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How to remove bad smells from refrigerator with lemon & other eco-friendly odour removers

6 minute read |

If you opened your fridge now and took a good whiff, what would it smell like? If it smells good, you’re all good. If your fridge smells strange but there is no rotten food, then it could be time to do a thorough clean.

Odours could be a sign of spoilage or spillage that can attract bacteria, which could then affect your food. So, what causes the refrigerator to stink?

3 reasons why your fridge smells

In brief, a smelly fridge can be caused by multiple factors: from rotten food, strong-smelling foods such as durians and jackfruits, to the odour of various foods mixed together. Moreover, if you don’t give you fridge a proper and frequent cleanup, the bad smell will get worse over time.

Let’s look at the causes of a smelly fridge in more details:

1. Refrigerator smells come from either bacteria or mold, often from food spoilage or moisture buildup. The interior of the refrigerator is primarily made of plastic, and plastic absorbs odours. If the refrigerator is not regularly cleaned, it is most likely the reason why it smells.

2. Many people forget the drip pan when it comes to cleaning the refrigerator. The pan sits under the fridge, catching moisture from the condensate line that may cause mould and unpleasant smell in the long run. That makes you fridge smell even though there is no rotten food.

3. Some refrigerators have an air filter that purifies the circulating air and a water filter for the water dispenser or ice maker. Both of these need to be cleaned once every six months.

In today’s post, Electrolux Arabia shares some tips on how to get rid of smell in fridge with eco-friendly fridge odour remover.

How to get rid of smell in refrigerator with 9 eco-friendly odour removers

1. Lemon

The combination of lemon, baking soda, and salt makes a great quick fix for a smelly fridge as it removes unpleasant odours faster while adding a fresh scent to your refrigerator.

This is a simple instruction on how to get rid of smell in fridge with lemon, baking soda, and salt:

  • Slice a lemon into a 2 – 3 cm thick pieces
  • Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of baking soda and table salt onto the lemon slices
  • Place the lemons onto a shallow, uncovered plate
  • Keep the plate in your refrigerator for up to 6 days. Lemons usually take a couple hours before you notice the smell in your fridge is getting fresher.


2. Used tea bag

Do you know that tea bag can be put in your refrigerator for better smell? This is how to get rid of refrigerator odour with tea:

  • Fill some used tea bags in an open container or a small bowl and put it inside your refrigerator.
  • The tea leaves will absorb bad odours and leave your fridge with a fresh aroma.
  • Make sure to replace the tea bags every 3 – 4 days for optimal odour control.

3. Baking soda

Baking soda has been known for years as an effective natural fridge odour absorber. Place baking soda inside an open container and let it unstink your fridge for 24 hours.

With a few drops of essential oils, you have something that not only help to get rid of bad odours but also make your fridge smell good at the same time.

4. Ground coffee

Coffee bean is known as one of the most popular refrigerator odour absorbers. Not only effective in deodourizing fridge smell in general, ground coffee is also a to-go ingredient to get rid of rotten meat smell.

Follow this simple instruction on how to get rid of rotten food smell in refrigerator with ground coffee:

  • Put freshly ground coffee evenly on a plate and keep it in your refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • After 1 day stay in the fridge, it can be re-cycled to become fertilizer for your home plants. Simply mix it with soil and you are good to go.

If possible, give your fridge a deep cleaning to completely remove smell and germs which might have accumulated due to the rotten meat.

5. Oatmeal

Not only being used as a natural refrigerator odour remover, oats also come in handy for house cleaning in general as they can effectively absorb odours, oil, and liquid. All you have to do is put some uncooked oats in an uncovered container and leave it inside your fridge.

6. Vanilla extract

Moisten one or two cotton balls with a few drops of vanilla extract. Place the dampened cotton balls into a shallow dish and put the whole thing in the back of your refrigerator.

7. Vinegar

Add some vinegar to a small paper towel and place in a small bowl or open container. Leave it inside your fridge for at least 24 hours to obtain the desired effect. Make sure to replace the towel every few days or each time it dries out.

8. Potatoes

Potatoes work perfectly as an odour absorber like oatmeal. Peel a potato, cut it into small pieces and keep it in your fridge. Change every few days for maximum odour control effect.

9. Charcoal

The charcoal you could use to deodourize your refrigerator is the same type you use for BBQ parties. Simply put two cups of charcoal cubes in an uncovered container and place it in the back of the refrigerator.

Make sure to let your kids know about these deodourizers otherwise they will very likely mistake these with chocolate treats.

4 extra tips on how to avoid bad smell from fridge

1. Regularly do a refrigerator audit

It’s best to have a deep clean every three to four months. Discard expired condiments, wilted greens or leftovers beyond repair, and wipe containers with exposed food residue.

Clean all surfaces and easily slide out all adjustable shelves and bins of the UltimateTaste 900 with FlexStor. After giving them a good wash with soapy water, slide them back in and customise the space according to your needs.

2. First in, first out

To maintain a clean refrigerator, keep older or easily perishable items at the front and within reach, while store those that can last longer elsewhere. This way, it will be easier to finish food before they expire.

4 extra tips on how to avoid bad smell from fridge

Following an organized layout is easier when you have the UltimateTaste 900 with Multidoor flexibility, which provides you enough storage space for everything. 

4 extra tips on how to avoid bad smell from fridge

3. Slow spoilage

Generally, fruits and vegetables have to be stored in a humid environment to keep them fresh, crisp and bursting with flavour for longer. But too much humidity and they could rot, too little and they could wilt.

TasteLockAuto crispers of the UltimateTaste 900 control humidity levels with a membrane that automatically releases excess moisture to reduce condensation and stop early spoilage.

>>> Read more: How to keep green leafy vegetables fresh in fridge

4. Track temperatures

As a general rule, stick to 4°C below to slow down bacteria growth. However, best refrigerator temperatures for food to keep their freshness and flavour might vary, like meat at -2°C or some fruits at 7°C.

To store them in the most ideal setting, use the TasteSealFlex compartment of the UltimateTaste 900. It has five presets from -23°C to 7°C so it can easily adapt to any temperature you need.

  • TasteSealFlex ideal storage with 5 temperatures.
  • TasteLockAuto keeps vegetables fresh for 7 days*.
  • TwinTech cooling help preserves taste and texture.

A fresh-smelling fridge means food tastes better and lasts longer. The UltimateTaste 900 Refrigerator makes it easier for you to keep it clean. Learn more about other refrigerators from Electrolux Arabia.

FAQs about how to remove bad smell from refrigerator

  • Question 1: How to remove foul smell from refrigerator?

    To deal with foul smell, it’s a must to give your fridge a deep clean. First, unplug and empty your fridge. Then, fill in a spray bottle with warm water and vinegar or baking soda. Use this food-safe resolution to clean your fridge inside out. Lastly, follow these 4 tips to make your fridge smell good for longer.

  • Question 2: What are the most popular refrigerator deodourizers?

    Here are the 5 most popular refrigerator deodourizers which you can find in most kitchens:

    • Lemon
    • Used tea bag
    • Baking soda
    • Coffee ground
    • Vinegar
  • Question 3: Why does the fridge freezer stink?

    The primary cause of bad smells in the freezer is bacteria, which can still thrive when food is frozen if the temperature is over 0°F. Spills and open food containers give microbes the perfect opening to do their damage.

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