Opening the refrigerator door and smelling an unpleasant odor is far from enjoyable. We will now explain how to eliminate unpleasant odors in your home and prevent them from permeating the food stored in the refrigerator.
Why does an unpleasant odor occur in the refrigerator?
There can be various reasons for this. You may encounter a bad smell in the refrigerator for the first time immediately after purchasing it. If that’s not the case, let’s explore the most common causes of the off-putting odor, which can be related to the overall functioning of the refrigerator as well as the specific items stored inside.
- Spoiled food: Even seemingly fresh dishes and ingredients can turn out to be spoiled upon closer inspection, and vegetables often start rotting from the inside.
- Spilled dairy products: Just a few drops of milk or yogurt accidentally spilled on a shelf can become a source of unpleasant odor after a few days.
- Items with strong initial odors: Dishes prepared with a large amount of onion, garlic, spicy sauces, or even boiled eggs can all contribute to an unappetizing smell in the refrigerator.
- Clogged drain hole: If you haven’t cleaned it for a long time, mold may start to develop there, or accumulated tiny food particles may have fermented. The drain hole can be cleaned using a cosmetic cotton swab or by applying water pressure (a regular syringe with water is sufficient).
- Dirty rubber seal: Crumbs and droplets from cooked dishes tend to fall there as well, which can lead to the presence of a foreign odor.
- Ventilation issues: If the ventilation system is not functioning properly, the refrigerator compartment may become excessively hot and humid, resulting in the growth of mold and its characteristic odor on the internal surfaces.
How to remove odor from the refrigerator: five effective tips
1. Empty and clean the refrigerator:
Start by removing all the food items from the refrigerator. Discard any spoiled or expired items. Next, take out the removable shelves, drawers, and trays and wash them with warm soapy water. Wipe down the interior walls, door seals, and surfaces using a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. This will help eliminate any lingering odors and bacteria.
2. Use activated charcoal or baking soda:
Place a small bowl or container filled with activated charcoal or baking soda in the refrigerator. These substances are excellent at absorbing odors. Leave it inside the refrigerator for a couple of days to absorb the unwanted smells. Remember to replace the charcoal or baking soda regularly for optimal effectiveness.
3. Utilize odor-absorbing materials:
Consider using odor-absorbing materials such as coffee grounds, citrus peels, or white vinegar. Place them in open containers or tie them in cheesecloth bundles and put them in different areas of the refrigerator. These natural remedies can help neutralize and freshen the air inside.
4. Keep items properly sealed:
Ensure that all food items are properly sealed to prevent odors from spreading. Use airtight containers or resealable bags for leftovers, fruits, vegetables, and any other items prone to emitting strong odors. This will help contain the smells and maintain a fresher environment within the refrigerator.
5. Regularly clean and maintain the refrigerator:
Make it a habit to clean your refrigerator regularly. Wipe up spills immediately and regularly check for any expired or spoiled food items. Keep an eye on the cleanliness of the drain hole, rubber seals, and ventilation system. Proper maintenance will prevent the buildup of odors and maintain a fresh-smelling refrigerator
By following these tips, you can effectively eliminate odors and maintain a pleasant-smelling refrigerator.
Dealing with a tough case: removing the smell of spoiled raw foods
When it comes to spoiled raw meat, fish, or poultry in the refrigerator, it has sparked numerous discussions online, as it is indeed very challenging to get rid of the specific odor. While some might consider purchasing a new refrigerator, others are willing to try any method available. Perhaps one of these methods will prove effective in your case, and we genuinely hope to help you avoid such situations in the future.
To eliminate the odor of spoiled meat or fish, follow these steps:
- Unplug the refrigerator and defrost it using the usual method.
- Dispose of absolutely everything that may emit an unpleasant smell.
- Thoroughly clean the walls and shelves, paying special attention to the seals.
- Crumple newspaper or use regular paper towels to absorb some of the odors.
- Repeat the previous two steps if the desired result is not achieved.
- Consider using a specialized refrigerator cleaner or try the recommendations below.
Additional methods to try include:
- Place a bowl filled with activated charcoal or baking soda inside the refrigerator. Leave it there for a few days to absorb the odors.
- Use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to wipe down the interior surfaces of the refrigerator.
- Place a few drops of vanilla extract or lemon juice on a cotton ball and leave it inside the refrigerator for a few hours.
- Create a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water (1:1 ratio) and wipe down the interior surfaces.
- Place an open container with coffee grounds inside the refrigerator to help neutralize the odor.
Remember to ventilate the refrigerator by keeping the doors open for a while after performing these methods. It may take some time and repeated efforts, but with patience and persistence, you can successfully remove the smell of spoiled raw foods from your refrigerator.
How to prevent the occurrence of unpleasant odors in the refrigerator
- Most importantly, at the first signs of an unpleasant odor, immediately locate the source and eliminate it. The plastic components of the refrigerator itself and containers made from it are prone to absorbing foreign odors.
- Perform a regular inspection every few days (or preferably once a week): remove any products that have started to decay, emit unpleasant smells, or show signs of mold.
- Do not overcrowd the refrigerator, keeping it filled no more than 80% of its capacity. This allows for better control of the expiration dates of the products.
- Avoid placing hot dishes directly in the refrigerator, as they can cause condensation on the walls, creating an ideal environment for mold and mildew to grow.
- Follow the recommended storage periods provided by the manufacturer for food items. For homemade dishes, adhere to the following guidelines: a salad with mayonnaise can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours, soup for up to 48 hours, and side dishes, meat, and fish for up to 72 hours.
- Temperature control: Set the refrigerator temperature to the recommended level (usually between 35-38°F or 1-3°C) to keep food fresh and prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause odors. Avoid opening the refrigerator door frequently and for extended periods, as this can affect the internal temperature.
- As a preventive measure used odor-absorbing agents: Place odor-absorbing agents such as baking soda, activated charcoal, or commercially available refrigerator deodorizers inside the refrigerator. These substances help absorb and neutralize odors, keeping the air inside fresh. Replace or refresh these agents regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
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