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Smelly Fridge

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Household Management > Smelly Fridge



Took everything out, washed it, it still smells

Jan 2005

REcently I noticed a sourish/stale smell in my fridge.''Time for a cleaning'' I said. So last weekend I took EVERYTHING out, threw away lots of stuff, took all the shelves and drawers out and washed everything with soap and water....washed the walls inside, the rim of the door. NOthing left untouched. Put it all back, even bought new baking soda deodorizer. It still smells, but not as much. As soon as I open the fridge, I get a mild whiff. Any ideas? anyone have this problemb before? I really don't want to take it all apart and do it again, maybe with bleach or wash with baking soda, but maybe that'll be the only answer. Your input will be appreciated. smelly fridge mom


You didn't mention the age of your fridge, but if it is older try this. In older fridges, there is a drip pan that collects condensation. Typically it evaporates, but sometimes the water collects and as it sits under the fridge, it begins to get stale and smell. To reach the drip pan, you need to pop the grill off the bottom of the fridge and you should see and be able to slide the pan out to wash it. I had to do this a couple of times growing up. Again, it needs to be an older fridge with a grill below the bottom door. bmk
You say you cleaned the refrigerator thoroughly. I'm just checking to make sure you also cleaned out the freezer. Funky smells definitely migrate from freezer to fridge. You might also try a couple of cut lemons. I wouldn't use bleach in your refrigerator---if you have to wash it a second time use vinegar. Vinegar has good disinfectant properties. Sally
you also might want to get a thermometer for the fridge and freezer, to make sure both are working properly. When mine gave off a strong odor, I checked the drip pan, washed the entire applicance (including sealer strips) with vinegared water, and dusted the coils, and swept and washed the floor beneath. I also put a half lemon, a dish of baking soda and an open container of charcoal in both. None of it worked. Turned out that the entire appliancewas cycling on and off, freezing, then thawing, then freezing again, causing the unit to smell. In my case, it was the fridge's last whimper. I wish I had used the thermometer sooner. it would have saved me from eating meat that had turned. nancy
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