How to Clean Rotten Meat in a Freezer

If the power went out, your freezer stopped working or a leak let warm air in, meat and other items stored in a freezer may rot.
Letting your freezer air out helps remove odors.Letting your freezer air out helps remove odors.
The smell of rotten meat may persist after you throw the meat away, especially if juices dripped throughout the freezer or if the meat had been rotten for a long time. Cleaning your freezer thoroughly removes lingering odors and ensures that your freezer is a safe place to store food.

Step 1

Unplug your freezer and remove all rotten meat and other items and seal them in a plastic bag before throwing them away. Wipe up any leaks with paper towels or rags.

Step 2

Pull the shelves, ice tray and drawers out of the freezer. Wash them with hot water and detergent and rinse them with bleach diluted according to the label's instructions. Let the items air-dry. Do not put them back in until you are ready to turn the freezer back on.

Step 3

Clean the inside of the freezer with hot water and baking soda. Make sure you wash all of the interior, including the corners, door and gasket. Rinse the inside of the freezer with diluted bleach.

Step 4

Leave the freezer door open for at least 15 minutes to let the bleach solution dry and help air out the freezer. If the odor persists, leave it open for a few days.

Step 5

Fill a shallow bowl or tray with baking soda and place it in the freezer. Close the freezer door for at least a day to allow the baking soda to soak up odors.

Step 6

Dilute vinegar to half-strength with water and wipe down the interior of the refrigerator with the diluted vinegar solution. Vinegar removes mildew and odors.

Step 7

Roll pieces of newspaper into long rolls and stuff the freezer with the rolled pieces. Close the freezer door and remove after a few days.

Things You Will Need

  • Plastic bags
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Hot water
  • Detergent
  • Bleach
  • Baking soda
  • Bowl or tray
  • Vinegar
  • Newspaper

About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.