View Full Version : Dead fish smell in fridge!!

09-18-2009, 08:01 PM
PLEASE HELP!!!!! my uncle left fish in his travel trailer fridge. the power went out and he didnt catch it. then forgot about putting the fish in the fridge. they were in there about 2 months. it was sickening. i have been working on it for a couple of weeks. i have the smell gone from the carpet , furniture , and drapes. the fridge is a lot better than it was but you can still smell it when you open the door. i have tried everything i can think of and cant get the smell out of the fridge. has anyone ever had this happen to them? what should i use to get the smell out? i was planning on taking the travel trailer to the lake wednesday next week. anyone have any idea's?

09-18-2009, 08:24 PM
When deodorizing a trailer(I drive truck) we use coffee grounds thrown liberally thru the trailer. Works for us. Scattered works better than containers, leave em as long as you can. We have to sweep before loading.

09-18-2009, 08:25 PM
Not sure if it'll help, but my father-in-law works in pest control and we once had a dead rat in a burrow under the porch. He told me to get oil of wintergreen from the pharmacy and soak some cotton balls and drop them in. Again, I don't know if it eliminated the odor or just covered it up. Before I got a chance to get some, I guess it dried up and the smell went away. I know lemon juice is supposed to be good for cleaning as well if you haven't tried it. Or maybe you could always rent a trailer! :) Good luck with it either way!

09-18-2009, 08:25 PM
The son of a former boss had a similar problem. The fridge had to be removed and replaced. The fridge has sprayed urethane on the outside for insulation and the stink permeated the foam. Good Luck!!!!

09-18-2009, 08:26 PM
i asked my ex wife one time while we were married to unplug an extension cord for me in the garage, she didnt look and unplugged the one to the freezer. Needless to say several days later when the whole house started stinking, I found the source. Any wonder why she is my ex wife, lol. just kidding but I got the smell out somehow, i just cant remember how now. Have you tried getting some very hott water in there? try letting some hot water soak in there for a while with some pinesol and a few real lemons squeezed in.

09-18-2009, 08:30 PM
Look for a product called Odoban it will take care of it. I had some shad guts in our freezer of our camper. Got home and forgot about them. 2 weeks later it was rough.
Took a 2 gallon sprayer and sprayed the whole camper down. Smell is gone Its the best stuff I have ever seen.
I have been using it for around 8 years. Left minnows 2 lbs of them in the bait tank a few years ago. Some how the tank got drained. All summer they were in that tank. I sprayed it in there and smell gone.

09-18-2009, 08:53 PM
Pet store, activated charcoal for aquariums. set in dish and put in frige. Also, from the appliance parts store, they carry a "one drop does it" odor neutralizer thingy.

I'd try spraying the frige down with bleach and water solution first, and clean out the drip pan. The one that catches the water from the defrost cycle.

Be sure to clean the tube that drains down to it as well.

Eager Beaver
09-18-2009, 08:57 PM
Baking soda will absorb the odor also. EB

09-18-2009, 08:58 PM
bakin soda. just cut the top off the box and let it set 2 days. same thing when you get a car where a cat has sprayed in it.:)

09-18-2009, 11:02 PM
I went charter boat fishing and had several pounds of Salmon in the freezer/fridge. Flew home to get married and turned the power off to teh apartment to save costs. Needless to say my new bride discovered my error. She used bleach and a lot of elow grease to get the smell out.

Arkie John
09-19-2009, 12:03 AM
You poor, poor man! I wish you the best. I bet that with the resourcefulness of this bunch, you will discover a way to make that fridge as good as new.

When you DO, be sure and let us all know. Sooner or later, it will happen to us all.

Wishin' you the best.


09-19-2009, 05:38 AM
I have used the coffee grounds before and it works.

09-19-2009, 08:03 AM
Baking soda works good.

09-20-2009, 01:53 AM
thanks guys. i am trying the coffee grounds right now. i post how they do.

09-20-2009, 07:29 AM
A camp ground at the beach had a fish cleaning station with 2 freezers for the waste and after they removed it the guy would use Fabreese to wash out the units. Didn't get all the odor out but went a long way. Then I would use the activated charcoal.

