How to remove fridge odor in 6 steps

Some fridge odors can be removed quickly, while others require multiple attacks. For example, if the cause of the stench was a sudden power outage, say, while you were on vacation, and the “scent” had time to soak even the sealing gum. Fortunately, even the most stubborn odors can be eliminated at home with the tools that you have in your kitchen cabinet or medicine cabinet. And for those who do not trust folk methods, we will give tips on choosing a chemical odor absorber.


  • For those in a hurry, we advise you to start reading right away. Step number 3.
  • If the smell in the refrigerator is weak, and you have already eliminated the cause of its occurrence, a homemade odor absorber will help you quickly solve the problem (see. Step number 6).

Step 1. Empty the refrigerator / freezer

Even if you’ve identified the source of the odor and got rid of it, you still need to empty the entire refrigerator / freezer. Where to put perishable or frozen food during cleaning? You can take them out to the balcony (in winter), put the food in a saucepan, and then place it in a basin filled with cold water and ice, or put the supplies in a thermal bag along with ice bags.

Cleaning the refrigerator - step 1

  • If the refrigerator smells due to an unexpected power outage, do not risk saving food that may have deteriorated during the downtime. Refrigerator and freezer maintain a safe climate for about 4 hours after shutdown (closed).
  • If your the refrigerator has a no frost system, then you do not need to defrost it. Otherwise, the refrigerator should be defrosted. How to do it as quickly as possible read here.

Step 2: wash all shelves and drawers

Remove shelves, containers, bottle holders, and other removable items, then wash them in a sink / bathtub in hot soapy water or a solution of water and half a glass of baking soda (on the sink). If the shelves and drawers smell bad, wash them with a disinfectant solution of 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach and 4 liters of water. You can also use the recipes from Step 3. Finally, rinse the removable parts with clean water and leave to dry..

  • Removable drawers and trays, dishwasher safe.

Soaking the removable parts of the refrigerator in the tub

Step 3. My camera

How to remove the smell from the refrigerator / freezer compartment? Choose one of these remedies.

Method 1. Vinegar 9% table or wine (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..

Method 2. Soda (to remove light odors)

This method is good to use if you want to remove dirt and at the same time get rid of a faint smell. Make a solution of 1 cup baking soda and 4 liters of water. Wipe the chamber with a sponge soaked in solution. To remove dirt, dip a damp sponge directly into baking soda and wipe off stains.

Method 3. Lemon and citric acid (for strong odors)

Dissolve a sachet of citric acid in 4-5 liters of water or add the juice of one lemon to the basin. To remove strong odors, the camera can even be wiped with half a lemon..


  • The easiest way to spray the cleaner is from a spray bottle;
  • Do not use harsh abrasives in order not to damage the enamel on the walls of the chamber;
  • Use an old toothbrush to clean the sealing gum. To clean the area under the seal, lift it up with a cloth-wrapped table knife. Be careful not to damage the rubber.

Cleaning the refrigerator

Method 4. A special product for removing stubborn unpleasant odors

For example, it can be SmellOFF for the kitchen or for solving delicate problems (price from 650 rubles). There are others, but in our opinion, less effective liquidators of odors of the brands OXY, Flat, Sumo, etc. It is important that the product is non-toxic and as neutral as possible.

  • It is necessary to carry out cleaning with special odor eliminators strictly following the manufacturer’s instructions..

Step 4. Flush the drain hole

This step is optional, but desirable if you want to not only get rid of the smell, but also thoroughly wash the refrigerator..

  • If you cannot identify the source of the unpleasant odor, then it is imperative to rinse the drain hole. Musty water or mold can form 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 the cleaning solution of your choice through an enema or using a funnel..

see also

  • How to clean your fridge in 7 steps and eliminate odors with 8 home remedies
  • How to get rid of mold in the refrigerator

Step 5. Ventilate and dry the camera

This step will take your patience. For best results, turn off the refrigerator and leave the door open for at least one day. If the unpleasant odor still persists, wipe the walls of the chamber again with soda solution or another solution from the list above and turn on the refrigerator the next day..

Step 6. We put a natural odor absorber on the shelf for prevention

Once the inside of your refrigerator is clean, fold all food back. Then, to remove the smell of the cleaning agent itself (such as vinegar) 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 not only at the pharmacy, but also at the pet store. There it is sold in granular form in packages of 400-1000 grams (price from 120 rubles.).
  • Used activated carbon can be renewed by heating it in an oven at 180 ° C for 20 minutes.
  1. Soda. For everyday fridge deodorization, you can pour the baking soda into a small cup or glass. 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 dish..

Baking soda

  1. A slice of black (rye) bread. Our grandmothers’ favorite way that really works even with strong smells. For greater efficiency, the bread slice can be cut into pieces and placed in all corners of the chamber..
  2. A cup of oatmeal.


  1. A cup of ground coffee. The coffee smell will quickly disappear and the ground beans will begin to absorb other smells..

Removing coffee odor

  1. A bowl of rice.
  2. Raw potato.
  3. Gauze bag with sugar.
  4. Lemon or orange quarter.


In addition to natural odor absorbers, you can also use special ones. Here’s a quick overview of the main types..

Odor absorber type Operating principle Price
Gel The gel in the form of granules quickly absorbs odors due to the active ingredients – citric acid, algae or coal. 1 pack is designed for 1-2 months of use. From 200 rubles per package.
Balls with silicogen granules One ball is designed for more than six months of use. Effective enough. From 380 rub.
Charcoal egg The compact and pretty egg removes odor from the charcoal. The term of use is 1-3 months. 50 rbl.
Hanging dispenser The cartridge of such a dispenser contains charcoal (there are 2 cartridges in the package). One cartridge lasts 1-3 months. 50-300 rubles.
Ionizer It not only cleans the air in the refrigerator, but also kills harmful bacteria, extending the shelf life of food and preventing mold.. From 2000 rubles.


If the odor in your refrigerator is not too strong, one absorber may be enough to get rid of it without defrosting or washing the chamber. Sometimes it is enough to hold the absorber for one day to remove the odor, but more often it takes several days..

And a little about prevention

  • Store food in containers. Many foods smell strong enough to be absorbed into the surfaces of the refrigerator compartment. Therefore, each product, from chopped onions to the leftover dinner, must be covered with a lid, foil or film, or stored in a container..
  • Check the refrigerator at least once every three days. This way you can eliminate spoiled food in time..
  • If you are leaving for a long time (more than a week or two), empty the refrigerator and freezer, turn off the appliance and disconnect from the power supply, wash the chambers, then slightly open the door. If the door is left closed, mold and unpleasant odors will form in the chamber due to high humidity and insulation..