Q: While we were on vacation, the fridge and the freezer stopped working, during which time there was a heat wave. There had been meat in the freezer, including a whole turkey. You can imagine the result.
A: That wasn't a welcome-home feast of the senses, to be sure. But the worst of it is actually over: You've removed all the decomposing foodstuff. Now, it's just a matter of deodorizing the appliance in a big way.
That involves a relatively simple seven-step process, according to the folks at Amana, a refrigerator manufacturer. But the bad news is you will be without a refrigerator for about two days.
- Remove all food.
- Dissolve four teaspoons baking soda in one quart of water. With a soft, clean cloth, rewash all interior surfaces, including the top, bottom, drawers and walls. Rinse surfaces with warm water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
- Place crisper drawers on top shelves of the refrigerator.
- Pack the refrigerator, including doors and drawers, with crumpled sheets of newspaper. (Black and white only — no color pages.)
- Place charcoal briquets (one large bag should do) randomly throughout the newspaper.
- Close the doors and let stand 24 to 48 hours.
- Remove charcoal briquets and newspapers. Wash all interior surfaces with a rag moistened with liquid dish-washing detergent dissolved in warm water. Pay special attention to corners and crevices.