Travel Trailer Refrigerator Smell

July 11, 2005
Filed under Trailer How To

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Back in the May 2005 issue of Trailer Life, we ran a letter from Diana Brown concerning refrigerator smell and what to do about it. In addition to the steps we detailed in that column, we received a variety of innovative and interesting solutions from readers. Apparently the stinky refrigerator problem is fairly widespread, so we’ve posted a few of the additional solutions here:

Smell Cure No. 1

After she does the cleaning as you described, that will kill all the germs that caused the problem. Next, Diana should get two plastic one-pound margarine-type tubs and crush up to three charcoal briquettes into a fine powder to put into each tub. Leave them in the freezer when it’s not in use after an extended period, and the smell will go away.

This what I had to do after my freezer lost power, and I had some pork and chicken go really bad. After a winter with the charcoal in there, the smell never came back.

– F.D., Kent, Washington

Smell Cure No. 2, Part 1

I have never tried hydrogen peroxide, but I did try the baking soda for the smell that rotting meat left in our refrigerator, and it did not take out the smell. So I went to a pet-supply store and bought an enzyme used to remove pet odors. I thoroughly wet down the entire inside of the freezer and let it dry. The odor was gone, even after closing it up for a day with the refrigerator turned off. If one application does not work, a second most surely will.

– L.M.L., Via e-mail

Smell Cure No. 2, Part 2

In reference to your article on refrigerator smell, we had the same problem. We purchased a product called Niloder, available at pet stores, and it works wonders on smells.

– C.M., Via e-mail

Thanks for all of your suggestions. Let’s hope they help clear the air, so to speak.

– J.J.


Jeff Johnston, TL consulting editor, started RVing at age 6. During his more than 20 years as a writer/photographer, he has worked for Truckin’ and Four Wheeler magazines before joining TL’s technical staff in 1985. Johnston also has produced an award-winning travel video and TV commercials.

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