Tell the story of the grossest thing you ever cleaned from your kitchen or fridge

OK, boys and girls, time for an extra bonus story! Not my fridge or my kitchen, but my husband’s car, and food related!

Several years ago, we traveled from western Maryland to Annapolis for the Ren Faire. I need lots of protein, and knew I’d need a snack on the way. I had a ‘shrimp ring’ from the grocery store. If you’re not familiar with what this is, it’s a round tray full of cocktail shrimp, already peeled, and a little cup of cocktail sauce. I put about fifteen of the shrimp in a little plastic container to nibble on the drive down.

A couple of weeks later, we get into his car, and there’s an odor. Hmmmm. Not pleasant. So the next time we got a chance, we cleaned out the car, vacuumed the interior, and bought an air freshener for the car. But days go by, and the smell is just getting worse and worse. Finally, it occurs to me to look under the seats. The container I had my shrimp in (and consequently deposited the tails in) was low-profile enough to slide all the way under the seat. I didn’t even have to take the lid off the container to know immediately that it was the source of the odor.

We didn’t bother trying to salvage the container!

I have nothing utterly gross to contribute like the above! But I would like to know, what is it that spills in there, and collects on the bottom, or the top of the cold cut bin, that turns into something like hard molasses? I have to scrape it off with a butter knife; soak a towel in hot water and cover what remains; scrape some more if needed; get a sponge and scrubscrubscrub. What IS that stuff that spills?

Oh, and Mr. Sali used to go fishing years ago. Unbeknownst to me, he was using my nice tupperware containers to store BAIT in the refrigerator. Mealworms. Earthworms. …things in sawdust. I used to scream, opening up what I thought was a container of leftover peaches…

You have that too? I’ve even had it in the freezer - what the hell is that stuff? The kind I’ve seen tends to be still very sticky and pliable, but definitely does not want to release from the fridge/freezer shelves without a lot of effort.

Oh yeah, I’ve had that. The funniest “I’ve had that” moment, however, was from the Dope at some point - the fruit nut? Meaning, the thing that used to be a fruit but has… shrunk? Yeah, you think you don’t have one. Clean your fridge all the way, honey. You have a fruit nut.

You wouldn’t believe what happens to a human kidney when it spends a little too long in the fridge.

I’m a vegetarian, so I think I’ve avoided a lot of potential for really disgusting forgotten food, but several years ago I was rummaging around in a cupboard and found a plastic bag full of…I don’t even know what. It smelled unbelievably bad. It was dark purple. It was completely liquefied.

I held my nose and threw it out. I’m still not sure of what it was. There wasn’t much of it, so I thought maybe it was a head of garlic I’d forgotten I had? It certainly wasn’t enough of it to be a potato. But I’m not sure garlic could turn that color of purple.

Fridge/Freezer combo in the garage. We thought it was the trash so we just waited. A week later we emptied the garbage and the smell remained. So we looked around for a dead mouse or something, nothing.

Eventually it dawns on somebody to open the freezer, mold had already covered about 80% of the freezer’s interior. While putting something away, someone had knocked the fridge’s cord out of the outlet and there it sat for nearly two weeks in 100 degree heat before we found it.

After my mother died, my dad was living alone and the Alzheimer’s was starting to take hold. Our family had not yet realized just how strong a hold the Alzheimer’s had.
Anyway, my family and my sister headed over there one day for some spring cleaning.
I volunteered for KP thinking I would have it easy.
Right. No, wrong. Very, very wrong.
One item that turned to goo? Ha! How about dozens? The entire fridge was full of rotting food of one type or another.
I swear there was one container of cottage cheese that walked out of the fridge on its own. Oh and a head of lettuce that swore to me it was old enough to go to a bar for a drink.
I spent 4 hours in the fridge, before having to move to the freezer.

After my mother died, my brother and I cleaned out her fridge. There were a lot of science experiments in there, including something so bad, it caused him to put the shrink wrap quickly back and throw out dish and all.

I never saw what it was, but anything that can cause you to throw out the dish it’s in also has to be just evil, it would seem to me.

29 posts and no mention of the Cooler of Evil?

Me too, but I think potatoes really beat almost anything I’ve seen. Nasty liquefying potatoes are worse than most anything I’ve thrown out except for the full garbage can left out in the hot sun over two weeks, with plenty of chicken leftover bits in it. Include lots and lots of rain, so when I went out to bring it to the curb because my housemates had neglected their job, I discovered I had to pour out a hot ‘soup’ that included more maggots than I’d seen before or since. And yes, the stench was awful.

Ugh. My stomach is churning just reading this.

But I have to ask…

Were there actual petals AND there were maggots, or were the supposed petals…actually maggots?


It probably is my fault :p. But yeah, the cheesy water was all over my feet and ankles since it was leaking/spewing from the vacuum.

GROSS. Car smells are the worst. My dad had an old yogurt left in a car years ago; I swear the smell never fully left.

Hahaha my god, this killed me.

What makes me so mad about fridge grossness is that I’m a really clean person. I vacuum, dust, and scrub the shower/tub and whole bathroom weekly. I do my dishes after every meal, I change my sheets weekly, my place is tidy. My SO is very tidy, and does half the chores. But the fridge? The fridge befuddles me. I get grossness there because stuff HIDES and lurks, waiting to destroy hours of your life in the inevitable clean-up.