09-20-2009, 02:11 PM
Charcoal will absorb odors. Depending on the size of the fridge I would put the largest bag of charcoal in it I could get in there. (BBQ grill type charcoal)

Cane Pole
09-20-2009, 02:49 PM
Your subject title was misleading.:rolleyes:

09-20-2009, 03:01 PM
I have been told to put coffe grounds in an iron skillet and let them slowly simmer/smoke. The guy that told me this owns a buch of rental houses and says he does this regulalry to do away with bad odors. He says that the smoke gets into everywhere the bad smell is. Be careful not to torch your trailer during this..lol

Fishin Addiction
09-20-2009, 10:20 PM
I had this happen to me in march this year. I tried everything!! The smell is in the insulation, Can't clean it. It's been sitting there airing out with the door open with baking soda and odor nutralizing stuff every since. Smell is out of the camper but the fridge still stinks!! It's been seven months and still stankin! If you find a way that works please report back. I would like to use the camper again someday:D

09-21-2009, 11:43 AM
When it's that far gone you have to trash the fridge.
You should have seen all the duct-taped-shut refrigerators after Katrina.

09-21-2009, 01:56 PM
Coffee grounds, baking soda and the like absorb odors, fabreese and the like mask the smell, neither kill the baterica making the odors.

Bleach kills all bateria. It is used by municapalities to purify your drinking water. Resturants use it to clean your tables. It doesnt take much to kill the bacteria. Caution, too much bleach is dangerous, especially in a closed space, open the windows and doors.

Once your done washing the freezer out with bleach water, leave the bleach water bucket in the freezer overnight. Your next post will be how to get the bleach smell out of hte freezer.

09-21-2009, 10:16 PM
I have heard that Oxy-Clean will take care of odors...mix it with water and spray on surfaces affected.

09-22-2009, 12:09 PM
I had an ahole shoot a dove off of the wire leading to a camp house one time. When I arrived the next week I had a terrible surprise. Spoiled meat:eek:
I figured the smell was in the insulation as has been said before. I didn't even try; I taped it shut and threw it on the dump pile. I don't think even coyotes would have ate it.

09-22-2009, 12:23 PM
I have had this problem before! The smell is most likely coming from some of the juices that made it under the fridge. You need to pull the fridge and clean underneath with a solution of bleach water. 2-3 tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of water is plenty to kill just about any bacteria.

09-22-2009, 08:38 PM
the coffee grounds seemed to work..... till you took them out. after a few hours you could still smell the rank fish smell. i finally found some ODOBAN . i have had several people tell me it is the only thing that works. i sprayed the insides tonight. i will check it out tomorrow afternoon and see if it has worked.

09-22-2009, 09:55 PM
Don't forget to clean out any drain tubes! Good Luck!

09-22-2009, 10:23 PM
If it is in the insulation nothing will get it out.

09-23-2009, 12:34 PM
If it is in the insulation nothing will get it out.

Bleach will.

Bleach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach)
Antimicrobial efficacy
The broad-spectrum effectiveness of bleach, for example sodium hypochlorite, owes to the nature of the chemical reactivity of the bleach with the microbes. Rather than act in an inhibitory or specific toxic fashion in the manner of antibiotics, the reaction with the microbial cells quickly and irreversibly denatures, and often destroys the pathogen. Specifically, with sodium hypochlorite it is found that:

the bleach attacks proteins in bacteria, causing them to clump up much like an egg that has been boiled,
when exposed to bleach, the heat shock protein of bacteria become active in an attempt to protect other proteins in the bacteria from losing their chemical structure, forming clumps that would eventually die off, and
the human immune system produces hypochlorous acid in response to infection to kill bacterial invaders
As noted, the range of micro-organisms effectively killed by bleach, and in particular sodium hypochlorite, is extensive, making it extremely versatile.

09-23-2009, 12:50 PM
the coffee grounds seemed to work..... till you took them out. after a few hours you could still smell the rank fish smell. i finally found some ODOBAN . i have had several people tell me it is the only thing that works. i sprayed the insides tonight. i will check it out tomorrow afternoon and see if it has worked.

Put more coffee in and leave it.;)

09-23-2009, 04:00 PM
the odoban seems to have worked. it has only been 1 day but so far so good. i am going to check it again in the morning before i leave. i have a jumbo can of cheap coffee to put inside if i need to. i will try to update more info in a couple of days.