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How to Get Rid of Fridge Odor

Need to learn how to get rid of fridge odors fast? Rainbow International’s DIY tips will get rid of the bad smell in your fridge in four simple steps.

From bacteria to strong smelling foods, it’s no surprise that your refrigerator picks up odors over time. Even after you’ve removed your moldy cheeses and old leftovers, it’s possible for your refrigerator to hold on to these odors. Read on to learn how to get rid of fridge odor for good.

Causes of Refrigerator Odor

Most refrigerator odors are not caused by strong smelling foods, but by bacteria and mold living in a refrigerator or on items in your refrigerator. Odds are there is more than one item contributing to the bacteria or mold that causes odors in your fridge. Here are a few of the top refrigerator odor-causing issues.

  • Rotting, Old or Smelly Food

Throw away all the old food that could lead to creating a bad smell in the fridge, and you’ll eliminate the possibility that this is the source of your bad fridge odors.

  • Dirty Fruit, Vegetable or Cheese Drawers

You might think your refrigerator is clean, but did you remember to clean your refrigerator’s drawers? It’s easy to forget to scrub your cheese, fruit and veggie drawers. Cheese crumbs and forgotten vegetables may cause hugely unpleasant odors. Make sure to clean inside and beneath these drawers to ensure this is not what is making your fridge smell.

  • Refrigerator Material

The inside of most refrigerators is made of plastic. Unfortunately, plastic is prone to harboring odors, even after deep cleaning. Keep your refrigerator clean from the moment of installation to maintain your refrigerator for the long haul.

  • Trapped Dirt 

You likely clean inside your refrigerator (at least occasionally), but have you also cleaned under and behind your refrigerator? Over time, water, food, dirt and dust may become trapped beneath or behind the unit. This debris may contribute to unpleasant smells emanating from your refrigerator.

How to Get Rid of Fridge Odor

So, how can you get rid of fridge odor? Follow the steps below to deep clean your refrigerator and keep foul odors at bay!

  1. Take all the food and drinks out of your refrigerator. Make sure to throw away items such as old leftovers, expired food or rotten produce.
  2. Remove all shelves, bins, and trays from your refrigerator and wash them all using hot, soapy water.
  3. While the shelves dry, clean the surfaces inside the refrigerator with a solution of 1 gallon of hot water and a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar.
  4. Reassemble the refrigerator and replace all the food and drinks that you have previously taken out. You can also wipe these items down to ensure they are not carrying any bacteria or lingering odors.
  5. Add an open box of baking soda at the back of a shelf to absorb future odors.
  6. Set your refrigerator temperature to between 37 and 41 degrees to prevent energy and food waste.

Does Your Fridge Still Smell?

If you’ve already deep cleaned your refrigerator following the instructions above and are still experiencing lingering odors, consider this next tip: Place a dozen crumbled charcoal briquettes on a tray in the refrigerator or freezer. Replace the briquettes daily for at least a week, or until the smell is gone. Like baking soda, charcoal briquettes will trap bad smells.

Trust Rainbow International to Remove Odors from Your Home

Rainbow International is here to help you resolve many household odors, including food smells, cigarette smoke, pet odors, and more. Give our experts a call today at (855) 724-6269 or request an appointment online to get started today.

It isn't just the inside of your refrigerator that affects its smell or function. Check out these tips for cleaning your refrigerator coils. Like Rainbow International, Mr. Appliance is a part of the Neighborly® community of trusted home service brands.