Does your freezer have an unpleasant odor despite looking clean and well-sealed packages? Discover the hidden causes of these bad smells and the tips to remedy them!
The unsuspected culprits: bacteria, yeast and mold
A deeper problem than just food scraps may be the cause of bad odors in your freezer. Although cold temperatures slow down the growth of microorganisms, some, such as bacteria, yeast and molds, can thrive when the temperature rises above -18°C. This can easily happen if you put a hot dish in the freezer or if there is a power outage.
Also, it is important not to refreeze food that has already been thawed, as this can also contribute to bad odors.
VOCs: those compounds that smell like your freezer
When food begins to decompose, it releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are responsible for intense odors. These VOCs are present in all organic materials and are released as vapors or gases. If you don't properly seal the containers, the VOCs can escape and permeate the air in your freezer, causing those stubborn odors.
Salt rejection: an intriguing chemical process
Another factor that can cause bad odors is the process of “salt rejection” during freezing. When the water in food freezes, it releases salts and minerals, which are deposited on surrounding surfaces, such as freezer walls or containers. These deposits can also contribute to bad odors.
Check the air ducts: the fridge could be the culprit!
If you've checked all the packages and the bad smells persist, the problem may be coming from the refrigerator, which is often located near the freezer. The two compartments share a power source and an air channel, so it is possible for unpleasant odors to spread from one compartment to the other. Make sure there is no spoiled food or improperly sealed containers in the refrigerator.
Deep cleaning: the ultimate solution
If, despite all these checks, the bad odors persist, it's time for a deep cleaning of your freezer. Here are the steps to follow:
- Remove all products from the freezer and discard those that are expired or over-frozen.
- Turn off the appliance and let the ice melt.
- Clean the walls thoroughly with soap and water, making sure no food residue remains.
- If the bad odors do not disappear after this cleaning, turn off the freezer completely and let it sit for a few days.
- Before turning on the appliance again, place some baking soda inside, as it absorbs residual odors.
By following these tips, you should finally be able to say goodbye to bad odors in your freezer and enjoy a healthy and pleasant storage space for your food.