is thoroughly clean the area or appliance inside and out. Use the strongest cleaner that you can without damaging any surface. Remove whatever can be removed and wash it piece by piece.
- If the smell is so bad you’re gagging (and you probably will be), wear a mask and take plenty of fresh air breaks.
After you’re finished cleaning, the smell is likely still quite strong. Try one of the following methods. If one doesn’t work, try a different method until the smell has disappeared. This will probably take several days.
Getting Rid Of The Smell
- Fill an empty ice cream pail half full with regular bbq charcoal briquettes and cover completely with vinegar. Seal the lid and leave sit for about 10 minutes for the vinegar to soak in each briquette. After 10 minutes remove briquettes and place on foil baking sheet or even in another ice cream pail. Place these briquettes in the fridge or room that stinks.
- If the area is a large room, you’ll want a few pails of these to place around the room. Seal the area by closing the doors and windows and leave alone for at least 24 hours, you may need longer depending on the size of the area. If the smell still lingers, repeat the process.
- Sprinkle a baking sheet generously with fresh coffee grounds and place in the refrigerator. If it’s a larger room, place a few baking sheets full of coffee grounds in the area. Also place a pail filled with crumpled sheets of newspapers doused in vinegar inside the area. Seal the fridge or room for up to a week.
Method #3 – For the Desperate
- Use caution with this method. Fill a foil pie tin with coffee grounds. Sprinkle a small amount of bbq lighter fluid on top of the grounds. Set the coffee grounds on fire until the lighter fluid burns off and the coffee is burning. Now quickly smother the fire, make sure the fire is out completely–but the grounds are still smoldering. Immediately place the pie plate with the smoking grounds in the fridge and close the door. Do not leave unattended for several hours until you are 100% positive there is no chance for the fire to start up again.
- Leave sealed for several days, then rinse the inside with vinegar and water to remove the smoke residue.
The hamburger/camper trailer thing up above? That’s a true story. Eyes watering, gagging, foulness like you wouldn’t believe. Check your campers and the little fridge thoroughly before locking up for any length of time ;).