Why Does My Freezer Smell Bad?

Aug 01, 2023, 18:16pm

A freezer will reach very cold temperatures so food will keep longer. It is an essential appliance in a kitchen, which is why when it encounters a breakdown, it is advisable to act immediately so that the food does not spoil.

Frequent breakdowns on a freezer can be linked to a problem of cold, noise, or even frost. When it comes to a problem of bad odors, it is due to the defrosting of the appliance. It is essential to maintain this device so that there are no future breakdowns.

A freezer is an invaluable appliance in our daily lives. It helps us store food for extended periods, ensuring we always have something to eat. However, a bad odor emanating from your freezer can be a cause for concern. It can make your food taste off and discourage you from opening the freezer door altogether. Let’s explore why your freezer might smell bad and how to address this problem effectively.

Why Does My Freezer Smell Bad?

Reasons Why Your Freezer Smells Bad

1. Spoiled Food

One of the most common reasons for a foul smell in your freezer is spoiled food. If you leave food in the freezer past its expiration date, it can start to decompose and give off an unpleasant smell.

2. Unpackaged Food

Strong-smelling food items such as fish or onions can cause your freezer to smell if they are not adequately sealed. This happens because their odor can linger and spread to other areas of the freezer.

3. Power Outages

During power outages, your freezer may defrost, and food may start to spoil if the electricity is not restored promptly. This can result in bad smells lingering even after the power returns and the freezer cools down again.

4. Lack of Cleaning

Over time, small food particles and spills can accumulate in your freezer, leading to bacteria growth and unpleasant odors if not cleaned regularly.

5. Improper Ventilation

A lack of ventilation can cause the air in your freezer to become stale, leading to bad smells. This can occur if the freezer is packed too tightly with food, obstructing air circulation.


There are various methods for cleaning and removing bad odors from the freezer. You can use lemon or white vinegar:

  • Dampen a microfiber cloth with white vinegar or lemon juice and wipe down the sides of the freezer to eliminate bad odors.
  • Let dry before restarting.


You can also clean your device with baking soda:

  • Mix hot water and baking soda in a bowl.
  • Clean the inside of the freezer with this mixture.


You can also use hydrogen peroxide to remove bad odors:

  • Mix a liter of water with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in a container.
  • Dampen a microfiber cloth and wipe all sides of the freezer with this solution.
  • Then rinse with clean water.

You can also use a cup filled with coffee grounds overnight or a cup filled with activated charcoal.

How to Remove Bad Smells from Your Freezer

1. Empty Your Freezer

Remove everything from your freezer and throw away any expired or spoiled food. This process will help you find the source of the bad smell.

Why Does My Freezer Smell Bad?

2. Clean the Freezer

Switch off and unplug your freezer. Use a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap or baking soda to clean all the surfaces inside your freezer. This process can eliminate any bacteria or mold that may be causing the bad smell.

3. Air It Out

Leave the freezer door open for a few hours to allow it to air out. Doing this can help to clear any lingering odors.

4. Deodorize

Use baking soda or coffee grounds to neutralize any remaining odors. Simply place an open box of baking soda or a bowl of coffee grounds in your freezer and leave it there for at least 24 hours.

5. Pack Food Properly

When repacking your food, ensure it is sealed tightly to prevent odors from spreading. Vacuum sealing can be particularly effective for strong-smelling food items.

6. Regular Cleaning

Make it a habit to clean your freezer every few months. This proactive approach can prevent odor build-up in the first place.

To conclude, while a smelly freezer can be unpleasant, smell is due to poor food storage or lack of cleaning. Addressing these issues can help ensure your freezer stays odor-free, making your cooking experience more enjoyable.