Refrigerators and freezers are two of the most important pieces of equipment in the kitchen for keeping food safe. We are instantly reminded of their importance when the power goes off, flooding occurs, or the unit fails, causing food to become unsafe and spoil, this can generate an unpleasant smell that permeates our refrigerators. Perhaps this has been your case on more than one occasion, and perhaps you have discarded those damaged foods to eliminate these odors without success.
If this is your case, pay attention to the tips we will tell you today, they will help you take care of your fridge by effectively eliminating all those annoying smells that have been there for so long.
Nowadays our refrigerators are made mostly of plastic, and plastic is a material that absorbs odors and is easily impregnated, therefore the problem is not going to be solved simply by removing the food leftovers, or by cleaning superficially, we need a thorough solution that deodorizes the whole of our refrigerator. For this, we bring you the following effective cleaning and deodorization methods that help but may have to be repeated several times.
- Baking Soda: place an open box of baking soda in your fridge (some suggest sprinkling baking soda on a plate to increase the surface area). Baking soda will soak up the bad odors and leave your fridge smelling clean after about three days, you can also mix 1 cup baking soda to a gallon of water and use it to wipe down the inside of the fridge.
- Ground Coffee: place 1 cup ground coffee in a bowl or on a plate and leave it in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours. The coffee will mask the odors while it absorbs them.
- Vanilla: place a cotton swab soaked with vanilla inside the refrigerator and freezer. Close the door for 24 hours to eliminate smells
- Warm Water and Detergent: remove shelves, crispers, and ice trays. Wash them thoroughly with warm water and dish soap. Then rinse with a sanitizing solution (1 tablespoon unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water).
- Warm Water and Baking Soda: wash the interior of the refrigerator and freezer, including the door and gasket, with warm water and baking soda. Rinse with water and liquid chlorine bleach as shown before.
- Vinegar: wipe inside of the unit with equal parts of vinegar and water. Vinegar provides acid which destroys mildew and will leave your refrigerator completely deodorized. Just remember that vinegar can be used only in plastic or glass parts, using vinegar to clean the metal parts of your refrigerator can rust it.
- Air circulation: empty your refrigerator and leave the door open for about 15 minutes to allow free air circulation. If odors remain, leave the door open and air out for several days.
- Specialized Products: if the odor remains and you have tried all the options above you can decide to use a commercial product available at hardware and housewares stores and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Some refrigerators have pans that collect condensation produced by the unit while it cools. These pans need to be emptied from time to time and cleaned, or they will smell awful and may even overflow. To do this, first of all, you need to find out if your fridge has a drip pan. Take a look at the maintenance part of your owner’s manual to find out. If you don’t have the manual anymore, many are online. Just search the brand and model number for your fridge. Then if you find your fridge does have a drip pan, unplug your fridge, take out all of the food and follow the manual’s instructions for removing the pan. Then, clean it with warm water and dish soap and reinstall it.