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BARCO Bay Area Refrigeration Company How to remove commercial refrigerator odors in 5 steps

How to Remove Commercial Refrigerator Odors in 5 Steps | USDA Food Safety 

Having a successful food business means that you probably have a well-stocked walk-in refrigerator or freezer to meet the growing demands of the food and beverage industry. If you are the owner of a high-quality commercial refrigeration unit, you will know how integral it is in operating your restaurant each day. With large numbers of customers coming in with high expectations, keeping ingredients ready to cook and in proper storage is important for food safety as well as meeting quality and service expectations.

Years of use can take a toll on your walk-in cooler unit and can cause refrigerators to lose their ability to properly keep cold. Combine an aging refrigerator with food left forgotten and you can experience unpleasant odors inside the unit. This is a telltale sign that your unit is probably due for a deep clean to remove commercial refrigerator odors.

How To Remove Commercial Refrigerator Odors To Maintain Proper USDA Food Safety

The odors are not something you want to leave unattended, as these can indicate a possible mold problem that can lead to foul-tasting or bad-smelling food even when cooked. This is bad for business and can cause a drop in sanitary ratings and even lead to a shut down of your beloved food establishment. Here are our tips for doing a regular refrigeration maintenance service for your walk-in:

1. Defrost Your Freezer

 Make sure to fully defrost your unit before going for a deep clean, as it will make cleaning easier and help you determine where foul odors and mold growth are hiding. It is also a healthy procedure to keep your freezer in good condition for the long run.

2. Remove All Food Items

Every once in a while, while doing an inventory check, pull out all meats and food items in the freezer to check that no food items are hiding or left forgotten and are still good to eat and serve. You will be cleaning the unit out and defrosting it from top to bottom, so run through the food ingredients you have inside and toss out anything dubious-looking that could have mold forming.

3. Mop And Scrub The Interior

When mopping and scrubbing the surfaces of your walk-in, avoid using abrasive and strong cleaners because these can severely damage your unit’s interior. Use a mixture of either soap and water or for tougher stains: baking soda and vinegar.

You will then want to wipe down surfaces such as the shelves and walls using water and soap, or the baking soda and vinegar solution for tougher dirt stains.

4. Handle Future Odors Through Charcoal Pieces

Be sure to place a bowl of charcoal pieces inside the walk-in to absorb other odors that may linger. Fresh coffee grounds and baking soda can also assist in maintaining the clean smell of your unit.

5. Schedule Regular Maintenance For A Longer Lifespan For Your Unit

A regular cleaning routine through a cleaning service can help keep harsh odors at bay, as well as offer inspection procedures for any damages in parts that can be sucking up electricity. Keeping your fridge in tip-top shape will allow your unit to live out its maximum possible lifespan–Just remember that these units are not cheap, and fixing them also costs a hefty sum of money.


Walk-in fridges are an integral part of any successful restaurant. They are what keeps ingredients fresh and safe for consumption, which is why keeping them in working order is important and invaluable to your business. A malfunctioning or neglected walk-in refrigerator or commercial cooling-unit can create a number of issues for your business including foul odors that may create an issue of food safety. The process to remove commercial refrigerator odors can be avoided with regular repair and maintenance of your appliances.

For commercial refrigeration repair or maintenance services in San Jose, CA, BARCO Services can assist you. We have been premier providers of refrigeration service for businesses around the Bay Area for over 35 years, so contact us today for more information!


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