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How to Eliminate Odor In a Refrigerator

Woman and child kneeling in front of fridge to put away groceries and holding their noses

It is going to happen whether you went away for a few days or you forgot a food item had a short expiration date, that foul odor will appear. Just about everyone has had this experience.

While it is normal for your fridge to develop certain odors, the good aspect is that the odor is not harming your food. But if you treasure your nose, you should take the right steps to rid your fridge of those foul odors.

Take a couple of minutes to read our article to find out how easy it is to remove fridge odors.

How to Remove Bad Fridge Odors

White bucket full of cleaning supplies, gloves, and a scrub brush

The good news is that this chore is not rocket science and everyone can do it at any time. You just have to make sure you are prepared to toss food favorites that have gone past their prime. Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1 – Find the Source

If your nose is telling you that something has gone bad, you need to find that food item. This task may not be pleasurable, but it has to be done. That means opening up different containers or packaging and using your nose to find that source.

Then remove the food item once you found it. If it isn’t the food but the fridge itself, then you are going to have to do a thorough cleaning. But once you rid the fridge of the source, it will smell a lot better.

Step 2 – Use Aluminum Foil or Cling Wraps

There are foods that come with a foul odor. That is how they are made, and that strong smell can greet you every time you open the fridge door. One example is cheese. The best way to remove these strong odors is not to avoid buying them but to use a good wrap.

Once you have placed aluminum foil or cling wrap around the strong-smelling food item the smell should disappear. These wraps also help prevent odor transfer to other food items.

Step 3 – Use Odor Absorbing Products

Pile of baking soda on a wooden surface with spoon dipped in

It is often asked How to Use Baking Soda in a Fridge. Out of all the absorbing products, baking soda is the most famous. A box of this cooking ingredient is not expensive and all you have to do is open the top and place the box in your fridge.

Or you can use lemon quarters or halves on a plate to soak up those odors. If you do not want to use that method, go with lemon juice instead. Both are effective at getting rid of odors.

Another option is for coffee lovers. Coffee beans in a glass will do the same thing but the drawback is your fridge will smell like coffee.

Step 4 – Alternative Options

Not every method is foolproof, and you may still have an odor problem. Some alternative methods to the ones already mentioned are to put bicarbonate soda in the fridge or freezer.

Or you can try putting some vanilla extract on a cotton ball and place that inside the fridge. The first alternative may take a couple of days to work and the cotton ball method may only take overnight.

Finally, you can resort to a tsp. of bleach in a quart of water and wipe down the interior of the fridge. But this is a risky step to take.

Step 5 – The Freezer Is Part of The Fridge

Open freezer full of food with hand adding another container

The odor you smell may not be coming from your fridge. It may be sourced in your freezer and you should take immediate action to solve that problem. One way to handle the odor in your freezer is to mix 3 parts water with 1 part apple cider vinegar and boil the mixture.

Once the mixture has boiled place it in your freezer for 4 to 6 hours. After that time has expired, your freezer should be odor-free.

The task of removing foul odors from your fridge or freezer is not that difficult. You just have to be able to hold your nose while you work. All the solutions are easy to do and do not take that much time to get them done.

There May Be A Serious Problem

Close up of the face of a mouse

If those tried-and-true methods do not work, then you may have a serious problem on your hand. Before you toss out the food for something it is not guilty of doing, you may need to inspect your fridge exterior or parts.

It is possible that a rat or a mouse had touched something they shouldn’t have and died behind your fridge. Even their bodies create a very powerful foul odor. If there is no animal lying under your fridge then you need to check the motor and other parts for mold.

If you find mold in the working parts of your fridge, then you will have to use a good mold cleaner to get rid of the odor. These are dirty jobs, but someone has to do them.

If the odor persists, you may have to replace the fridge or call a repairman to see what the problem is.

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