I recently leased a house that included the refrigerator. The fridge has a very bad odor of spoiled meat and I have tried all the cleaners, baking soda, etc., I can find, but no luck. It is really vile.
By Dinah from Antioch, CA
Get several oranges, cut them open into halves or quarters, and leave them inside the fridge, with the door open, if possible. It may take a few treatments, so just get new oranges when the old ones dry up, until the smell is gone.
We've saved nearly-ruined refrigerators this way. (02/26/2010)
There is a show from UK called How Clean is Your House, which deals with really grungy houses, and tips for handling any problem. I love it.
One house had a refrigerator which had formed a biofilm which is not fixable. I would swab your fridge with a Q-tip and put in plastic bag, take it to a lab, and present proof to landlord your fridge is not remediable, and ask for a new one. Probably cost you $50 dollars or so. (02/26/2010)
I had a similar problem and I put trays of cat litter on all the shelves and left it for a few days and the smell went.
Try baking soda and lemon juice. Wash it down and let it sit overnight. Then the next day rinse with pure white vinegar.
Good luck and let us know how it all works out for you. (02/28/2010)
We bought a house, only to find the previous owner had left food in the refrigerator and unplugged it. The house sat for almost a year before it was sold. It was unbelievably filthy and had mold growing everywhere. We did not have the means to buy a new one. A good friend told me (after thoroughly cleaning it with diluted bleach) to take a bag of charcoal and spread it on a broiler pan in the middle of the refrigerator and leave it there for several days. It did work and we used that refrigerator for several years before we were able to buy a new one. No smell left in the insulation of the refrigerator that was unreachable. (03/01/2010)
As a former property manager, I can tell you that often, juice from rotting food can seep into the insulation between the plastic and the outer shell of the fridge.
All the above ideas are great, and I would try them first. However, if you can't get any relief, you may have to unscrew the inner lining and locate the insulation involved. If that happens, you can get some advice from a local appliance store or look on line. The insulation can be replaced, and you should be able to go on from there. Just remember to keep the tiny screws in a safe place. Good luck. (03/01/2010)
Try coffee grounds. (03/02/2010)
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