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How to Get Rid of Funky Refrigerator Smells?

Refrigerator Smells

If you ask which household appliances are the most needed, then the refrigerator will surely lead the list. You can do without an oven, a dishwasher, even a washing machine, though it is difficult, but a city dweller cannot do without a refrigerator. Since it is an essential appliance, it is better to keep it clear and working.

There is something you can’t avoid – a funky smell. Where do funky refrigerator smells come from? The root of an unpleasant smell is poor care. It must be fought mercilessly; otherwise, all the products in the fridge will be stunk out with mustiness. But first, let’s figure out where this smell comes from.

  • If there is a new fridge, it might stink like plastic or rubber. Before plugging into the network, be sure to wash it with a damp cloth soaked in a solution of ammonia or lemon juice. Start using it when the refrigerator is completely dry. The same trouble can be with an old refrigerator when it has not been turned on for a long time.
  • If everything is in order with the appliances, then you will not have funky refrigerator smells. And here, it all depends on how clean your appliance is. Of course, spoiled products can give off unpleasant odors. They must be thrown away immediately. Any remaining piece of sausage or sour milk will in no way ozonize the chamber of your refrigerator.
  • Poor ventilation in the chamber, incorrectly set temperature are another reasons for an unpleasant odor to appear.

So, before you start fighting the stinky fridge, you need to find out and eliminate the cause.

How to Deal With Fridge Odors?

There are many ways to deal with this problem, and we will talk about some of them here:

  • Disconnect from the mains and take out all the products.
  • Set the temperature regulator to 0.
  • Along the way, we make an audit of products. We immediately get rid of stale ones.
  • To speed up the defrosting process of the refrigerator, you can spray the ice from a spray bottle with hot water or put a container filled with hot water.
  • Take out shelves, grates, pallets, all removable containers. Wash them in soapy water. Don’t forget the side racks.
  • Wash the refrigerator compartment thoroughly.
  • Dry well and ventilate it.

Repeat this procedure once a month for an ordinary refrigerator. In a refrigerator with a No Frost system, once every six months is enough.

How to wash the refrigerator? You can use ordinary laundry soap or using household chemicals. Common household chemicals like Domestos Spray can help, which destroys all types of bacteria – sources of unpleasant odor. Since food is stored in the refrigerator, household cleaning products must be approached carefully.

Home products for dealing with a stinky fridge. It may happen that simple washing is not enough; the smell remains. Well-proven home remedies can then come to the rescue.

VinegarIt removes odors well. Dilute 9% vinegar with water in a 1: 1 ratio.Wipe the surfaces with the solution using a sponge or soft cloth.We pass through the same places with a rag or a sponge with clean water.Wipe dry and leave the refrigerator door open for at least 3 hours.Do not wash the seal on the door with vinegar or other acids. A baking soda solution or tar soap can help. Use an old toothbrush to clean the seal.
SodaBaking soda is good at eliminating unpleasant odors. This is perhaps the safest, easiest, and most effective remedy to remove funky refrigerator smells.Dissolve it in water, two tablespoons per liter.Wipe off all shelves and grate with the resulting solution.Wash the refrigerator compartment.Wash off the remaining soda with clean water.Wipe dry.If your refrigerator can be cleaned with mild abrasives, the baking soda can be used in powder form.
Lemon acidLemon and citric acid effectively break down fat and remove unpleasant odors.Pour boiling water over the lemon, so it will give more juice.To cut it in half.Squeeze the juice of one half into a separate bowl.Dilute the juice with water, about 1 liter.Wipe the inside of the refrigerator with the resulting composition.
Hydrogen peroxideIt is a good agent in the fight against unpleasant odors.Dissolve a teaspoon in 1 liter of clean water.Add some vinegarTreat all walls and accessories with a solution.Ventilate the refrigerator well.

How to Eliminate Unpleasant Smell in a Fridge: Step-by-Step Instruction

Some fridge odors can be removed quickly, while others require more afford to get rid of. For example, if the source of the odor was a power outage that happened while you were on vacation and caused rubber bands in the fridge to take on a stinky smell. Fortunately, even the most disgusting odors can be eliminated at home with the detergents or the products you have in your kitchen. 

