How to Fix a Smelly Refrigerator

Opening your fridge and getting hit with a nasty smell isn't great and while digging through your fridge to find the source of the smell can be unpleasant, it’s highly important to remove the source before the smell has time to spread through the entirety of your fridge, including the mechanical components, which can make it nearly impossible to permanently remove the smell.

Luckily, removing the smell is pretty easy and preventing future smells is even easier! Here are our best short- and long-term solutions to preventing smells in your refrigerator:

Short Term Solutions

The first and most common solution to removing refrigerator odors is baking soda. Simply pour some baking soda into a small container and place it in your fridge uncovered. A small bowl will work, but the more surface area the baking soda has, the better it'll absorb odors. We recommend spreading it out on a small plate. If you don't have any baking soda, you can use fresh coffee grounds instead. They're pretty good at absorbing smells and will give your fridge a hint of that delicious coffee aroma.

Long Term Solutions

Baking soda or coffee grounds are easy ways to absorb bad smells, but they won't fix the source of the smell. Maybe it's food that's gone bad or maybe your fridge hasn't been cleaned in a while. If smelly leftovers are making your fridge smell funky, toss them. If all the food in your fridge is fine but there's still a weird smell, it's probably time for a deep clean!

Remove the shelves and bins, scrubbing them down in soapy water. If you want to go the extra mile you can also scrub them down with a baking soda and water mixture, or a water and bleach mixture, making sure to rinse them well afterward. Do the same with the interior surfaces of the fridge, and then reinstall the shelves and bins once they're dry.

If your fridge still smells after cleaning, something may be awry in your freezer. Air gets circulated between the fridge and the freezer so a bad smell could be shared. Check your freezer and make sure it's working right and isn’t too warm. If it's not working properly, you'll want to toss out anything spoiled and fix your freezer ASAP.

Once you've given it a good cleaning the offending smell should be history, but how can we make sure it doesn't make a comeback? The baking soda or coffee grounds is a great start, but you'll also want to make sure all your containers are sealed properly. This way if something spoils, the smell won't invade your fridge. It'll also help eliminate the spills and messes that can begin to smell weird over time.

You should also check your fridge door seal to make sure it's not worn out, cracked, or broken. If it is, warm air is getting into your fridge which can make your food spoil faster. Replacing it with a new one will help your food last longer and keep your fridge running efficiently.

Shop Manufacturer-Approved Replacement Door Seals >

Wrap up

We hope that this article helped you remove the smell from your fridge! To help prevent further smells, you should always be cleaning inside surfaces with a damp cloth and drying it thoroughly with a soft towel.

If during your inspection you find any issues with your trays, drawers, or other parts, don’t worry! Did you know that also sells a wide selection of Manufacturer-Approved replacement parts?

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