social

Removing Spoiled Food Odors from Refrigerator

August 17, 2011

Photo of a woman holding her nose in front of her refrigerator.Getting rid of bad odors from the fridge is no joke. Luckily I know of the complete way to do it. I have tried cleaners, odor control products, and, like everyone, have opened a box of Arm and Hammer. Some work a little, while some not at all. After many quests at attempting to solve this problem I finally can assuredly say I've "got it down".

Advertisement

Clear out everything, throw away any left overs, wash any containers that hold odor (mainly plastic), all fruit, opened packages will and have absorbed the odor you want to get rid of. I feel that if it isn't in a glass container, it likely to have absorbed the odor.

After the fridge is cleared you clean, start by wiping anything that may have dripped, spilled or spattered under drawers, in egg slots, crisper. If these things can be pulled out, you should do that, leaving you with as free area as possible to work in. The racks, drawers, and crisper needs to be cleaned also. Doing them separate works much faster, and gets everything cleaned. They can soak if you have room, if not take a spray bottle of apple cider vinegar and wipe these things down. Let them remain wet (this eats through bad odors) and set aside.

Do the same solution on inside of the unit, and let stand for several minutes. Go back and completely wipe entire appliance down. Same with everything you pulled out; wipe it, rinse and dry.

Advertisement

Next you want to take baking soda if extremely bad (rotten things or has set closed not being used). Use a entire box, if not a 1/2 box, per bucket of water is fine. Wipe as before this neutralizes the smell of the vinegar as well as absorbs any odors left.

By now, you should be noticing a huge difference in the smell of refrigerator. Put it back together, wipe entire unit down once its back in place, shelves, etc. As well as baking soda (depending on what's made the smell), I like putting coal in the back. You will be surprised how effective this is. Make sure you replace both from time to time.

When I discovered this, it was a serious problem. I had been at the hospital, with fish rotting for several days. If yours is that bad, there is one last secret I used; make a box of unflavored gelatin. Make according to instructions, put in middle of refrigerator opened, yes opened. It will NOT be eaten but absorb any lingering odor. You can do this from time to time for regular cleaning. The gelatin picks up any little odor in the closed space as it's setting.

Advertisement

One last freebie; you can take gelatin afterwards (do NOT eat) and put in bucket, using warm water it will melt. Use it to give your outside plants, trees or garden a boost of energy. It's great for plant food. Why waste it the plants won't mind at all it smells.

This should do it. If it got rid of a week's worth of "fishy" yuck from mine, it will work on anything! Get all of the things together. The rags you first use should be ones you can just throw out. Do it in this order, and it really will be spic an span leaving you feeling great. Being able to keep the fridge will make losing the food a little easier to swallow.

.

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

Comment Was this helpful? 16
Read More Comments

23 More Solutions

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

August 10, 2011

One of the best ways to deal with odors in your refrigerator is to prevent them from happening. Here are a few tips to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh:

baking soda in fridge

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

August 10, 2011

There are many reasons that your refrigerator may smell. It is important to locate the source so that you can get rid of the odor.

Advertisement

Here are some tips for investigating the cause of your refrigerator odor:

Comment Was this helpful? 1
Read More...

August 10, 2011

So you have cleaned your refrigerator and removed any spoiled food and there is still an odor. Here are some solutions to removing persistent odors:

Comment Was this helpful? 1
Read More...

March 2, 2004

Free your refrigerator from odors by placing a folded section of your newspaper on a shelf for five minutes. The newspaper absorbs all the odors and doesn't cost anything.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

August 16, 2011

I always keep a fresh box of opened baking soda in my refrigerator. I try to remember to change it out every two months. If I get a sudden odor from a bag of cut-up onion or something like that, I put a slice of bread on each shelf in the refrigerator.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

Questions

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.

January 7, 2011

There is an awful smell coming from my refrigerator! I've cleaned the food out; scrubbed it out with bleach and even put some coffee grounds inside the frig to absorb the odor. Nothing works! I don't think the model has a drip pan as I don't see it under the frig. Anyone have any ideas as to what else I can do?

By melissa

Answers

January 7, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Take the fridge out and look underneath it, there may be a dead mouse in the motor. They love the warmth of stoves & fridges. Same goes for beds too!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 167 Feedbacks
January 8, 20112 found this helpful
Best Answer

After you find the source of the odor, get some oranges, slice them up, and put them in the fridge. Oranges will eliminate the odor of almost anything. I just used some today, in fact.

Advertisement

Always have oranges on hand, because you never know when you'll burn something while cooking, etc., and need a really good air freshener.

Reply Was this helpful? 2
January 8, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

This happened to me too. I absolutely couldn't find the source of the smell. But I noticed the smell began when my boyfriend went to visit his sister for a couple weeks. Apparently, I open the fridge a lot less than he does, and because the fridge door wasn't constantly being opened, whatever slight food odors there were just stayed in the fridge. When he returned home, the odors went away because he was back to the bad habit of standing at the fridge with the door open (and giving the fridge a chance to exchange fresh air).