Step 1. Empty the refrigerator and freezer. Even if you’ve identified the source of the odor and got rid of it, you still need to empty the entire refrigerator. Where to put perishable or frozen food while cleaning? You can put the food in a saucepan and then place it in a bowl filled with cold water and ice, or put some food in a thermal bag along with ice packs. If the smell has appeared due to an unexpected power outage while being on vacation, do not risk storing that food in the fridge; most likely, it has been spoiled. The refrigerator and freezer maintain a safe climate for about 4 hours after being shut down. If your refrigerator has a no-frost system, you do not need to defrost it. Otherwise, the refrigerator should be defrosted.

Step 2. Wash all shelves and drawers. Take out shelves, containers, bottle holders, and other removable items. Then, wash them in the sink/bathtub, in hot soapy water or a solution, and add half a glass of baking soda (on the shelves) to eliminate the funky refrigerator smells. If the shelves and drawers stink, wash them with a disinfectant solution of 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach dissolved in 4 liters of water. Finally, rinse the removable parts with clean water and leave them to dry. The removable drawers and trays are dishwasher safe.

Step 3. Wash the refrigerator compartment. How to remove the smell of a stinky fridge? Choose one of the best and simplest options.

  • Vinegar 9% (for strong and persistent odors). Mix 9% vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio and wipe with the resulting solution. Do not wipe the sealing gum with vinegar solution; this may cause it to dry out and lose its elasticity.
  • Soda. This method is good to use if you want to remove dirt and, at the same time, get rid of a faint odor. Mix 1 cup of baking soda and 4 liters of water. Wipe the chamber with a sponge soaked in the solution. To remove dirt, dip a damp sponge directly into baking soda and wipe the stains with it.
  • Lemon. Dissolve a sachet of citric acid in 4-5 liters of water, or add the juice of one lemon to the container. You can even wipe the camera with half a lemon to remove strong odors.

Additional tips:

  • The easiest way to spray the cleaner is from a spray bottle;
  • Do not use harsh abrasives, not to damage the enamel on the chamber walls;
  • Use an old toothbrush to clean the sealing gum. To clean the area under the seal, lift it with a cloth-wrapped table knife. Be careful not to damage the rubber.
  • Step 4. We rinse the drain hole. This step is optional but desirable if you want to get rid of the smell and thoroughly wash the refrigerator. If you cannot identify the source of the funky refrigerator smells, then flush the drain hole. Musty water or mold can be formed in it. Most often, the drain hole is located in the center of the back wall of the refrigerator compartment. If you cannot find it, check the instruction manual for your refrigerator. To flush the hole, first, clean it with a wooden skewer and then fill it with your chosen cleaning solution through an enema or a funnel.
  • Step 5. Air and dry. This step will take your patience. For the best result, turn off the refrigerator and leave the door open for at least one day. If the unpleasant odor persists, wipe the chamber’s walls again with baking soda or another solution and turn on the refrigerator the next day.
  • Step 6. Place a natural odor absorber on the shelf to get rid of the stinky fridge. Once the inside of your refrigerator is clean, fold all food back. Then, to remove the smell of the cleaning agent itself and prevent the problem from recurring, place one of the following odor absorbers on a shelf or two of your choice:
  1. Activated carbon. Charcoal tablets or granules can be poured into a small saucer or wrapped in a gauze bag. Activated carbon can be purchased at the pharmacy and the pet store. Used activated carbon can be renewed by heating it in an oven at 180 °C for 20 minutes.
  2. Soda. You can pour the baking soda into a small cup or glass for everyday fridge deodorization. But if you want to remove the smell that has already appeared, it is best to sprinkle the baking soda in an even layer on a baking sheet, small tray, or platter.
  3. A cup of oatmeal.
  4. A cup of ground coffee. The coffee smell will quickly disappear, and the ground beans will begin to absorb other smells.

If the refrigerator smell isn’t too strong, a single absorbent may be enough to remove it without defrosting or washing the chamber. Sometimes, it is enough to hold the absorber for one day to remove the odor, but it takes several days, more often. However, there are cases when it is washed and dried, but the fridge is not working. So, what to do? The only way – contact specialists who repair appliances and can give some advice on how to clean and dry a fridge properly. 

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