How to Identify (and Eliminate) That Bad Smell in Your Fridge

Getting your refrigerator organized can feel like a challenge, and worse yet, you’ll sometimes discover that your fridge is emanating a rancid smell. However, sometimes locating the source of this foul odor can be tricky, and eliminating the odor might not be so easy. The problem is that if you leave this odor unattended, your kitchen (or your whole apartment) can start to smell bad too. Here are a few ways to identify and eliminate that bad smell in your fridge.

Clean bin trays, shelves, and interior surfaces

A bad scent might come from rotten food or spills, so when cleaning your fridge, pull out your bin trays and scrub inside and underneath them. It’s also a good idea to regularly wipe down all inside surfaces of your fridge with a damp cloth to prevent future fridge smells. Then, you should dry inside your fridge’s surfaces with a soft cloth. You can also clean the outside with a diluted cleaning solution and wipe any metal parts with a damp cloth.How to Identify (and Eliminate) That Bad Smell in Your Fridge

Use natural cleaning solutions

While you clean your fridge and eliminate any odors, it’s better to use natural cleaning solutions so you can avoid contaminating your food with strong chemicals. The good news is that many natural cleaning solutions can be easily made with common ingredients that you might already have in your apartment. 

One easy cleaning solution you can use is half a cup of baking soda mixed with a few teaspoons of warm water to make a cleaning paste. You can also use a combination of equal parts of white vinegar and water to get your fridge squeaky clean.

Check under your refrigerator

Your fridge may still emanate a bad smell after you clean it. Perhaps it’s not your fridge but what’s under it, as some food may have rolled underneath your fridge and rotted. If you can move your fridge, it’s good to check underneath it and thoroughly clean the floor and, if possible, your fridge’s underside. 

The smell might not be from food

When your fridge smells like chemicals but not a cleaning solution, you may need help from a professional. Contact your refrigerator’s manufacturing company and give them your fridge’s model number. If your fridge has an odor due to a product defect, you might get offered a free repair or a replacement.

That said, if you want to investigate any fridge issues, you might be able to do it yourself. For example, if your fridge has a drip pan, it might be dirty or moldy. To check your drip pan, first, unplug your fridge. You can then clean the drip pan with warm water and dish soap and reinstall it. 

If your fridge smells like sulfur and you have a water dispenser, then you might need to clean your water filter. Refrigerator coils can also cause a smell, but coils need to be cleaned carefully with your fridge shut off. However, if you think you need professional help, it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact the refrigerator’s manufacturing company.

Deodorize your fridge

Lastly, when your fridge is clean, you can make sure it stays fresh by deodorizing it. Try leaving an open container of baking soda in the fridge for 24 hours to absorb bad smells. Then, throw away the baking soda. 

You can deodorize your fridge even further by putting a plate of ground coffee in your fridge for 24 hours. After you’re done using the ground coffee, you can mix it into your houseplants’ soil or compost bin.

What other tips do you have for cleaning your refrigerator? Share them in the comments!

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