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Odor Inside a Freezer


  • Remove odors or odd smells on the interior of a freezer
  • Bad odor in the freezer
  • Removing odors from inside a freezer


The following issues may contribute to odors:

  • High refrigerator/freezer temperatures
  • Door seal cracked or torn
  • Service error indicators on the control panel
  • The drain pan may be an odor source due to standing water or other foreign matter
  • Clogged drain tubes or standing water on the refrigerator floor
  • Extended power loss


  1. A new the unit can have a “new unit smell” for many months after installation.
    • Clean the unit before using it the first time.
    • Cleaning will also clear the unit of stale air that was trapped in during shipment.
    • Sanitize the unit before storing food inside it.
  2. Recent spill in the unit can cause odors.
    • Bring the freezer to room temperature first, then clean thoroughly with soap and water.
    • Determine where the spill occurred and where it may have traveled.
    • The spill may reach the drain pan area.
  3. A mechanical problem with defrost operation can also cause an odor and would require service to diagnose. Contact Factory Certified Service to schedule an appointment for repair. 

Extreme Odors from Unit Down/Food Spoilage

  1. Turn the unit off.
  2. Remove all shelving. If odors persist after cleaning with warm water, dish soap and capful of bleach, shelves may need to be replaced.
  3. Clean unit including drain pan, tubes, gaskets, and all crevices thoroughly using warm water, dish detergent, and a capful of bleach.
  4. Block the doors open and keep a fan blowing on it for a few days if possible.
  5. Crumpling up newspapers or placing a few charcoal briquettes in a container in the affected compartment and replace them daily can absorb odors.
  6. Factory Certified Service may be able to help with ice maker removal for more thorough cleaning along with evaporator area access/cleaning.
  7. If all avenues have been attempted and proven unsuccessful after several weeks, then the unit may not be salvageable. Contact the home insurance company for resolution.

If these steps do not resolve the issue, no further troubleshooting advice is available. Contact Factory Certified Service to schedule an appointment for repair. 


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Whether you're shopping for appliances or have questions about those you already own, we've got the resources you need. Talk directly to a customer care expert at the Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove service center, or connect with an appliance consultant at an official showroom near you. Get quick answers online, or reach a certified service provider or installer. And much more.


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