How to Clean a Smelly Fridge – Simple Hacks that Work!

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A clean and fresh-smelling fridge is a must in every home, but we all know that sometimes our fridges can get a little stinky. Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered with some easy hacks that will help you banish those unpleasant odours and keep your refrigerator smelling as good as new. In this blog post, I’m sharing some fantastic tips and tricks on how to clean a smelly fridge, including my favourite “newspaper hack”. Let’s get started!

When we were setting up our Little Lake House vacation rental, we installed some used appliances to save money. They’re beautiful appliances, but they needed a lot cleaning – especially the fridge! The refrigerator had an unpleasant odour inside, but I was able to get rid of it completely with a few of these simple hacks. Now it looks and smells as good as new, and we’ve been able to keep it that way! Here’s how to clean a smelly fridge…. even if it’s as bad as this one was!

See how a dated honey oak kitchen was transformed into a coastal modern farmhouse kitchen with an eat-in layout, white shaker cabinets and white oak accents.

Empty the Fridge and Declutter

Before you start tackling the odors, the first step is to empty your fridge. Take out all the items, check for expired food, and declutter. This not only helps you get rid of the source of the smell but also makes cleaning easier. You can sanitize the end of your vacuum, and use that to suck up any dust or debris. Don’t forget your freezer – freezers can get smelly too!

Clean Thoroughly

Use a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar or a mild dish soap to clean the interior of your fridge. Wipe down all the shelves, drawers, and walls. Pay special attention to spills, stains, and any food residue. This step is essential to eliminate any lingering odor-causing bacteria.

Take out any drawers and bins, and lift off any glass trays that can come out. You can wash these in the sink with hot soapy water and let them air dry. Use a small brush to scrub any nooks and crannies that tend to collect liquids or foods that can mold.

You can sanitize your fridge with a bleach solution, just make sure to rinse the fridge afterwards with warm water and a microfiber cloth. To make a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach per gallon of room temperature water.

Dry the interior of your refrigerator with a clean towel and remove as much moisture as possible before restocking.

Replace the water filter if needed, and don’t forget to clean out the ice maker if you have one.

The Baking Soda Trick

Place an open box of baking soda on one of the shelves in your fridge. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that helps absorb odors. Remember to replace it every three months to keep your fridge smelling fresh.

The Citrus Zest Solution

Citrus fruits, like lemons or oranges, are excellent natural deodorizers. Cut one in half and leave it in your fridge. The citrusy aroma will help mask any unpleasant odours. You can also place a dish of lemon juice on a shelf to help with odours.

The Newspaper Hack

This trick is one of my favourites, and it works like a charm! Crumple up several sheets of newspaper and place them in the closed fridge. The newspaper will absorb odors effectively. Leave it in there for a few days, and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your fridge’s smell.

Charcoal for Odor Elimination

Activated charcoal is another fantastic natural odor absorber. You can find small, breathable bags of activated charcoal designed for use in the fridge right here on Amazon. These can last for months, and you can recharge them by placing them in direct sunlight for a few hours.

Coffee Grounds or Coffee Beans in a Bowl

Place ground coffee or whole coffee beans in a small dish in your fridge. The neutralizing properties of the coffee will help make your fridge smell fresh. Alternatively, you can soak cotton balls in some vanilla extract and place those in a bowl in your fridge.

Regularly Check for Spoiled Food

The key to maintaining a fresh-smelling fridge is to regularly check for and remove any spoiled or expired food items. A quick routine check can prevent odor problems in the future.

Keep Food Covered

Finally, ensure that all food items are properly covered or sealed to prevent their odors from spreading in the fridge. Use airtight containers or resealable bags to maintain freshness. Don’t forget to do a weekly audit of your fridge contents, and toss any leftovers that haven’t been eaten. Those can cause a foul scent, too!

Let me know if you try any of these smelly fridge cleaning hacks and how they work for you. Happy cleaning!

One Comment

  1. White vinegar is not just an excellent natural cleaning agent for the interior of your fridge; its versatility extends to kitchen plumbing maintenance as well. Its acidic nature helps dissolve mineral deposits and grease build-up in pipes, making it a handy, eco-friendly solution for keeping your kitchen plumbing in good condition.

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