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How to Get Rid of Smells in Your Refrigerator

A messy fridge can result in nasty smells – find out how to remove bad odors, and keep your refrigerator clean and hygienic in this how-to guide.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

how to get rid of smells in your refrigerator

The experts say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but a smelly fridge is enough to instantly make us lose our appetite. No one wants their cheese to smell like eggs – or their eggs to smell like cheese. So if you’re tired of opening the fridge and being hit by those lingering smells of the dinner you cooked two nights ago, you may be wondering how to get rid of smells from the refrigerator. We’ve got some great tips to help you get that fridge clean, hygienic, and smelling great.

An all-purpose product like Cif can remove any nasty bacteria that’s lingering inside your fridge. Never use bleach to clean the inside of the refrigerator, as it could contaminate your food – stick to products that you know are safe to use.

How to Get Rid of Refrigerator Smells

If you’re dreaming about a clean-smelling fridge and want to know how to get rid of refrigerator smells, here are three simple steps that will have your fridge smelling fresh in no time:

 Step 1: Clean Your Refrigerator

Cleaning your refrigerator is simpler than you may think. Start by emptying your fridge of foods – it’s much easier to get started when you’re not having to work around packs of vegetables. Then remove any shelves or drawers from the fridge – these can easily be cleaned with warm water and a good dishwashing soap. For the inside of the fridge, use Cif to give all surfaces a thorough clean to remove any sources of bad smells - learn how to use disinfectants safely

  • Step 2: Use a Powerful Fridge Odor Eliminator

Even if you’ve given your refrigerator a good clean, you might notice that some strong smells are still lingering. These smells can affect other foods – you don’t want your milk tasting like garlic, do you? That would make for a rather tangy cup of coffee. To get rid of these intense odors, place a small bowl of baking soda inside your fridge. It might sound strange, but baking soda is very absorbent, and it can help to ‘soak up’ any lingering smells in the fridge

how to get rid of smells in your refrigerator
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  • Step 3: Regular Cleaning

Getting rid of smells in the refrigerator is one thing, but keeping those smells gone for good is another. The good news is that it’s quite easy to do, especially when you keep on top of things. Try to dedicate a few minutes every week to rifling through your fridge and removing any foods that are out of date. These are usually the main sources of bad smells, as rotting foods can give off nasty odours than can contaminate other products. If it’s bad, throw it out.

Now that you know how to get rid of bad smells in the refrigerator, it’s time to think about how you can reduce those bad odors in the future. A good habit to get into is wrapping foods up tightly before putting them in the fridge, or storing them in airtight containers to stop the smells getting out - for more tips on how to clean kitchen appliances

With these easy tips, there’s no need to worry about being hit with an overpowering stench of onion whenever you open your refrigerator door. You’ll simply have a clean fridge – no fuss.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on fridge odors

Why is it important to keep eggs away from strong odors?

It’s important to keep your egg away from strong odors as the shell is extremely porous which means that an egg has the ability to easily absorb the strong odors of items around it. If you are keeping eggs in confined spaces you should aim to store them in their carton and away from any strong smells like cheese and other scents.

My fridge smells but I have no rotten food - what does this mean?

If your fridge smells but no rotten food can be found, it’s likely that the cause is bacteria lurking in areas of moisture in your fridge. From outside humidity to spilt food or even fridge condensation, there are a number of reasons you could have moisture in your fridge. The best course of action is to ensure that you fully clean your fridge and remove any residual liquid that may have pooled at the bottom of your fridge.

What do I do if my freezer smells like rotten eggs?

If your freezer smells like rotten eggs there are a couple of steps that you need to take. If you have time, the best way to remove bad odors from your freezer is to defrost and disinfect it fully from top to bottom. If you don’t have time, an alternative is to use a natural odor eater. Two of our top choices are baking soda and coffee grounds. Simply fill a small bowl with your preferred one and pop it inside your fridge.

Originally published