Add to GuideAsk a Question

Removing Odors from a Refrigerator

Category Appliances
Determining the source is the first step in removing odors from your refrigerator. This is a guide about removing odors from a refrigerator.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

August 10, 20111 found this helpful

There's nothing worse than opening your refrigerator and smelling spoiled food. Even after the food is removed sometimes the smell still remains. This is a guide about removing spoiled food odors from your refrigerator.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? 1

August 23, 20160 found this helpful

Occasionally after retuning home from a This is a guide about cleaning odors from a travel trailer refrigerator. Occasionally after returning home from a camping trip you may forget to clean out the fridge in your travel trailer or to at least air it out.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes

August 17, 20160 found this helpful

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

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 7, 2009

My Frigidaire is approximately 3 years old and I have the most horrible smell inside the fridge. It actually smells like a dead carcass. I looked underneath in the drip pan and it looks like sludge. I cannot get the pan out. I poured bleach in there but the smell is still there. Any suggestions?


By jennifer from Ogden, UT


April 8, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Well, you've GOT to get the drip pan out somehow. Maybe a neighbor husband or somebody could help. Until you get that empty and clean it's going to continue to smell.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2010

How do you remove odors from a refrigerator?

By roger


September 16, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had a fish smell in my fridge and used crumpled up newspapers all through it. I changed it a few times until it went away. But I did wash my fridge first. Also try baking soda, I just devote one box for my freezer and one for the fridge. I just keep changing the box out for a fresh one when I clean the fridge. Or activated charcoal, which I've never bought but have heard that it's the kind of charcoal used for fish tank filters. I got the newspaper hint from this site.


Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 14, 20100 found this helpful

How do I get rid of a rotten odor in fridge?

By bennie smith from Livonia, MI


Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Baking soda works great. I add a box to my fridge and it seems to absorb odors overnight. Also, I would clean the fridge with some vinegar. That helps too. (07/23/2009)

By Keene

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Try putting some charcoal briquettes in the fridge, they will absorb the odor. (07/23/2009)


Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Wrap some ground coffee in half a stocking foot and secure with an elastic band and pop into the refrigerator. Works a treat! (07/24/2009)

By Ginger Beer

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Baking soda! This works. Arm and Hammer makes a great product, but you could probably use generic in any sort of open container.



By Greenie

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

I have had very good luck using vanilla. Just wet a dish towel with water and wring out excess. Then pour vanilla straight from the bottle onto the rag until it is wet (but not dripping). Wipe the inside of the fridge with the rag. When done, reapply vanilla water to rag and leave in the fridge overnight. This was the way Rubbermaid suggested to get odors out of an ice chest. (07/27/2009)

By Donna

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Make sure the odor is not from the catch basin/overflow under the fridge, or the bottom under the veggie drawers. Fooled me once! (07/29/2009)

By Laura Justice

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

July 22, 20090 found this helpful

We came home to an electrical problem. The refrigerator is full of bad food. What can I use to get rid of the foul smell? I have tried straight bleach and it still smells. Thanks.


Mary from Hat Island, WA


Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

The same thing happened to our freezer a few months ago. I tried bleach, Baking soda, etc. Nothing worked. The smell was awful. The only way we got rid of the smell was to take it apart (unplug appliance first) and clean under the lid and side walls, which is a very hard job to do, but it worked. (10/01/2008)

By patricia sudduth

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

This happened to me also. Kitty litter works great. I opened a bag and set in inside after cleaning it out. Odor gone. Hope it works the same for you. (10/01/2008)

By Sandy

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Try washing it out with lemon juice. (10/01/2008)


Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

When Hurricane Ike came charging through Houston. We lost some chicken that was hidden behind some less smelly things. I washed the fridge and freezer with bleach water. That didn't work so I sprayed it a couple of times, both fridge and freezer, with Febreze. We were without power for a few days after that so before the power came back on the Febreze "flavor" had dissipated. (10/01/2008)


By Marty Dick

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

This old remedy has worked great for years. Get a box of baking soda and expose the powder to the air, preferably near the fan. It won't take long to have all the odors disappear. (10/01/2008)

By Dave Williamson

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Baking soda is way overrated. Get some fresh oranges, slice them into fourths, and put them inside the fridge, while leaving the doors open. Oranges will absorb odors and cover them, far faster than Baking soda ever will.

And it's far safer than using bleach in the fridge, yikes. (10/02/2008)

By Melanie Jackson

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Don't forget about placing charcoal briquettes (activated charcoal might be better, get it at pet/aquarium supply shop) in the fridge. It's innocuous like Baking soda (meaning it doesn't leave vile odors behind). (10/02/2008)

By susan

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

I used to work next to a refrigerator technician. When a fridge or freezer came in to the shop with bad odors from spoiled food or whatever, this is what they did. They first washed out the fridge and then they crumpled up a lot of newspapers and put them inside. Close the door and leave for several days. The newspaper would absorb the odors. It worked for them. (10/02/2008)

By Beverly Ross

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Try some of the ideas above, but I swear by the small container of water, mix in soda to make a paste and then put into larger bucket with 2 cups of vinegar and wash it down. The paste you made can be spread of the walls of the appliance, and washed off later. I set small containers of soda/vinegar in many places. Make sure they are kid/pet safe areas and careful not to make the volcano mess when putting the ingredients together. (10/02/2008)

By Grandma J

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

Wipe it down with pure vanilla extract. (10/07/2008)

By Ronnie Clemons

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

April 7, 20090 found this helpful

I have a serious problem with a smell in my fridge that has now moved into my freezer as well. It is a side by side type and cannot for the life of me see why it is in both of them.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
In This Guide
Home and Garden Cleaning AppliancesAugust 10, 2016
Pest Control
Summer Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2018 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by ThriftyFun.

Generated 2018/07/17 19:39:45 in 2 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!