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Cleaning Fish Smell From a Refrigerator

Category Odors
The smell of old or rotten fish in your refrigerator is not only unpleasant but also can be a challenge to remove. This is a guide about cleaning fish smell from a refrigerator.


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1 found this helpful
January 2, 2008

I am getting to be a desperate woman. I can't get the fish smell out of my refrigerator. I tried cleaning with baking soda, bleach and water, 409 disinfectant spray - no luck. I've soaked the refrigerator with all of these for 1 hour or more, and no luck.

I've taken the refrigerator apart and have cleaned everywhere. Please - any help would be great.

Thanks and Happy New Year from Smoochie

Answer Was this helpful? 1
January 4, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

When we had a house fire, the Pro's brought in a large "Ozone Machine"... & within 2 days the whole house smelled fresh & new again. You can buy or rent smaller ones, for more information look in your yellow pages under "Fire & Water damage" & ask these guys about where you can rent a small ozone machine. These machines will remove ANY bad smells...

BUT FIRST TRY THIS: try putting several bowls of white vinegar in various places all around your fridge... (you can also use the vinegar to wash down the walls of your fridge) Then the following day, put in a tray of high quality brand new kitty litter.... This will absorb the rest of the odor if there's any left after you've used the vinegar.

You can also use "OUT!" ... it sold at Walmart for only $3.99 & it's made with good bacteria & enzymes to "eat" pet stains & odors.... It works wonders removing smells, plus it leaves a nice Vanilla scent.

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

We had a leaky bag of crab legs in our fridge and we couldn't wash the odor away. It always remained on the plastic edges of the glass shelves. The posts about using vanilla extract caught my eye. Vanilla extract is mostly alcohol.

Wiping the plastic perimeter edging on the shelf in question with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol seems to have cured our problem. I scrubbed all the surfaces and pushed hard into all the edges and corners. Our problem is now solved. I hope it works for you!

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March 18, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Check your baking soda box. I had horrible, lingering fish smell. After cleaning, throwing things out and checking every nook and cranny, my husband came in and sniffed the soda box I taken out. It reeked of fish odor, having effectively done its job. Problem solved. Change your soda box often.

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

USE vanilla, we went crabbing one time in Virginia beach,brought the steamed crabs home in a cooler and the camper fridge .Talk about a rotten smell! I wiped the fridge down with vanilla, and put cotton balls in fridge and laid some around the table, sink ect., of camper, within a few days smell was all gone.

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

There's still something in there causing the smell to linger--perhaps under a false plate @ the bottom of the 'fridge? Years ago I had the same problem with an upright freezer whose breaker had flipped off while we were gone for 2 week vacation--in one of the hottest summers in Oklahoma no less! Like you, I had tried everything & my father-in law suggested a plate or something at the bottom of the freezer where rotten juice had probably leaked. The freezer was in the garage & I started prying on things & sure enough, there was a cover at the bottom of the freezer. It popped off pretty easy. I got the Dawn dish soap & the broom & scrubbed it really well then rinsed it all with a high power spray hose. My DH put the freezer outside the garage then & aimed the open door toward the sun. We left it that way for a few days & when I plugged it back in & it started to freeze, the smell was gone!

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

Just use plain coffe grounds - place a cupful in the fridge and it will absorb the terrible smell.

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January 6, 20080 found this helpful

I see another friendly helper has suggested this, but it really works. Try wiping your fridge out with vanilla and then leaving a container of bi-carb soda in for about a week. Hope this helps!

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May 29, 20120 found this helpful

I've got a small fridge which stinks of rotting fish (I let a friend use it on his boat but in the end he was too mean to pay for the shore-power electricity). It's now been hosed out and left in the sun with the door open but it still attracts flies and slugs.

Next attempt will be a steam cleaner of the wallpaper stripping type as there is still slime in the door seals. When fridges get this bad they really need taking to the dump. As the old saying goes "Friends cost money".

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June 18, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you I will try. Do I need to remove all food

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September 19, 20160 found this helpful

Did you ever find a solution to get rid of the fish smell? I've tried it all, like you have.

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