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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: rotten smell in freezer
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2006 11:10:15 -0400
Message-ID: <>

You've learned that none of those old wives' tail remedies work :-)

OTOH, the folks who do fire and flood recovery HAVE learned how to
deal with severe odors.  I unfortunately got to watch them do their
magic on my home in Atlanta after it burned.  ServePro was the company
my insurance agent used but there are others.

There are two broad avenues of attack - chemically bind the odor
molecules and oxidize them.  The later is usually done with ozone. Not
the piddly fake "ozone generators" sold to consumers but serious
generator that make enough ozone to choke a horse.  This works
amazingly well and is probably the solution to your problem since the
stink has permeated both the plastic liner and the insulation.

For a small enclosed space like that you can probably generate enough
ozone to be effective with a germicidal lamp.  This is a fluorescent
lamp without a fluorescent coating and made of a special glass that
transmits the short wavelength UV.  This type bulb is used in water
sterilizers, barber tool sterilizers, eprom erasers and so on and is
fairly commonly available.  You can buy them here:

or at a barber supply company for about twice the price.

The downside of ozone is that it oxidizes most everything.  It quickly
ages and yellows plastic and bleaches colors.  If you use the lamp
solution, make a shade around it out of aluminum foil so that the UV
won't strike any of the 'fridge's surface.  Any plastic illuminated by
the UV will turn yellow in less than 24 hours.

The other broad solution is chemically binding the odor molecules. I
believe that the active ingredient is polypropylene glycol but my
memory may be fuzzy.  Febreeze is an example of a very weak, low
performing consumer-grade compound.  Much better ones are available.
The stuff ServePro used was atomized by a power atomizer.  An hour of
that in one of my home's rooms and the heavy acrid smoke smell just
disappeared.  They'll sell it to you if you stop by a service center.

Another good source for the chemical is an HVAC supply store.  It is
used to eliminate odors from air conditioners and for recovering
spoiled refrigerators and freezers.  It's not as concentrated as the
stuff ServePro uses but it does work.

The problem is that this stuff has to actually contact the odor
molecule to work.  That becomes a problem when the stinky stuff has
been absorbed/soaked into materials.  I once recovered a chest freezer
that had become unplugged by filling the entire freezer compartment
with a solution of the stuff and allowing it to sit overnight.  I've
had less success with trying to recover upright refrigerators by
spraying/soaking the solution onto vertical surfaces.

When my RV fridge got hot and food spoiled, I washed it down with the
HVAC version of odor eater but then had to resort to the ozone
treatment to finally get rid of all the odor.  I used a 12 watt bulb
and left it inside for 24 hours.  Even with the foil shade around the
bulb, the plastic liner yellowed slightly.  Be aware of this going in.
On the positive side, there isn't even a hint of an odor in the fridge

One other suggestion.  There is now a compact fluorescent lamp
available that is coated on the outside with a catalyst that consumes
odors.  Available here.

I was very, very skeptical of this claim and ordered one with the idea
of writing a negative review of it.  To my tremendous surprise, it
worked.  My first test was in my Sugar Glider cage.  Glider waste is
almost odorless but when I get sloppy about changing the cage liner,
some odor eventually develops.  The cage sits beside my easy chair so
I get the "benefit" of the odor up front and personal :-)

Gliders need lots of "sunlight" so I'd had a broad spectrum CF light
in the cage for some time.  I removed that lamp and screwed in this
odor eater.  Within a couple of hours the odor was completely gone and
I haven't smelled a whiff since.

I ordered another and put it above Bob's liter box.  I tend to be a
bit sloppy about changing his box and it can get to stinking.  It is
in an unused part of the building so I don't notice it until it gets
bad.  It no longer gets bad.  This light simply gobbles up the odors.

I don't know how well this would work with your problem since the lamp
is a real-time type device.  That is, it oxidizes odors that come in
contact with the catalyst but doesn't get to the source.  Still, the
lamp is cheap so closing it up in the fridge for a few days wouldn't
cost much.


On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 20:16:46 -0600, "Jim" <myplace@home> wrote:

>this may seem or sound odd, but we are really at a loss....long story short,
>we had a bunch of frozen minnows thaw and basically "rot" in our freezer for
>about 3 days before we discovered the problem.  We've cleaned the freezer
>with baking soda, vinegar, and about every other cleaner you can think of to
>no avail.  I have put vanilla in the freezer with the baking soda to absorb
>the smell, but nothing is working....Any ideas (constructive!) would be most
>appreciated as we are about to depart on holidays and would really like to
>get rid of this problem so we can use the freezer (fridge portion is ok).
>Thanks for all constructive feedback!

From: Norman Yarvin <>
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Chemicals -was Blue Water and no leaks
Date: 29 Mar 2001 14:38:26 -0500

In article <>,
Neon John  <> wrote:

>Lon VanOstran wrote:
>> My original point was that Odo Ban gets rid of odors by killing the
>> bacteria which cause them.
>If this is the Sam's Odo-ban I'm thinking of, it contains propylene
>glycol (I think that's the name), a chemical that chemically
>neutralizes most odor molecules.  Same stuff they put in Febeeze.

In Febreze, the chemicals that do the work are cyclodextrins, which are
unrelated to propylene glycol.  They act a lot like activated charcoal --
odor molecules stick inside cavities in them -- but are colorless and

The US patent (number 5593670) has more information:

>Unfortunately they also gom it up with stink which makes it
>worthless for me.  We use a non-stinked industrial version of the
>chemical in the restaurant to spray behind the toilet in the
>bathrooms and other places where odor producing substances might
>collect and are hard to clean.  Our bathrooms are amazing - no
>bathroom stink and no sickly perfumes.  No odor at all.

The cyclodextrins eventually break down and provide food for bacteria
(they are polymers of dextrin, the basic unit of sugar molecules), but
that supposedly takes a while; in the patented formulation, a
preservative is included to slow it down.

The added "fragrance" -- which the patent says there is no real reason
for -- is indeed annoying.  What is the industrial version called?  Are
there any easy sources for it?

Norman Yarvin

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