Ooo, That Smell. Can’t You Smell That Smell?

Dear Kids,

A few weeks ago your father got some good-looking crab legs on sale and treated us to a crab fest for dinner. It was spectacular!

What was also spectacular was the smell in the kitchen the next day. We took out the trash and sprayed down the can; that should take care of it.

The kitchen still smelled.

Your father cleaned out the refrigerator and wiped down the shelves. Perhaps that tuna in there had turned?

The kitchen still smelled.

I added a new baking soda box to the refrigerator.

The kitchen still smelled.

I bought oranges and squeezed the juice down the garbage disposals followed by the peels and ground them through the disposals.

The kitchen still smelled.

I cleaned all the counters with razorblades and disinfectant.

The kitchen still smelled.

I checked the bottom of the dishwasher and sprayed the machine inside and out with Lysol.

The kitchen still smelled.

I tackled the refrigerator again and didn’t just wipe down the shelves – I took out each shelf and drawer and washed them in the sink with soap and warm water. While pulling out the last drawer on the very bottom of the fridge I found a large puddle or sticky reddish/blackish ooze. Bingo!

I wiped up the ooze which probably leaked from the bag of crabs now 3 weeks ago. I disinfected the bottom of the fridge and even spread a little baking soda down there for good measure.

The kitchen still smelled.

Your father determined that the ooze must have made it in to the drip pan. He would simply remove the back panel of the fridge and clean out the drip pan. He pulled out the fridge, removed the back panel and there was the drip pan; the culprit. It clearly contained the reddish/blackish, foul smelling ooze. It was also bolted to the bottom of the fridge and behind not less than three water lines and two electrical wires. We could barely reach it with our fingers, let alone a sponge.

Your father attempted to reach it from the front panel – no go. The floor was littered with important screws which the cat was threatening to play with and we were no closer to ridding ourselves of the smell, even though we could see it right there.

Bleach! Bleach would save us! If we couldn’t bring the mess to the cleaning supplies, we would bring the cleaning supplies to the mess. Not being able to tell how large the drip pan was, I guesstimated and poured about ½ a cup of bleach in there…undiluted.

Holy Noxious Fumes, Batman!!

Did you know that bleach smells its worst when it is working? Have you ever been to a pool that has such a strong chorine smell that your eyes burn just getting near it? That’s because the little kids you passed on the way in gave the chlorine a real work-out. That chlorine smell happens when chlorine combines with ammonia and nitrogen. Same thing with chlorine bleach; bleach + rancid ooze = my kitchen smells like a pool after a 4 year-old’s birthday party. Awesome.

Technically the kitchen still smelled, but at least the smell was different…right?

We spent the next few minutes attempting to mop up and dilute the bleach. The good news was that we could see the bleach was working; the ooze was breaking up.

When we were satisfied with the drip pan (ie: needed desperately to get out of the fume-y kitchen), we pushed the fridge back against the wall and…the water line broke.

It sounded like someone had turned on a faucet behind the fridge, which was essentially what had happened. The little copper water line, which had looked a little kinked before, had snapped in half. While your father frantically searched for the water shut off valve, it began to rain in the laundry room below and I attempted – in vain – to budge the fridge. Modern refrigerators are HEAVY!

With the water shut off, I inspected the laundry room while your father – in a maneuver the Hulk would have been proud of – angrily hoisted the fridge back out of its spot to inspect the failed water line. While in the laundry room I learned that I really should mop in there from time to time and that I was glad to not be in the kitchen where there seemed to be an inordinate amount of clanging going on.

Upstairs your father was fighting with the fridge and the fridge was fighting back. During the Hulk-manuever some of the items in the fridge had dislodged – namely, a bottle of flavored coffee creamer. When your father opened the door to inspect, it launched itself at him in spectacular fashion – not just landing on the floor at his feet, but throwing its contents in a wide arch against the kitchen cabinets behind him…the newly painted cabinets.

When I went upstairs to investigate I found a stack of ‘creamed’ dishes in the sink along with a mangled, empty bottle of creamer. The whole bank of cabinets was splattered in cream – cupboards to baseboards. The window, the knife block, the dish soap – nothing was spared. The floor – oh, the floor. All I could manage to say was, “Seriously??”

The kitchen smelled of bleach and Irish Cream coffee creamer. Not a combo you’re likely to pick up in the Glade aisle any time soon.

We mopped up. We wiped up. We put the fridge back.

We inspected the children. One…two…three?? Who’s this extra kid?? Oh crap, that’s right, we’re babysitting tonight! “Hey kiddo, if you promise not to tell your folks all the colorful language you learned here tonight, I promise not to tell them you had a popsicle before you finished your carrots. Deal?”

In the end, the kids are alive, the kitchen is ridiculously clean, and the smell is gone…hopefully.

Categories: Kids | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Ooo, That Smell. Can’t You Smell That Smell?

  1. Wow. That’s some impressive cleaning.

  2. Oh my goodness. This sounds like something that would happen to us, but hey, makes a great story. I wish you a weekend of happy smells!

  3. Also, your blog is awesome. Fun to read.

  4. Sounds like the perfect night 😉

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