Finding Source of Smell in Kitchen?

The odor we have in our kitchen seems to smell like old lettuce. We have cleaned the fridge, inside and outside and find nothing to indicate anything. We have cleaned everything else and can not find the source. I have set bowls of vinegar around the kitchen and baking soda in the fridge and they do not help. There is no standing water anywhere. Help! Every time the refrigerator is opened the smell is stronger. Thank you in advance. New refrigerator?


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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
July 7, 20160 found this helpful

We had this problem when we rented a house with a newish refrigerator. Just opening the fridge door made us gag on the rotten meat smell! The landlady had to replace the fridge but only after we tried what seemed like dozens of ideas to remove the odor. We finally learned that there is something called a biofilm that can adhere to the fridge walls and is VERY difficult to remove. There are many types of biofilm-the plaque that forms on your teeth every day is a biofilm that makes the toothpaste and toothbrush manufacturers very rich.


We learned that there is no easy or cheap way to remove the stuff in the refrigerator. Right now, much money and experimentation is ongoing to find a way to remove these films as they can form on just about anything with a biologic base-especially difficult in the food industry and medical field. To date, there has been little success.

Unfortunately,you may need a new refrigerator!

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July 13, 20160 found this helpful

If its not a plumbing (sewer gas) issue, and you've had your plumber check, then it coud be either a vent on the roof is clogged or you have a dead rat, mouse, or other dead animal in your crawlspace, attic, or walls. They are hard to find, but the smell, which would be worse in the summer, and less noticeable in the late fall and winter, should eventually dissapate.


No, I'm not a professional. But I live out in the country, and I'm giving an answer based on experience.

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July 30, 20160 found this helpful

I had a similar situation cleaned fridge to no avail.
However after frustration pulled fridge out again and found when the compressor kicked in and fan came on the odour was strong.
There is a tray under the compressor and condenser to catch condensation. older fridges this tray was removable from the front. the newer one it is impossible to remove. was definitely the source. cleaned best I could reach with stiff wire and paper towel to dry up then with disinfecting wipes. Set small cups of baking soda around the tray and now the odour is gone.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
September 9, 20160 found this helpful

I was going to suggest small containers of baking soda set about the house. I am really freaky about odors and I have used baking soda for years and it works with every stinky problem I have had.

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September 10, 20161 found this helpful

You may want to try pullin off the vent cover on the front side of refrigerator at the floor and pulling out the drip pan and seeing if their is something in the drip pan rotting.

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

We had this problem once in the school where I worked. The fridge seal had broken down. You have an option to change the seal or change the fridge.

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November 1, 20160 found this helpful

I moved into a new appartment it did not have any oder or smells of any sort now it smells bad don't no what the smell is been in my neighborhoods. Appartment and they don't smell I want this Snell gone baking soda did not work house spray is just temporary help desperate

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August 2, 20170 found this helpful

take a look under your refrigerator for a tray that collects water/condensation. It should slide out. I had one years ago and the tray was filled with the juices of things that went bad and trickled down into the tray; formed sort of a gel.


Stunk like bad mung beans; just awful.

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August 21, 20170 found this helpful

Is your smell gone? Do you have a drainage pan under frig?that can get really smelly?

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