My friend forgot to trash meat from the fridge before the long school holiday.
After 3 weeks I returned to find the bad rotten meat left inside the fridge.
Currently, I am alone in the house so removing the fridge is not an option for the next few days.

Any hack to remove the odour ?

11 Answers 11


The human nose is extremely sensitive for the chemicals causing the smell of rotten meat as it has been a decisive evolutionary advantage to smell when meat has gone off and is not fit for consumption any more, even when faced with starvation. For this reason it is also near impossible to cover up these smells with other flavours. Also you wouldn't want your cheese to take on the smell of, say, lavender. These chemicals will have soaked into the plastic lining inside your fridge and even cleaning with vinegar, while a good first thing to do, will not completely remove them. This process takes time.

Cleaning the fridge is the obvious first step to resolve the problem.

Then place a plate filled with plain tap water into the fridge and change the water about twice a day - for the vessel to use you are looking for a large surface area between water and air. This will eventually entrap the chemicals causing the smell while they dissipate from the plastic lining of your fridge through the air into the water. You will also notice a thin oily film on top of the water especially the first couple of times you replace it. After about a week the smell should have improved so far you may want to start using the fridge again for storing open food. Just continue with the water until you are satisfied the smell has completely gone (and it will be gone - I've tried it for rotten meat).

This hack works for a lot of other, less offensive smells in your fridge too.

For the geeks and the truly desperate there is a lot more detailed information on the smells of rotten animal fats / meat and their removal on the chemistry site.

  • Your answer is by far the best in my opinion. I wish, I'd know it. The answer is also consistent with the other answer I've read, with an additional hack for trapping the chemical. It is by far the less painful way to discharge the chemical from the fridge, because the door doesn't need to be opened. That the main reason I accept the answer. Although, the way I managed to hack the smell is different at the time, but your hack is better. Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 17:04
  • Instead of, or perhaps in addition to the bowl of water, use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and plenty of it, spread out over a large surface you can easily remove, say a wide dinner plate. The larger the area exposed to the baking soda inside the fridge, the better. Be generous with the baking soda. Say 1/8" thick over the whole area should do. Use several plates for maximum effect. Baking soda will absorb and neutralize odors in the fridge. Aways keep an open box of the stuff in the fridge, change every six months. Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_bicarbonate
    – hlecuanda
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 5:44

The odour is produced due to less circulation of air inside the fridge. So the microbes cannot escape the refrigerator. *If you can switch off the fridge and keep it $Open$ then the smell will vanish.


The best thing to remove foul odour from fridge is using Charcoal . Take some charcoal (powdered form) in a porous satchet or cloth bag and place it in the fridge and it will absorb the smell.

Place it in the compartment where you have kept the meat. It will work better.

Have a nice day :)


Use this occasion to properly clean your fridge. As different microorganisms need different conditions to grow, first use baking soda disolved in water to kill acidic thriving bacteria and fungi.

After you rinse the residues from baking soda, clean the fridge with vinegar to kill alkaline thriving microorganisms.

Let the door of the fridge open for half an hour to allow the inside to dry because high humidity helps microorganisms to grow. The smell of vinegar will be gone in a few days.


The smell of rotten meat is composed largely of cadaverine (pentane-1,5,diamine) which is formed by decarboxylation of the amino acid on protein known as lysine. To remove cadaverine, you need to do the reverse process, i.e. carboxylation.

The best way to do that in the home setting is to put a piece of dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) in the contained space with foul smell and let its vaporisation react with and consume cadaverine. Other carboxylating agent includes (carbonates) e.g. baking soda. silver ions are also a catalyst to the carboxylation process.


I suggest vinegar. It has strong antibacterial properties and a strong odor of its own. The vinegar smell will be fully gone within 24 hours. Just wet a piece of cloth with any type of vinegar and thoroughly clean the fridge with it. Hope this helps :)


Mouthwash. I really tried everything. All the household chemical's, vinegar, soda, coffee, truck wash acid, even brake cleaner. Removed the fridge from the camper and soaked it in the water, nothing. Then for the last I tried mouthwash and it worked. After cleaning I rubbed the plastic with natural oliveoil and now it smells like new.


Alright, it is been more than a week and the fridge has been moved outside. The question was scoped to that day and while no one else at home.

That day i tried to put any material that I heard of can discharge bad smell or atleast its smell is stronger than the rotten meat odour. And it is available on the house that time.

I tried to insert listerine, camphor, and coffee. None of them can discharge the smell inside the fridge.

But i found an interesting idea, instead of discharge the smell in the fridge, i better off discharge the smell of the room.

So i put coffee on the floor (It is robusta coffee, an Indonesian coffee, . It is very famous with the strong of its smell). And in my room,i put the coffee on a bowl, and inflate it with a small fan, just to get the smell to fill the room.

And it is work, I survived 3 night sleeping at my room.


Spray it down with colloidal silver.

For those of you continually down-voting this, A] please note he asks for a "hack", B] TRY it, and C] #more_life_experience_than_most_of_you ....

Colloidal silver spray eliminates many odors immediately ... I guarantee.


I suggest you follow these steps:(During these process, please check fridge is not working)

  • First, you can remove the meat from fridge to a trash bin or to a carrier and then, trash bin.
  • You could search in the kitchen to find out a dishwasher like this. I suggest you have the one that is strong in odor.(I am not branding product, please find a substitute in your local market)

enter image description here

  • Take some drops of it in a container, add some water and dilute its concentration.
  • With a clean cloth, dip it in this solution and apply it to space in the fridge where the meat was kept.
  • Let it dry for few minutes. -You could use a dry piece of cloth to wash that applied solution away.
  • Even after this, if the odor exists, then you could use the lemon spray as shown: enter image description here

meat decomposition by-products like cadaverine are capable of diffusing their way into paint and plastic. When this happens, it is almost impossible to get rid of the smell because it is now part of the plastic or paint and it just keeps seeping slowly out over time. This is the reason that if someone dies in a car and the body rots, the car cannot be rehabilitated: the painted metal and plastic parts of the car's interior have soaked up the chemicals that smell bad and it will never go away.


After basic cleaning you can use an ion generator to remove the smell.

The smell is caused by bacteria. Using a disinfectant cleaning agent will kill much of it, but an ion generator will give complete coverage and is easy to use. Some fridges even have them built in now.

Look for one that produces both positive and negative ions, and which is designed to kill bacteria and viruses. Popular and effective brands include Sharp's Plasmacluster and Panasonic's Nanoe. I like the Plasmacluster range because they make battery powered devices, so you can charge one up and leave it in the fridge for several hours with the door closed.

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