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
By Joe B.05/29/2012
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".
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!
By Marvelous Moth (Guest Post)01/06/2008
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!
By SATellite (Guest Post)01/05/2008
Just use plain coffe grounds - place a cupful in the fridge and it will absorb the terrible smell.
By Juanita 01/05/2008
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!
By rosa (Guest Post)01/04/2008
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.
By Anna from Maine (Guest Post)01/04/2008
When I had some dear meat that had thawed in my camper refrigerator because my husband used the extension cord I had connected to the camper and forgot to plug it back in. I took about half a cup of new coffee grounds and put them in a pie tin and placed them in the refrigerator with the door closed (after thoroughly cleaning up the mess) and left it for a few days, NO SMELL.
By Anna from Maine (Guest Post)01/04/2008
When I had some deer meat that had thawed in my camper refrigerator because my husband used the extension cord I had connected to the camper and forgot to plug it back in. I took about half a cup of new coffee grounds and put them in a pie tin and placed them in the refrigerator with the door closed (after thoroughly cleaning up the mess) and left it for a few days, NO SMELL.
By Cyinda 01/04/2008
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.
By karen jones01/04/2008
there is a product called x-o odor neutralizer by don aslett. i have bought it on QVC. it is natural and organic, it is wonderful. i used it for cat urine smell and it got rid of the odor permanently. it can be used in the fridge. good luck, karen jean
By Carolyn C. Cooke 01/04/2008
That must have been some fish! I would suggest vinegar and let the door stay open for a day, but that charcoal idea sounds right. Sure hope you have success with one of these ideas. Cay from FL P.S. Since fresh fish has no smell, better freeze the next one right away if you're not planning to cook it the same night you get it.
By jsham (Guest Post)01/04/2008
If the other things listed don't work try Kitty Litter; the plain clay type. I just bought a 5# bag, punched holes in it with the ice pick (unopened) and put in my freezer when it had spoiled meat in it for a week before I found the power had gone out on it. After a couple of days the freezer smelled fresh enough to refill it. I have passed this info along to several people who all reported back to me that it had worked when nothing else had. Hope this helps.
By Jan (Guest Post)01/04/2008
Hi, I read somewhere that you can crumple up newspaper and fill the refrigerator, close the door overnight and the smell should be gone. I have never tried it, so can't say for sure it it works. Worth a try any how. Good Luck
By Suzetta. (Guest Post)01/04/2008
I've heard that placing a pie tin of used coffee grounds in the frig and leaving it a few days will remove any smells. I haven't tried it myself, but a good friend used it in her RV frig and it worked.
By booklady2228 (Guest Post)01/04/2008
Place 5-6 charcoal brickettes (I know it's winter, but maybe a neighbor has a few left over) on the shelves in the refrigerator for a week or so. We purchased a used camping trailer and the husband only used the refrigerator to keep the fish he caught in it. Needless to say, it didn't smell good. I placed about 1 dozen in the refrigerator and after about a week the odor was gone for good.
By Cecilia (Guest Post)01/03/2008
Try fresh lemons in a bowl, place in the fridge and the odor will go away.
By lorac (Guest Post)01/03/2008
Very simple Just put a bowl of charcoal in the fridge,
In a couple days NO SMELLS at all
just regular charcoal that you would grill with!
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.