Refrigerator Fan Blowing a Bad Smell?

July 24, 2008

Woman standing in front of open refrigerator door holding her noseI have a Kitchen Aid fridge (side by side) and the fan below is blowing a funky smell. In addition to that I don't know how to empty the drip pan. No one in the house seems to smell this except for me and I about ready to move out.


Debora from Mpls


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July 24, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

First unplug the refrigerator. There is a small grill in the front of your refrigerator and you'll will find it along the bottom. Open the grill and look for the drip pan, remove and clean it out.

Also while you are at it, remove the cover at the back of the unit and give it a good vacuuming. By keeping your refrigerator dust-free your motor won't burn out.

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By wwgrammy (Guest Post)
July 24, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Had that happen once. It ended up being a dead baby mouse by the fan in back of fridge. I was the first to notice until 2 days later then all the family noticed the horrid odor!

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May 16, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had an odor problem on new Kitchenaid refrigerator with icemaker, french door and freezer on bottom. We took off back panel in back near bottom to expose drip pan. There was a solid black film that covered the entire pan. Do not know how it got there. It was dried when we looked, but obviously at one time it was a liquid. It smelled rancid when we looked closer and that must have been the smell when it was liquid and the fan moved the odor around.


We just wiped up with soap and water and little disinfectant. We could not pull out the pan as bolted in from above. Has been several weeks and no problems since. Not sure if was something from manufacture or I spilled something and it dripped down.

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July 24, 20080 found this helpful

Use care when cleaning behind & under this fridge & make sure your family listens to your warning as it could be a toxic mold (wear a mask & gloves)... Also, legionnaire disease can grow in wet conditions such as these... I'm sorry that I can't tell you how to clean the drip pan... But obviously it needs to be done...


It could also be an animal (such as a mouse) that could have crawled under or behind tour fridge & died. This happened to us one time. If you only need to clean the coils in the back I've heard you can use a shop-vac...

Wish I could be of more help,

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August 18, 20160 found this helpful

The drain pan and the rubber tubing leading to the pan was full of stinky nasty condinsation water; I removed and cleaned which seems to resolve my issue. Poor Design!

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May 9, 20170 found this helpful

Is that under warranty to fix the fan

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June 8, 20190 found this helpful

I have this same exact problem. The smelly air from under the fridge, the brown stuff in the drip pan, the bolted in drip pan... we have the same story. I'm about to attempt to clean mine now. Thanks for posting. I thought I was alone!!

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October 30, 20190 found this helpful

I see the grill in front of the refrigerator at the bottom but I can't get it off now what and yes the fan is blowing out and odor after all this time I could not figure out where that old was coming from until tonight I have a ice maker in the refrigerator is it affected by the smell is my ice affected

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