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Old 10-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #1
luckylindy345
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Default Cleaning a Disgusting Freezer in Preparation for Keezer Project!

Ok, I am extremely excited about my first major homebrewing project. I've been searching craigslist and freecycle for some time now and finally found a very nice, working 20 cu ft chest freezer for FREE! The catch is that there was rotting meat in the bottom of it for about a year (God only knows how this guy left meat in a freezer that was turned off for a year)! The owner said that he cleaned it with soap and water and got all of the solid stuff out of it but it smelled so bad, he couldn't take it anymore and sealed it back up for another year, probably with a small amount of fluid (cleaning solution? meat "juice"?) left in it.

Anyway, I picked it up last night and it is now sitting in my backyard waiting until I get off work to clean it up. Any suggestions for how to go about cleaning this bad boy? I was thinking of scrubbing it down with bleach solution several times and letting it dry in the sun...

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Old 10-23-2008, 12:15 PM   #2
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wow, I missed the sticky up top about cleaning supplies until just now, but I'd still like to hear what you guys (and girls) have to say about this, as this is one of the most disgusting things I've seen in my life! LOL

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Old 10-23-2008, 12:35 PM   #3
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You can try a massive soak in "oxyclean free" for a week or so It might help. You can also strip the appliance paint inside, and re-coat with rustoleum appliance epoxy. Once established I would go with using arm and hammer to neutralize any further lingering odors while in use.

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Old 10-23-2008, 12:41 PM   #4
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My mother and step father had something similar happen to them when they got their freezer. From what I remember, my mom used about a gallon of bleach... Baking Soda is also helpful in removing odors if you make a paste with about 1pt baking soda to 3-5 parts water (depending on the consistency you want) It may be easier to take it apart and clean it than to try and clean it as is... of course that depends on if you CAN take it apart and put it back together...

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Old 10-23-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by juvinious View Post
You can try a massive soak in "oxyclean free" for a week or so It might help. You can also strip the appliance paint inside, and re-coat with rustoleum appliance epoxy. Once established I would go with using arm and hammer to neutralize any further lingering odors while in use.
Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that I was going to use rustoleum on it after it was all cleaned up also, but I didn't think of stripping the existing paint. That's a great idea.

As far as taking it apart and putting it back together...being able to do that hinges on whether or not the freezer can physically come apart and be put back together. I live in a house with 5 other engineering students who can surely figure it out, if it is feasible!

Looks like I have a whole lot of work ahead of me! It's a labor of love for great beer though!
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:55 PM   #6
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That sounds pretty nasty man. I'd definitely be going at that with a spray bottle of strong bleach solution. Stripping the paint and repainting it isn't a half bad idea, either.

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Old 10-23-2008, 02:35 PM   #7
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Do you guys think I should strip the paint before I clean anything if the smell isn't completely horrendous or should I give it a scrub down with bleach first? I was thinking of scrubbing it down with bleach to remove some of the smell so I could work in there, then stripping the paint off. Then I could soak the thing in oxyclean over the weekend and make sure there is absolutely no smell, and finish up with a coat of rustoleum. Is there any problem with leaving oxyclean or bleach solution for a couple days in the freezer without appliance paint?

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Old 10-23-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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Call your local PD and see if they have any enzyme cleaner-the stuff to clean up bloody crime scenes. It's not gonna be cheap, but it will work. Bleach will do most of the work, but you'll always still have a bit of funk.

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Old 10-23-2008, 05:07 PM   #9
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hmm I might look into the enzyme cleaner. I can deal with a bit of funk I suppose. Maybe an open box of baking soda in there will help absorb any remaining funk after I have everything up and running.

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Old 10-23-2008, 05:55 PM   #10
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I dont think the smell can permeate the metal. to some small degree the paint can take on an odor but the real culprit would be anything plastic and or rubber. I would soak the lid most likely the liner is foul smelling and replace the seal. The plastic sorry to say may never smell fresh again ever try to get the pickle smell out of a bucket?

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