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How to Remove Odors From a Refrigerator

Woman standing in front of open fridge holding her nose

Refrigerator odors can be unappealing and embarrassing. The odor can linger around for weeks. These are some things that can be done to eliminate the odor from the refrigerator. No one wants to eat from a refrigerator that smells bad. Removing the odor is important for the health and the safety of those in the household.

In this article, we will discuss various methods to remove odors from the refrigerator that allows it to smell fresh again.

Methods to Remove Odors from a Refrigerator

Baking Soda

Jar of baking soda with lid off sitting on a piece of wood with a spoon full of baking soda in front of it.

To help remove odors with the help of baking soda, put a thin layer of baking soda onto a cookie sheet. Put this sheet into the refrigerator. Allow it to stay there overnight or until the odors are no longer present.

Fresh Coffee Grounds

Fresh Coffee Grounds in a measuring spoon on top of fresh coffee beans

A similar process can be done with coffee grounds as with baking soda. The coffee ground can be put on the baking sheet and this can be put into the refrigerator. It should also be allowed to stay there overnight. The odor will disappear but there will be a hint of the coffee smell left behind.

Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal in a spoon resting on larger pieces of charcoal

This charcoal is common and can be purchased in a local store. The charcoal should also be placed on the cookie sheet. It should then be placed in the refrigerator. It may take a few days for the odors to disappear but it is the most effective method.

Unscented Cat Litter

Cat litter in a scoop being poured back into bag

While this may not be something that most people would think to put in their refrigerator it will be effective at removing odors. A layer of this unscented litter is placed on the cookie sheet and then put into the refrigerator. It should be allowed to stay there a few days until the odors are no longer present.

Essential Oils

flowers and essential oil bottles scattered on a black slate

These oils can remove the odors from the refrigerator and will allow it to smell fresh. Vanilla essential oils work the best for removing these odors. A cotton ball is soaked with vanilla oil and then put into the refrigerator. It is important to keep the door closed for 24 hours to make sure all of the odors are removed. The refrigerator may have a hint of vanilla scent left behind.


Stack of newspapers against a sky blue background

There is a new use for the leftover newspaper. A person should line the shelves of the refrigerator with the newspapers for a few days to suck up all of the odor. The newspaper is then removed. The refrigerator should then be washed using a mixture of one cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water. This should be used to wash the interior of the refrigerator to make sure all of the odor is removed.

Contact the Manufacturer

Man on the phone, holding a stack of papers and looking at a laptop on a desk.

If the refrigerator is new and has a warranty the company that manufactured it may be able to help with the odor. If the odor is due to a problem with the manufacturing of the refrigerator then a person may be able to get free repairs done.

Check the Food

Man rubbing his head, staring into an open fridge

It is important to remove any food from the refrigerator that is causing the odor. This includes some foods that are uncovered. There may be some foods over a week old and they should also be disposed of. The fridge area should be checked often to make sure everything stays fresh and clean. If there was an odor from food, then everything should be removed from the refrigerator. The shelves will need a good cleaning with soap and water.

Mix a tablespoon of bleach and a gallon of water. Wipe everything in the refrigerator down and allow it to dry before putting the food back in.

Add Some Lemon

whole and cut lemons along with leaves and stems on a wooden surface

Lemon has a fresh scent and can help remove odors from the refrigerator. Take a lemon and slice them in half. Put some cloves into the lemon halves. Put them into the refrigerator. This should help remove the odor. A bowl of lemon juice can also be placed into the refrigerator to remove the unpleasant scents.

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