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aaronb

Disassemble fridge to get smell out?

10 posts in this topic

My White Consolidated Industries model MRT15CSEW4 refrigerator recently lost power and acquired a powerful smell in the freezer section where the meat was stored.

I have moved it outside for some thorough cleaning sessions with a hose and bleachwater, but the smell persists. I get the idea that there is still some junk hiding in the nooks and crannies. Some posts on this forum suggest that smells in the insulation necessitate the replacement of the insulation.

I would like to take this thing apart, first to try cleaning and then replacing any parts that resist, but it seems impossible to take apart.

I tried looking for some parts manuals, as sometimes the diagrams suggest ways to take something apart. However,

Electrolux.com is not helpful, nor is http://fixitnow.com/2003/01/appliance-tip-of-day-encore-genuine.htm

(unless I missed it there).

Any help is appreciated.

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

Not sure you will be able to get his smell out of the insulation, is behind the walls of the box.  You will probably have to replace the frig.

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Let's not go to extremes just yet, try this first, some people I have talked to  had good luck with kitty litter(multi cat works best) put it in refrigerator section and run the unit like you normally would for a few days, others have tried charcoal and just let it set in the crisper drawer. Inexpensive way to go, give it a try, can't do any more harm than that's already been done.:fart:   

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Thanks, I will try charcoal, newspaper, cat litter, and coffee grounds as a last ditch effort.

I will leave the fridge unplugged and closed outside. I assume I don't want to turn it on because the cold may lessen the intensity of the odors, and the point is to make it stink itself out now, right?

...or might there be a mold problem if I close it up and leave it powered off?

Also, you seem imply that the insulation is not accessible/replacable. Are you sure?

Is this because it is a low end model, and like all low end models of all man made items, was meant to be replaced rather than serviced, in extreme cases?

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Do whatever you want but I don't advise leaving the door shut. To take it apart remove the doors then remove the metal strip between the freeer and refrigerator, pry out the freezer bottom and then remove foam block, oh by the way take off the back panel of the freezer. Good Luck. but like Pegi said "Go get Youself a New One":yikes:

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Thanks.

I have tried wiggling off the back panel inside the freezer....it looks like it is held down by a slightly flexible piece of foam at the bottom center...looks like it leads down to the fridge compartment, maybe it is a defrost/liquid channel? Anyway, it looks like I can't unstick the back panel because of this, unless I want to rip the foam. Or maybe I am being too gentle?

Also, it seems I cannot take the metal strip off of the front of the divider between fridge and freezer (with the ultimate goal being taking out the plastic bottom pieces in there). The front crosspiece seems tucked under the metal exterior pieces that wrap from the side to the front.

Maybe I have to bend the metal exterior away at the edges to get the center cross piece out, or bend the center cross piece out?

At this point I don't have much to lose, so I guess its time to stop worrying about ruining it.

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A few things that have worked for me...

1) Remove any inner panels that will give you access to more inner parts that you can clean.

2)Run some hot water and bleach down the defrost drain, then clean out the condensate pan.

3)Get some "Smells-be-Gone" spray if you can find it, and some lysol. With the refrigerator running, and the compressor running, spray into the refrig compartment, and the airways. spray the hell out of it so the evaporator fan pulls it into the inner air ducts.  let it run closed awhile. 

Let us know how it works

Nick

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I have tried wiggling off the back panel inside the freezer....it looks like it is held down by a slightly flexible piece of foam at the bottom center...looks like it leads down to the fridge compartment, maybe it is a defrost/liquid channel? Anyway, it looks like I can't unstick the back panel because of this, unless I want to rip the foam. Or maybe I am being too gentle?

Yes you are being too gentile. You got to grapple with it a bit, but you need that panel off.

 

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My best trick for deodorizing is white vinegar.  I've successfully cleaned several really nasty fridges with it. 

Bleach is great for killing stuff, but it loses its effectiveness as it comes in contact with organic matter.  This is why it doesn't "keep" for very long.

After the cleaning & rinsing, wipe down the interior with straight white vinegar.  You can use a rag or a spray bottle.  Be generous with it. 

With the fridge running, leave a bowl or saucer full of vinegar inside.  Initially your fridge will reek of vinegar,  but it will fade.  You odor should be gone.

Vinegar is also a pretty good disinfectant for foodborne bugs.  One of the fed food agencies did a study on dininfecting cutting boards, comparing several commercial rinse solutions and a vinegar rinse.  They tested by <<WARNING! really gross!>> leaving ground beef out at room temp for several days, then smearing it on each cutting board.  Vinegar did the best job.  Also cheap & readily available.

Let me know how it works if you try it-

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Thanks all. With a little more force, I was able to remove and dissasemble the interior freezer/fridge shelf and clean the parts and styrofoam insulation that were inside it.

Had to clip some wires that connected the shelf to the back of the fridge. these later had to be spliced together (I added some more wire to give it some length). Shelf reassembly was a pain in the butt, and its not the same as it was before I took it apart.

This is a spare fridge, so there was never any rush. Otherwise I would have taken Pegi's advice on day 1. Thanks again.

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