6 Ways to Remove Bad Odors and Keep a Clean Refrigerator

Some odors in the refrigerator can be disposed of quickly, and others require multiple attacks. For example, if the cause of the stench was a sudden power outage, say, while you were on vacation, and the “flavor” managed to impregnate even a sealing gum. Fortunately, the most resistant odors can be eliminated at home with the means in your kitchen cupboard or first aid kit. And for those who do not trust folk methods, we will give clues on the choice of chemical odor absorber.


  • For those in a hurry, we advise you to start reading Step 3.
  • If the smell in the refrigerator is weak and you have already eliminated the cause of its occurrence, the problem will quickly help homemade odor absorber (see Step 6).

How to Remove the Smell From the Fridge

How to Remove the Smell From the Fridge

Step 1. Empty the fridge/freezer

Even if you have identified the source of the smell and got rid of it, you need to empty the entire refrigerator/freezer. Where to put perishable or frozen foods during cleaning? You can take them to the balcony (winter), but the food in a saucepan, and then place it in a basin filled with cold water and ice, or fold the supplies in a three-pack along with ice packs.

  • If the smell in the fridge is due to an unforeseen power outage, do not risk saving food that may have deteriorated during the outage. The fridge and freezer keep the climate safe for about 4 hours after the outage (closed).
  • If your refrigerator has a no-frost system, you don’t need to defrost it. Otherwise, the refrigerator is worth defrosting. How to do it as quickly as possible read here.

Step 2: My all shelves and drawers

Remove the shelves, containers, bottle bottles, and other removable items, then wash them in the sink/bathroom in hot soapy water or water solution and half a cup of soda (on the sink). If the shelves and drawers are smelling heavy, wash them with a disinfectant solution of 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach and 4 liters of water. You can also use recipes from Step 3. Finally, rinse the removable items with clean water and leave them to dry.

  • Removable boxes and trays can be washed in the dishwasher.

Step 3. My camera

How to remove the smell from the refrigerator/freezer? Choose one of these tools.

Method 1. Vinegar 9% table or wine (for strong and persistent smells)

Mix 9% vinegar with water in a 1:1 proportion and wipe with the resulting solution.


A vinegar solution can not wipe the sealing gum – from this, it can dry and lose its elasticity.

Method 2. Soda (to remove light odors)

This method is good to apply if you want and pollution removed, and at the same time get rid of the weak odor. Make a solution of 1 cup of baking soda and 4 liters of water. Wipe the camera with a sponge soaked in a solution. To remove the contaminants, dip the wet sponge directly into the soda and wipe the stains with it.

Method 3. Lemon and citric acid (for strong odors)

Spread a bag of citric acid in 4-5 liters of water or add the juice of one lemon to the pelvis. To remove strong smells, the camera can be rubbed with half a lemon.


  • The easiest way to spray the cleaner is from the sprayer;
  • Do not use rigid abrasives to avoid damaging the enamel on the walls of the chamber;
  • Use an old toothbrush to wash the sealing rubber. To wash the area under the seal, lift it with a table knife wrapped in a cloth. Be careful not to damage the rubber.

Method 4. A special remedy for the removal of hard-to-remove unpleasant odors

removal of hard-to-remove unpleasant odors

For example, it can be SmellOFF (Smeloff) for the kitchen or solve sensitive problems (price from 650 rubles). There are others, but in our opinion, less effective liquidators of smells brands OXY, Flat, Sumo, etc. It is important that the product was non-toxic and as neutral as possible.

  • To carry out cleaning by special liquidators of smells should strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 5. Rinse the drain hole

This stage is unnecessary but desirable if you want to get rid of the smell and thoroughly wash the refrigerator.

  • If you can’t identify the source of the bad smell, it is necessary to wash the drain hole. It can stagnate musty water or form mold.

Most often, the drain hole is located in the center of the back wall of the refrigeration chamber. If you can’t find it, check out your fridge’s manual. To rinse the hole, clean it first with a wooden skewer, and then pour into it the cleaning solution you have chosen through the enema or with a funnel.

Step 6. We ventilate and dry the camera

This stage will require your patience. You need to turn off the refrigerator for best results and leave the door open for at least one day. If the bad smell is still there, wipe the camera walls again with a soda solution or other means from the list above and turn on the refrigerator the next day.

Step 7. Put on the shelf a natural odor absorber for prevention

Once the inside of your fridge is clean, fold all the food back. Then, to remove the smell of the cleaning agent itself (such as vinegar) and prevent a recurrence of the problem, place on one or two shelves one of the following scent absorbers to choose from:

  1. Activated charcoal. Tablets or coal pellets can be poured into a small saucer or wrapped in a gauze bag.
  • Activated charcoal can be purchased not only in the pharmacy but also in the pet store. There it is sold in granular form in 400-1000 grams (price from 120 rubles).
  • The activated charcoal can be updated by warming it up in the oven at 180 C degrees for 20 minutes.
  1. The soda. For the daily deodorization of the refrigerator, soda can be poured into a small cup or a glass. But if you want to bring out the already appeared smell, it is best to spread the soda with an even layer on a baking tray, a small tray, or dish.
  1. Slice of black (rye) bread. A favorite way of our grandmothers that really works even with strong smells. For greater efficiency, the bread slice can be cut into pieces and spread out in all corners of the camera.
  2. A cup of oatmeal.
  3. A cup of ground coffee. The smell of coffee will quickly disappear, and the ground grains will begin to absorb other smells.
  1. A cup of rice.
  2. Raw potatoes.
  3. A gauze bag of sugar.
  4. A quarter of a lemon or an orange.

In addition to natural smell absorbers, you can use special ones. Here’s a quick overview of the main types.

Type of odor absorberPrinciple of action
gelThe gel in the form of pellets quickly absorbs odors due to the active substances – citric acid, algae, or coal. 1 package is designed for 1-2 months of use.
Balls with silicon pelletsOne ball is designed for more than six months of use. It’s quite effective.
Egg with charcoalCompact and cute egg eliminates the smell at the expense of coal.
Suspended dispenserIn the cartridge of such dispenser is coal (only in the package of 2 cartridges). One cartridge is designed for 1-3 months.
ionizerIt not only cleans the air in the refrigerator but also kills harmful bacteria, prolonging the shelf life of products and preventing the appearance of mold.


If the smell in your fridge is not too strong, a single sink may be enough to get rid of it without defrosting or washing the camera. Sometimes, it is enough to hold the sink one day to remove the odor, but it often takes several days.

And a little bit about prevention.

  • Store food in containers. Many products smell strong enough to soak into the surface of the refrigerator chamber. Therefore, from the cut onion to the remains of dinner, every product should be covered with a lid, foil, or film or stored in a container.
  • Audit the refrigerator at least once every three days. So you can eliminate the spoiled products in time.
  • If you leave for a long time (more than a week or two), empty the refrigerator and freezer, turn off the appliance and disconnect from the power, wash the chambers, then slightly open the door. If you leave the door closed, the cell will form mold and a bad smell because of the high humidity and insulation.
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