How to Clean a Fridge That Smells Bad

Clean a Fridge That Smells Bad

How to Clean a Fridge That Smells Bad

Regular cleaning of your refrigerator is important for maintaining the quality and safety of the food stored inside. However, even with regular cleaning, bad smells can still develop in your fridge. This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean a fridge that smells bad.

Why cleaning your fridge regularly is important

Cleaning your fridge regularly not only helps to eliminate bad smells but also prevents the growth of bacteria and other harmful organisms. It also helps to keep your food fresh and safe to eat, which can save you money in the long run by reducing waste.

Bad smells such as fridge smells like dead animal in the fridge can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is spoiled food, which can release unpleasant odors as it decomposes. Other causes include spills and stains, which can harbor bacteria and lead to bad smells, and the accumulation of moisture, which can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Preparing to Clean Your Fridge

Before you start cleaning your fridge, there are a few things you need to do to prepare:

Gather necessary cleaning supplies

To clean your fridge, you will need a few basic cleaning supplies, including a bucket, sponge or cloth, dish soap, and hot water. You may also want to have some baking soda and vinegar to deal with bad smells.

Empty the contents of your fridge

Remove all of the food and other items from your fridge, and place them in a cooler or another location where they can stay cold while you clean. This will make it easier to clean the inside of your fridge and also gives you the opportunity to check for any spoiled or expired items that may be contributing to bad smells.

Unplug your fridge

For safety reasons, it’s important to unplug your fridge before you start cleaning. This will also help to prevent any accidental spills or leaks from causing damage to the electrical components of your fridge.

Cleaning the Inside of Your Fridge

Now that you have prepared your fridge for cleaning, it’s time to start cleaning the inside:

Removing tough stains and spills

For tough stains and spills, mix a solution of hot water and dish soap in a bucket, and use a sponge or cloth to scrub the affected area. For stubborn stains, you may need to let the solution sit for a few minutes before scrubbing again.

Cleaning the shelves and drawers

Remove the shelves and drawers from your fridge, and wash them in the sink with hot, soapy water. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly and allow them to dry completely before returning them to the fridge.

Cleaning the walls and door of the fridge

Using a clean sponge or cloth, wash the walls and door of your fridge with hot, soapy water. Be sure to pay special attention to any areas where spills or stains have occurred. Rinse the sponge or cloth frequently to ensure that you are not just spreading around dirt and bacteria.

Cleaning the fridge’s condenser coils

The condenser coils on the back or bottom of your fridge can collect dust and dirt, which can reduce the efficiency of your fridge and cause bad smells. Use a vacuum cleaner or a brush to remove any dirt or debris from the coils, being careful not to damage them in the process.

Cleaning the fridge’s interior fan

The interior fan of your fridge can also collect dust and dirt, which can lead to bad smells. Use a soft-bristled brush or a cloth to gently clean the fan blades and housing.

Dealing with Bad Odors

If bad smells persist even after cleaning your fridge, there are several natural odor absorbers you can use to help eliminate them:

  • Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal is a highly porous substance that can absorb odors and other impurities. Place a small container of activated charcoal in your fridge to help eliminate bad smells.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda is another effective odor absorber. Place an open box of baking soda in your fridge, or create a solution of baking soda and water to wipe down the interior of your fridge.
  • Coffee grounds: Used coffee grounds can be used as a natural deodorizer. Place a small container of coffee grounds in your fridge to help eliminate bad smells.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can help to eliminate bad smells. Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle, and use it to clean the interior of your fridge.

Using commercial odor eliminators

If natural odor absorbers don’t do the trick, there are several commercial odor eliminators you can try. Look for products that are specifically designed for use in refrigerators, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Reorganizing Your Fridge

Once you have cleaned and deodorized your fridge, it’s important to reorganize it to prevent future bad smells. Here are some tips:

Maximizing space and organization

Organize your fridge by keeping similar items together and grouping items by expiration date. Use containers and storage bins to keep items organized and to maximize space.

Proper food storage to prevent future bad smells

Proper food storage is key to preventing bad smells in your fridge. Keep raw meat and fish in sealed containers on the bottom shelf to prevent cross-contamination. Store fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawer, and keep dairy products and eggs on the top shelf.

Maintaining a clean and organized fridge

Regularly cleaning your fridge and maintaining an organized system for storing food will help to prevent bad smells from returning. Make it a habit to clean out your fridge once a month, and do a quick check for any expired or spoiled items on a weekly basis.


Regular cleaning of your fridge is important for maintaining the quality and safety of the food stored inside. If bad smells do develop, there are several natural and commercial options for eliminating them. By following these tips and maintaining an organized system for storing food, you can keep your fridge smelling fresh and clean.

Bonus: How to Clean Your Bathroom Sink Drain: Tips and Tricks

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