Refrigerator Stinks? Here’s How to Remove Refrigerator Odors

While odor is one of the most common refrigerator problems, stubborn smells tend to linger long after the source is removed. Why does my fridge smell when I open it? The plastic interior may have absorbed the odor and requires specific cleaning techniques. When your refrigerator stinks, use these cleaning tips to banish bad smells.

Help…My Refrigerator Stinks!

When refrigerator odor persists, only the right supplies and methods will get rid of the smell. But before we specify the right cleaning tips, knowing why your refrigerator stinks is important in combating the smell.

What Causes a Smelly Fridge?

There are typically several common causes when your refrigerator smells bad:

  • Spoiled food
  • Open food containers
  • Food that’s insufficiently wrapped
  • Lingering spills

Once these items are exposed to the refrigerator’s moist air, they’ll break down, becoming a breeding ground for smelly bacteria and mold. What if your refrigerator stinks even after spoiled food is removed and spills are wiped away? The plastic interior has likely absorbed some of this smelly bacteria and requires specific cleaning methods for effective removal.

Fridge smells bad even after cleaning

How to Remove Refrigerator Odors

The first step in banishing refrigerator odor involves removing all of its contents and disposing of any spoiled or improperly wrapped foods. If odor is coming from the outside, check underneath and behind the refrigerator for any food that may have rolled underneath and spoiled. Once this is done and the refrigerator is empty, it can be properly cleaned.

Use these refrigerator cleaning tips to rid the interior of odor:

  1. Unplug the refrigerator or turn it off at the circuit breaker.
  2. Use a damp cloth to wipe up any spills or crumbs.
  3. Mix a cleaning solution of 1 quart hot water and 2 Tablespoons of baking soda.
  4. Dip a sponge in the solution and wipe down the refrigerator walls, shelves, drawers and door seals.
  5. Refrigerator cleaning hacks for stubborn stains include a baking soda paste. Apply the paste to the stain and allow it to sit for several hours. Scrub the stain and paste away with an old toothbrush.
  6. Wipe down all surfaces with a clean sponge and fresh water to remove baking soda residue.
  7. If the fridge smells bad even after cleaning, a bleach solution can remove lingering odor. Mix 1 Tablespoon of bleach with a gallon of warm water and wipe down the walls, shelves and drawers a second time. If you’re reluctant to use bleach, lemon juice is one of the best refrigerator cleaning hacks for odor removal. Squeeze half a lemon onto a clean cloth and wipe down the refrigerator’s surfaces.
  8. Do smelly ice cubes suggest that your ice maker needs a cleaning too? Turn off the ice maker and remove the ice bin. Soak it in warm, soapy water or a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar. Wipe down the ice maker with the bleach solution and dry the bin completely before replacing.
  9. Once clean, allow the refrigerator to air out for 30 minutes.
  10.  Restore the refrigerator’s power and replace properly contained items.

refrigerator cleaning tips

Refrigerator Odor Prevention Tips

Once you’ve effectively removed any bad smells, the right use and care is essential to prevent them from returning.

Use these refrigerator odor prevention tips to keep bad smells at bay:

  • Contain food properly: Make sure containers are securely sealed and wrapped.
  • Remove unused items regularly: Check your refrigerator’s contents on a weekly basis and dispose of any unused items before they spoil.
  • Clean spills promptly: Wipe up spills with a damp cloth or sponge as soon as possible.
  • Absorb odors: The best refrigerator odor eliminator is baking soda. Leave an open container in the rear of the refrigerator to absorb odors, replacing it every 30 days. Alternatively, a cup of coffee grounds or rolled up newspaper can also absorb odor effectively.

If your refrigerator stinks even after a good cleaning, it may be time for a professional assessment. When you need a refrigerator repair service, contact Sharper Service Solutions for an expert response!

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