Fridge Odor Removal Tips

Woman cleaning refrigerator interior.

Nothing says "ick" quite like a nasty fridge odor. You need some fridge odor removal tips. 

Whether the sushi went south last month or you need to neutralize the everyday accumulation of bad smells in your refrigerator, odor removal starts with a quick cleaning out and cleaning up of your fridge's interior.

These fridge odor removal tips can bring back a fresh, clean smell to your refrigerator.

Fridge Odor Removal Tips Start With Removing Everything

Examine everything inside the refrigerator carefully as you remove it, even if you've already identified the cause of your fridge odor.

Keep what appears to be edible; toss what's gone south.

Clean the Fridge's Interior Surfaces

Dissolve four teaspoons baking soda in one-quart water.

With a soft, clean cloth, wash all interior surfaces of the refrigerator, including the top, bottom, drawers, and walls. Rinse surfaces with warm water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth. 

Fill the Interior with Newspapers

Pack the refrigerator, including the doors and drawers, with crumpled sheets of newspaper. (Black and white only - no color pages.)

Place charcoal briquettes or coffee grounds randomly throughout the newspaper to soak up those bad smells. Let stand 24 to 48 hours.

Remove the charcoal briquets, coffee grounds, and newspapers. Wash all interior surfaces with a rag moistened with liquid dishwashing detergent mixed with water.

Pay special attention to corners and crevices to remove any lingering fridge odor.

Fridge Odor Removal Tips For Prevention

Used correctly, your refrigerator will keep food safe from spoilage and bacteria, and all your fridge smells should be of the positive (dinner!) variety.

Misused, it could cause big trouble of the tummy kind - and fridge odor. Essentially, no food benefits from storage. You want to eat everything as fresh as you can.

But since we can't all tromp out to the garden to harvest produce for each meal, here are some guidelines for making your fridge function at its best while keeping fridge odor at bay.

  • To keep food from spoiling in the refrigerator, the temperature needs to be between 34 degrees F and 40 degrees F. You can't depend on the little gauge (1-5) in the fridge. Buy a refrigerator thermometer. 
  • Some parts of your refrigerator are colder than others. The meat compartment at the bottom is designed to store meat, so put meat there. Not only is this the coldest area, but if a package leaks, it won't contaminate other foods - and cause odors.
  • The door is the warmest part of the refrigerator. This is the best place for nonperishables (sodas) - not perishables like eggs.
  • Don't put hot food in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before refrigerating it. Hot food can cause refrigerator temperatures to drop.
  • On the other hand, don't leave food out too long, either. Refrigerate prepared food within two hours of cooking (one hour in the summer.)
  • To prevent future odors, remember always to wipe up spills immediately to keep bacteria from growing. It's those growths - furry or otherwise - that cause bad smells here. Wash spilled areas with soapy water; then disinfect with a solution of 1 teaspoon of bleach in 1 quart of water.
  • Don't overload the refrigerator. Parties are a dangerous time because you cram a lot of food into the fridge, and then you're continually opening the door. Turn the temperature down during these occasions to keep the food cold.
  • Cover foods tightly. Leave meats in their original packaging to prevent spreading bacteria.
  • If you lose power, do not open your refrigerator or freezer. If the door is not opened, food should keep eight hours in the refrigerator and 48 hours in the freezer.
  • Weekly, do a more thorough cleaning. Examine the contents inside and check expiration dates. Toss those items past their prime. Rotate food and condiments so that the oldest of any item (milk, for example) is front and center when little hands are searching.
  • Deep clean monthly. First, unplug for safety. Remove all food. Dissolve four teaspoons of baking soda in 1 quart of water. Use a soft, clean cloth to wash all interior surfaces. Be sure to hit the top, bottom, drawers, and walls. Pay special attention to corners and crevices.
  • Finish by rinsing surfaces clean with warm water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth and place an opened box of baking soda on a low shelf as your first defense against future bad smells here.


You Might Like These:

  • Easy oven cleaning tips. A holiday pie or cheesy lasagna meltdown can turn your oven into a smoky, burnt, ooze-encrusted mess. The solution? These oven cleaning tips can help remove the unsightly mess.

    Easy Oven Cleaning Tips

    Easy oven cleaning tips. A holiday pie or cheesy lasagna meltdown can turn your oven into a smoky, burnt, ooze-encrusted mess. The solution? These oven cleaning tips can help remove the unsightly mess.

  • Easy kitchen organizing tips. To get the most out of your kitchen, create a place for all the activities your family does there. It can be done - these kitchen organizing tips can help.

    Easy Kitchen Organizing Tips

    Easy kitchen organizing tips. To get the most out of your kitchen, create a place for all the activities your family does there. It can be done - these kitchen organizing tips can help.

  • Easy kitchen cleaning tips. One study of the germiest areas of the home found the top 5 areas were in the kitchen: These kitchen cleaning tips for debugging these areas can help

    Easy Kitchen Cleaning Tips

    Easy kitchen cleaning tips. One study of the germiest areas of the home found the top 5 areas were in the kitchen: These kitchen cleaning tips for debugging these areas can help

  • You've got items for recycling, especially in the kitchen. So why not create a kitchen recycling center to organize the recyclables?

    Creating a Kitchen Recycling Center

    You've got items for recycling, especially in the kitchen. So why not create a kitchen recycling center to organize the recyclables?

  • What does the "sell by"  date on a food label really mean? How long is it good after that date? Here's help for deciphering a food label.

    Deciphering A Food Label

    What does the "sell by" date on a food label really mean? How long is it good after that date? Here's help for deciphering a food label.

  • 10 Kitchen cleaning rules. The kitchen is the heart of the home. Yet all too often, its arteries get clogged with kid stuff. These kitchen cleaning rules can help clear things up.

    10 Kitchen Cleaning Rules

    10 Kitchen cleaning rules. The kitchen is the heart of the home. Yet all too often, its arteries get clogged with kid stuff. These kitchen cleaning rules can help clear things up.

  • You know when the food in your fridge has turned: The lettuce is more brown than green. But what about other items? This food shelf life guide can help.

    Food Shelf Life Guide: How Long Foods Last

    You know when the food in your fridge has turned: The lettuce is more brown than green. But what about other items? This food shelf life guide can help.

  • Whether your hardwood floors are oak, maple, ash, or beech, cleaning them is as safe and simple as it gets. Here's how to clean hardwood floors and keep them scratch-free.

    How to Clean Hardwood Floors

    Whether your hardwood floors are oak, maple, ash, or beech, cleaning them is as safe and simple as it gets. Here's how to clean hardwood floors and keep them scratch-free.



Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.