stinking fridge

Hi...
We have a 5-year-old maytag refrigerator that has started to stink in the last month and we can't figure out where the smell is coming from. We've cleaned underneath, vacuumed out the drip pan, removed all the food, but there's this smell that's particularly prevalent when you open the door. We've put baking soda in, but we just can't seem to get rid of it.
My wife says it smells like the compost bin, not like a mouse crawled in and died.
Any idea where smells can hide in the guts of a fridge?
Thanks -Mark
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Sounds like the Plastic .. As Maytag sez uncured plastic. Try a Vanilla wash...
Don't say I am wrong because I have a Maytag and it does the same thing . kip

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It's always good to find advice from people who have dealt with the same problem before. When you say the plastic, is there any particular part you're referring to? The gasket seals? The doors or shelves?
And when you say Vanilla wash, do you really mean vanilla extract? Or some kind of cleaner I'm unfamiliar with? My wife was thinking of using one of those citrus-based cleaners.
She also is of the impression that the odor is strongest in the back by the air exchangers, but I'm not sure about that.
Thanks _mark
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kip wrote:

WTF is 'uncured plastic' !!!! ?????
Graham
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Hey Graham SFB like it sez uncured plastic...
Phone Maytag that's what I did and explained the problem and that was there response.
They removed the Fridge and striped it down and gave it a vanilla Bath..
By the way its only a tempory fix.
message

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In the walls,and gaskets. If a top freezer under the floor plate in the freezer, and in the duct work of the air circulator fan. Tricky to get rid of. Depending how long you can live without a frig you could take everything out and put in bowls of chlorine bleach water and let them evaporate through the entire box while running. Takes a couple of days. Then turn the box off ,open the door and let air out a couple of days.
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Thanks for the advice... How big a bowl of water/bleach? Seems like it would take quite a while for a large bowl to evaporate when it's being cooled (especially in the freezer :))
-Mark
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Clean using baking soda and water. You could make a watery paste with the baking soda: smear it on, wait 1 hour, rinse with cool water and sponge.
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wrote:

He's not talking about the whole thing evaporating, just as much as will do so with a medium or big size electric mixer mixing bowl size. I haven't done this, but it sounds like it would work. But I doubt you'll be able to notice that the level went down.
My Kenmore has a sticker on the fridge wall saying it is a special material that doesn't absorb odors. From that I deduced that some fridge and/or freezer walls absorb odors.

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Mark Modrall wrote:

Look under the crisper drawers.
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

YUK !
Graham
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Mark Modrall wrote:

What was it that was in there when you had a power cut ?
Graham
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Not sure where its coming from but...............
THE BEST way to eliminate the smell is by using charcoal. Its been proven. Someone left an uncooked chicken in their trunk in Florida for 3 days. Phew!!!! and Crab smell in a fridge.)
Dont buy a bag with the match lite/ easy lighting charcoal. Just a mixing bowl size of charcoal and let it sit open in the fridge.
Tracy
Mark Modrall wrote:

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On Sun, 6 Aug 2006 21:42:45 -0400, Tracy wrote

I have never understood this theory. In the first place, only "activated" charcoal is effective. In the second, it will only remove impurities in the air. Unless you remove the source of the odor, it will regenerate as fast as you remove it.
Someone up thread mentioned an "orange cleaner". Don't. I can tell you from sad experience with a freezer it will leave it's own objectionable odor (I used "409"). After it was too late I looked at the small print on the label: "Not for refrigerators". Duh! I was able to get most of it out by leaving a small saucer of household ammonia in the freezer over night, although it took three treatments.
I have never tried vanilla, but I have read where you just end up with a vanilla smell permeating all your food.
I bought a used upright Hotpoint refrigerator that had a bad odor. Took the whole thing apart and cleaned every nook and cranny scrupulously. The odor remains to this day, several years later. I suspect it is due to bacteria in the insulation between the walls or perhaps due to the insulation itself. If that is the case, I can't imagine how one would get rid of the odor short of getting rid of the refrigerator.
--
Nelson


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Mark Modrall wrote:

Once I had a stinking fridge. It would stink even with the door shut. Someone had spilt some milk which had run out of the drain at the back of the fridge and it collected in the plastic tray which is located on the back of the fridge on top of the compressor where it would stay nice and warm. Water condensed inside the fridge would be regularly channelled through the drain and into the plastic tray, to prevent the mouldy stuff from dehydrating and dieing. After a few weeks it was fairly smelly.
Chris
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Hi!

There's still a lot to look at here. Most modern refrigerators have a sort of plumbing system that channels water (generated by the defrost cycle) away and to a structure that allows it to evaporate.
Unplug the power (don't just turn the fridge off) before trying any of these.
There might be some area where the drain has become plugged and is not letting water get away. Given enough hot/cold cycles, it could really turn nasty and stinky. If you can get at the lines and channels that are supposed to take this water away, pour boiling (or at least very hot) water down them. This can flush out a clog in the lines. Be careful, however, as this could cause parts to melt or swell.
Also look in the fan ducting. Maybe something got spilled or leaked into that area.
Smells can also hide underneath the plastic "skin", as it isn't always a solid piece. Sometimes it happens that something gets spilled and leaks down underneath the points where the plastic comes together. I've never had to deal with this kind of a problem, but I have seen it happen and I don't think it would be fun to fix it.
William
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Hi...
Well, we're trying some of the suggestions here. We emptied the thing and cleaned it all out. One curious thing - when the freezer started to thaw, water started coming out of the gasket on the freezer door. It's still draining after a couple of hours. Would water have condensed inside the door and built up after a while?
My wife's afraid to use clorox to evaporate inside because clorox can corrode metal, so she's going to use lysol. But she was concerned about the amount of water coming out of the freezer door. Anyone else seen this?
Thanks -Mark
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Mark, most refrig freezer doors have ice trapped inside them; especially older ones with fiberglass insulation.
Water always drains out of the freezer door when I've had a refrig turned off for a while, working on it. Comes out mostly at the hinges, but also from under the seal and wherever else it can find a 'drain'. 'Have seen it happen for several decades now, and I consider it normal.
Hope that's of some help.
God bless,
Dave Harnish Dave's Repair Service New Albany, PA www.DavesRepair.com snipped-for-privacy@sosbbs.com 570-363-2404
Free home appliance tips from a 33-year pro repair technician! Save a service call! Get your monthly email newsletter here: (Back issues now posted too!) www.DavesRepair.com
John 14:6

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