I’ve had my share of science experiments in the fridge, but not as notable as these stories. A funny one: a few years ago, when I was cleaning out my Honda CR-V prior to listing it for sale, I looked under the driver’s seat and saw a roundish object. When I pulled it out, it was a completely dessicated tomato that must have made a break for freedom from a grocery bag looong before. We never noticed a smell, so I’m wondering if it happened during the winter and just froze and thawed repeatedly and eventually turned into fruit leather.

By the way, people in Alaska routinely throw refrigerators full of rotted salmon into the landfill. You can tell which ones they are by the duct tape wrapped around them multiple times. That’s a box you don’t want to open.

My husband had gone trout fishing one spring and had quite a bunch of fish in our chest freezer in the basement. I was bed-bound during a problem pregnancy and wasn’t allowed to go to the basement for three months. During that time, someone knocked the plug out of the wall and no one noticed. There was six inches of liquefied nasty fishy goop in the bottom of that freezer. My husband had to clean it out, carrying buckets of stuff up the stairs and out to the back field. I was really glad to have a good excuse not to have to help.

No tiny white petals. All maggots.

I once tracked down a faint hissing sound in my pantry.

It was an onion that had fallen out of the mesh bag and rolled to the back, behind a stash of plastic bags. Imagine: this onion had gone so bad it was hissing.

I remember helping a friend clean out her fridge and finding a very old container of leftover noodles. They were covered in purple fur. I told her she had a new species of mold and she should donate it to science, but we dumped it in the trash instead. Who knows what we could have cured!

Timely. At dinner tonight, my kids were gleefully relating the story of the time they found an abandoned coffee mug in our downstairs guest room. Best guess, it had been there for about three months prior to discovery. In Whatsit Jr’s words: “It was so cool, because it looked like it was covered in puffy rainbow-colored marshmallows. But really they weren’t marshmallows. They were an undetermined substance.”

One year, early in our marriage, we decided to make our own Thanksgiving meal. I didn’t know exactly what to do with the bag of innards, but I had the vague idea that you’re supposed to make gravy with them. I think that was the year we accidentally left the bag in the neck anyway. It’s hard to remember exactly what happened, but regardless, the result was the same–we put the innards in the sauce pan and absently put the pan in the oven.

There it stayed.

The stink started gradually. We cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom. We cleaned the living room. We cleaned everything. The smell got worse and worse and worse.

We didn’t find that pan until close to Christmas. (we hardly used the pan in question or our oven).

Well, I’m a college student. For the past couple of years I’ve shared a communal fridge with 5-7 other people. So we’ve had our fair share of green and fuzzy chicken (never a bite taken–and store prepared too! Money in the trash and no one would admit to buying it), liquified vegetables (why does fresh parsley come in what seems like half-pound bunches?) and bad milk.

The bad milk always annoys me, because, without fail, the person who bought the milk is all “Eeeew! That’s so disgusting, I can’t even look at it!!!” Bitch, you’re the one who let it develop sentience. You can pour it out. Sometimes my housemates would hide when my friend M and I went on a cleaning spree. And then come back and complain that the sink smelled like spoiled milk. GEE, I wonder why. M and I threw out a few extra-bulgy milk containers.

But the real story is that of The Christmas Casserole.

M and I were sharing an apartment with 6 other people. Of these 6, five were rather lacking in kitchen hygine. The last didn’t use the kitchen very much. So before every school break, M and I would try to herd everyone into the kitchen for The Cleaning of the Fridge. We were pretty successful in doing this before one Christmas break. All the old food was thrown out, everything had a name written on it, the whole thing was mostly empty.

Of course, we couldn’t empty it entirely because three people were staying in the apartment over break. Oh well.

After Christmas, we all move back in, fill the fridge back up, nothing seems out of the ordinary. Eventually spring break rolls around and it is time once more for The Cleaning of the Fridge. Okay, at least three partial gallons of raunchy milk, a piece of cafeteria cake that is at least three weeks old, dozens of free soy sauce packets…we can deal with this. And then: “Is that your casserole dish?” M asks me.
“No, mine’s almost empty, and it’s on that other shelf. That one’s full.”
“Uh-oh,” says M. “That’s been there for a while.”
“How long?” I ask with trepidation.
“Since Christmas.”
We gird our loins as best we could and pull the foil off, which goes immediately into the trash.

This Christmas Casserole was not horrifying to smell, which was why we had not noticed it earlier. But it was indeed horrifying to look at. At least four different kinds of mold were growing on it, including a type that looked like tiny mushrooms. The substance of the food was undetermined. We wanted to throw the pan out, but we had no idea whose it was. I ended up scraping it out and M washed it.

The kicker was that the only three people that could have baked and abandoned this unfortunate casserole all totally denied having any involvement. No one ever admitted owning the dish, either. I think M eventually took it with her. After all, it was Pyrex.

I’m so excited to go back to school.

My oldest sister had a Menigioma and had brain surgery August 2008. While waiting for the long surgery, my other sister and I decided to go over to oldest sister’s apartment and start cleaning up. The brain tumor made her highly unaware and apathetic. Good God that Fridge was a disaster.

Her favorite thing was to buy shredded carrots, forget that she had and then buy more. Crisper was layered about ten thick with progressively more disgusting rotten carrots.

Her entire apartment was a hell hole but I think her fridge scarred me for life.