Having a walk-in refrigerator or freezer can offer supreme convenience for your employees due to its ample storage space, it can potentially cause a lot of discomfort if it’s not used sensibly. First off, over time, a walk-in freezer or refrigerator is prone to develop a distinct odour due to the food items stored in it. This odour can also be a sign of possible food contamination which may have occurred if a food item has expired. These odours could alternatively be caused due to bacteria or mould growth which can occur inside of your walk-in refrigerator.

Another key source of odour could be food that was spilt that hasn’t been cleaned up. Though the odour may seem otherwise harmless, it can be a sign of a bigger problem that could potentially contaminate your inventory if it lasts for a long time. Depending on how old your walk-in refrigerator is, the odour can become trapped inside the walls and flooring. This bacteria can grow and multiply, causing the stench to become stronger and fouler.

Now that we are aware of the potential causes of odour, you may find yourself wondering if it is completely inevitable that your walk-in freezer will start smelling. The answer is no. If you are routinely following some of the preventive maintenance practices outlined below, you may never have to face this problem. Here is how you can control the odour.

Clean up

This one is obvious. At the first signs of odour, you must clean up your walk-in freezer immediately. This will not only help you to prevent further spreading of odour but also help you to find the cause of it early. We suggest a complete cleanout and clean-up. Empty the entire contents of your refrigerator and freezer. If possible, empty all the containers from the walk-in before cleaning it out completely. Usually, a soap and water solution is more than enough for cleaning your walk-in refrigerator. However, you can also use some specialized cleaners meant for odour control in refrigerators for better results.

Homemade solutions

If you are not keen to buy marketplace solutions and feel that the harsh chemicals may be detrimental to the surface of your refrigerator, you can also opt for DIY homemade cleaning solutions. One of the most commonly used solutions is baking soda and white vinegar. The combination works great as vinegar is proven to combat mildew and odour. Make sure to wipe off the surfaces immediately after cleaning to avoid leaving a residue or scratch.

Cleaning equipment

Using the right cleaning equipment and accessories is also an important element in getting rid of the odour. Make sure to use a fresh and absorbent wipe for cleaning. An already used wipe may add to the odour problems.  Experts recommend using a mini vacuum cleaner to get rid of any solid spills and crumbs before wiping down the surface for the best results.


Letting surfaces dry completely is an important step in controlling the odour. You may want to open the refrigerator access doors and let a complete drying process take place before you put back your food. To combat any lingering odour, you can place a bowl of charcoal briquettes inside. Alternatively, a bowl of fresh coffee grounds or baking soda also helps.

Remember that your walk-in refrigerator is prone to odours as it is an enclosed space. However, a lingering odour, even after a thorough clean-up, can be a potential cause for concern and should be investigated to see if any parts of your refrigerator are malfunctioning. One of the best ways to ensure that your expensive refrigeration equipment is maintained well is to have it regularly checked by the experts at Grayco Air. Setting up a preventive maintenance plan with Our team can potentially save you from expensive repairs and replacements or a complete breakdown in the future.