Ah, what can I say about my refrigerator? Well, for one, I can tell you that it has its moments. While it’s usually pretty neat and tidy and fresh, it does have a tendency to get a little out of hand and scary.
Needless to say, I’ve had my fair share of practice and experience in battling a smelly fridge. I’d love to say that it never gets smelly anymore, but that would be an outright lie.
So, what’s the best way to battle bad fridge odors? Here are the method that I use…
1. Give a smelly fridge a thorough cleaning.
The first step in battling a smelly fridge is to give it a thorough cleaning. Remove everything from your refrigerator. During this step, you may want to turn off your refrigerator – just don’t forget to turn it back on when you’re done! Throw out any old or expired food, including leftovers that are more than a couple of days old.
Use a natural cleanser, like diluted vinegar in a spray bottle to clean the surfaces of the fridge. For particularly dirty refrigerators, you may want to use a stronger ammonia-based cleaner. Stuck on food and sticky spots can be soaked with water and scoured away with a thick baking soda paste. Removable shelves and drawers can be washed thoroughly in the sink with detergent and water.
2. Use a deodorizer in your smelly fridge.
There are a number of different deodorizers that you can use to conquer refrigerator odors. The most common and well known is probably baking soda. Instead of just tossing an open box of baking soda into your smelly fridge and hoping for the best, though, pour it onto a baking sheet and place the sheet on the bottom shelf. Increasing the surface area of the baking soda will make absorb smells better and faster.
There are other refrigerators deodorizers you can use as well. If baking soda just isn’t working for you – or you simply don’t have any on hand, you can try these other remedies for a smelly fridge…
- Used coffee grounds (Dried)
- Use tea bags (Dried)
- Orange peels
- Lemon peels
- Charcoal briquettes
- Dried oatmeal
- Cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract
3. Take preventive measures.
A good offense is a best defense, prevention is the best medicine, and all that other jazz. After you have your smelly fridge all cleaned out and refreshed, now is the time to start thinking about preventing those smells in the first place.
Take these steps to prevent a messy and smelly fridge…
- Label and date leftovers, so you’ll be more likely to either use them or toss them when they get old.
- Line the shelves of your refrigerator with cheap contact paper, saran wrap, or Press and Seal to make them easier to clean.
- Make a habit of taking a few minutes each day or week to clean out your refrigerator. I usually clean mine on garbage night and on shopping days.
- Do a deep clean once each month.
- Use plastic baskets to corral fridge clutter, like salad dressings, leftover containers, and condiments. These can easily be pulled out, so you can see everything you have in your refrigerator, and they’re easy to clean.