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 8, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

After you clean out the fridge, fill a cup with baking soda and leave it in the fridge. the smell will go away. you can leave the cup there permanently, just ensure it doesn't touch any other food items.

Advertisement

best to put it on the bottom most shelf at the back so it wont spill on anything else. i have been doing this for over a year now, and it works.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

May 6, 2011

The freezer was turned off and we were away for 5 weeks. We came back to a freezer full of rotting pungent food. Please help! What can I do to get rid of the smell? Please!

By Maggie

Answer this Question

November 9, 2010

I just came home from vacation to find the refrigerator breaker had tripped. Two refrigerators are completely thawed. How do I get rid of the odor in them?

By marie maines from Fort Worth, TX

Answers

January 26, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

First you should wash the whole inside down with a strong baking soda and water solution. I would make sure to rinse the cloth or sponge separately. Then put a bowl of white vinegar in your freezer and fridge. Leave at least overnight. This works well on kitchen odors, pet odors, and closed up smells. We had this problem this past year after several hurricanes in Florida. Hope this helps.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 6, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I've heard that crumpled up newspaper and charcoal briquets put in the refrigerator absorb odors. Arm & Hammer baking soda works too. I had to clean a refrigerator in a rental recently that had a lot of spoiled food left in it (the electricity had been disconnected). I used bleach to wipe down the inside, and then left the doors open for a few days to help remove the odor. I don't know what to do with the linoleum floor, though. Perhaps vinegar will help. Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 65 Requests
June 15, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I got this from this site. Crumple up lots of newspaper and stuff your refrigerator completely. Change it every day until the smell goes away. This worked for me when I had fish juice spillover. It didn't take long to work, even though I didn't have black and white newspaper to work with. I used the colored advertising newspaper and it worked for me. I can't remember if I used it in my freezer too, though. Sorry.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 126 Feedbacks
November 12, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Make a semi thick paste of baking soda and vinegar. Mix it in a large bowl, as it will foam. Make it just thick enough that it will cling to a dish cloth. Ring it out just enough that it doesn't drip a lot. Wipe down the entire refrigerator including the racks and drawers. Sprinkle more baking soda on all flat surfaces. Close the door and let set over night if possible. Rinse and dry. I hope this works for you. You may have to repeat the process.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

August 1, 2013

I run a commercial kitchen that caters to people in large quantities. Recently I had stopped visiting the kitchen for around 2-3 weeks, since the kitchen is not operational currently. At that time I had approx. 20kgs of beef in 1 chest freezer (100Ltrs) and another 20Kgs of fish in another chest freezer (100Ltrs).

Someone had accidentally switched the main power off so electricity was cut off to the freezers during these 2 weeks. I returned to my kitchen a few days back to find this horrible stench that literally smelled like death. At one time I almost puked. The meat and fish was so badly decomposed that 90% of it had turned into purple water. It was a huge task just getting rid of the decomposed liquid and remaining meat. Now most of the smell has gone from my kitchen after thoroughly wiping the fridges and floor with bleach one time. I returned after 2 days to check up on the kitchen, but there was still a 10-20% smell. How do I get rid of it?

By Manav

Answer this Question

June 23, 2012

How do I eliminate a smelly odor in my frig?

By Rosie

Answer this Question

May 21, 2013

We just acquired a camper that had been abandoned for the last two years. My husband opened the fridge/freezer and found that there was meat that had been left in there. The smell was horrific. We have tried bleach, Pinesol, and soap and water. Nothing seems to help at all. I don't know where else to turn nor what else to try please can you help?

By Yvette H.

Answer this Question

September 26, 2009

I put a bowl of sauerkraut in my fridge and didn't put a tight lid on it. Now my refrigerator and freezer smell like sauerkraut. What can I do to get rid of this smell? It's a side by side refrigerator/freezer. Thank-you.

By Sherry Lee Wendel from Purvis, MS

Answers

September 27, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Put in a bowl of vinegar (sounds like it would hurt more, but it helps) and an open container of baking soda. Change the vinegar the next day. After a day or two it should take out the smell. They both absorb odors.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

December 16, 2012

I found a very moldy grapefruit in the drawer of the fridge. I noticed an odd odor and it was affecting the taste of food (butter, bread, tea, etc.). I also smell it in the freezer (side by side). Do I need to throw out all the food and clean to remove the odor/taste?

By Stacey from Douglasville, GA

Answer this Question
Load More
In This Page
Categories
Home and Garden Cleaning OdorsAugust 10, 2011
Pages
More
🎄
Christmas Ideas!
🎉
New Years Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Instagram
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2021-12-03 11:25:49 in 6 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2021 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
https://www.thriftyfun.com/tf906559.tip.html