My Refrigerator Smells…How Do I Fix It?

My Refrigerator SmellsBread, cookies and bacon.

The smells and odors coming from your kitchen should be pleasant and comforting.

Rotten meat, stale garlic and fish.

If your refrigerator smells like any of the less than pleasant smelling foods above, you can bake all the cookies you want but your kitchen is still going to emit a rotten odor.  And when it comes to rotten refrigerator odor, there’s only so much one can take.

What’s ironic is that sometimes, the healthier food you cook, the more unpleasant smells can emit.  Food like broccoli, cauliflower and the aforementioned fish are staples of a healthy plate, but can generate such strong and unpleasant smells that you may find yourself retreating back into a world filled with nothing but cookies and bacon.  (Or bacon-wrapped cookies, but that’s a topic for another post.)

If your refrigerator smells, fortunately, it’s fairly easy to determine why.  Most times, in fact, it simply involves leftovers that have been allowed to go bad or food that has found a way to leak through its packaging.

All Natural Disinfectant Spray RecipeOnce you determine the type of and source of the smell, the next step is to arm yourself with the right refrigerator odor clean-up and removal products, some of which may be purchased and some of which can be made at home with all-natural ingredients.  A recipe for a fool-proof, all natural refrigerator odor eliminator and kitchen deodorizer can be found below or in the image to the left:

  • 1 cup water
  • 20 drops lavender
  • 20 drops thyme or eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops tea tree oil

Mix all the ingredients above into a spray bottle, empty all the contents out of your refrigerator, and give it a thorough spray and wipe down – hitting every corner and beneath every drawer.  When restocking your refrigerator, it goes without saying, throw away anything that looks as though it may have turned.

Gonzo Refrigerator Odor EliminatorIf refrigerator smells persist, baking soda or Gonzo odor eliminator (proudly offered by FridgeFilters.com) can act like a hungry magnet that attracts and swallows odors whole.

Following the steps above once per week, or once every other week, can help ensure fridge food odors rarely become an issue.

If your refrigerator odor is not food related, there are some other potential issues you may be experiencing.  The first, of course, is a malfunctioning part or leak.  If the smell resembles ozone, smoke or burning – our recommendation is to call a local service provider as soon as possible.

If your refrigerator is emitting a rotten egg smell, you may be due for a water filter change, especially if you use well water, commonly chock full of iron and sulfur.  If your refrigerator water dispenser is emitting an eggy smell, a filter change – along with a quick clean-up of the dispenser and tray with a lemon / vinegar solution – should do the trick.

On the other hand, if your refrigerator water smells metallic or similar to chlorine, you are likely experiencing the same issue as described above, just swap out ‘well water’ for ‘city water.’  The same steps for eliminating the smell are recommended.

What other refrigerator smells have you done battle with, and more importantly, how did you beat them? We encourage you to share your stories via a comment below.

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Mike Yanke

Mike Yanke

Mike Yanke is the lead content developer for the FridgeFilters.com blog. A Certified Water Specialist, recognized by the Water Quality Association since 2014, Mike shares tips, insight and advice that help ensure his readers enjoy the cleanest tasting, highest quality drinking water possible.

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