A fridge is an essential item in many homes as it helps preserve food, and the freezer section keeps the food fresh. One way to stop a fridge from smelling when turned off is to put a bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, and it will help absorb any bad smells.
However, when the power goes off for an extended period, it becomes a problem as the food might go bad, forcing you to get rid of most of the perishable stuff such as vegetables and milk.
Also, when you store things in the fridge past their expiration date, they are bound to go rancid, leaving your fridge with a foul smell.
Another way to stop a fridge from smelling is to put a slice of lemon in a water bowl and place it in the refrigerator.
Lemons are also a natural deodorizer, and they will help absorb any bad smells.
The nasty smell is usually due to mold and bacteria build-up.
The worst part is they are invisible and thrive in places with moisture, making your fridge the most suitable residence. And when the refrigerator is turned off, it becomes an ideal place for the mold to thrive.
So ensure that you do not have any spills, expired, or rotten food in your fridge to keep it smelling nice.
If you have kids, you will attest that something will always get spilled, especially if they are pretty young to have a stable hand to hold a jar of juice or milk.
So it’s upto you to keep vigilance and always clean when something is spilled.
Fortunately, there are several ways to stop your fridge from having a foul odor when it’s turned off. Read on.
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5 DIY Hacks-How to Stop a Fridge From Smelling When Turned Off
1. Remove Everything From The Fridge
When the power goes off, especially for a day or two, you must remove all food from the fridge. This is because leftover food and vegetables create a conducive environment for mold and bacteria.
And since the food is cooked, it will go rancid pretty fast, leaving your fridge with a foul smell. Even when turning it off to defrost, ensure that you’ve removed all the foodstuff.
2. Clean Thoroughly
After removing all the foodstuff and turning it off, prepare to clean it thoroughly.
However, keep in mind that not all soap will effectively eliminate the foul smell.
For instance, your regular dish soap will do a good work of leaving your fridge clean, but it will not eliminate the nasty odor.
At the same time, if you opt to use a scented cleaning solution, the scent may be transferred to your food even weeks after cleaning, giving them a weird taste.
Therefore, do your research and select the best cleaning solutions for your fridge?
Most people prefer to use bleach to clean and baking soda to absorb the odor.
Baking soda is essential as it helps absorb all the foul odor, leaving your fridge smelling fresh.
On the other hand, bleach helps kill all the bacteria and mold.
How to clean a refrigerator using bleach
- Water bleach
- Baking soda
- Put on your rubber gloves
- Pour a gallon of water of warm water into a bucket and add bleach and baking soda
- Remove all the dividers and drawers from the fridge.
- Use a damp cloth to clear out any crumbs or spills
- First, wash the drawers and the dividers in the bleached water and rinse them. Then place them on a rack to dry.
- Dip a cloth and wipe your fridge’s interior. Don’t leave any place untouched, including the gasket and the door.
- After cleaning your fridge, leave it open for about 30 mins. And if you are sure the foul odor is gone, you can replace your dividers and drawers.
Read More DIY On How To Get Rid Of Bleach Smell
3. Leave Its Doors Open
Airing your fridge also keeps foul odor away. Fresh air circulates throughout your fridge’s interior. You can leave your fridge open for a day or two.
This will help clear out all the foul odor and replace it with a clean and fresh smell.
However, always ensure that it’s empty before airing it out.
4. Clean The Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coils supply your fridge and freezer interior with cold air.
The problem arises when the evaporator coil is permeated with an unpleasant odor.
So even if you clean or air out your fridge, the foul smell will never go away.
It might be tricky to deduce that it can be the problem since it’s installed on the back wall f the fridge or freezer.
How to clean the evaporator coil
- You can clean your fridge evaporator, but first, you need to unscrew the anchor panel, unplug the electronic control and remove the panel to access it.
- Then put a cleaning solution in a spray bottle.
- Spray the coils and wipe the dirty water with a clean cloth.
- Then repeat the same process using clean water to rinse.
- Leave it open for about 15 minutes to allow the coils to dry
- Remember to wipe the anchor panel with a dry cloth to remove any moisture
5. Deodorize your fridge
Sometimes it can be frustrating when the foul odor does not go away even after cleaning and airing your fridge.
But don’t give up hope because there are other ways you can remove nasty smells from your fridge. You can deodorize your fridge using either natural or store-bought bought products.
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These methods involve using products already present in your home, such as baking soda.
If the nasty smell persists, consider placing a sash filled with baking soda on any shelves or drawers in the fridge.
If you have run out of baking soda, don’t fret because you can use a piece of charcoal, fresh coffee grounds, or crumpled newspaper.
Alternatively, you can take cotton wool, soak it in essential oil or vanilla, or any extract of your choosing and place it in the fridge.
This will leave your fridge smelling like the scent of essential oil or vanilla.
Vinegar is also a great option, as it helps in neutralizing foul smells coming out of your fridge.
Just place a cup filled with white vinegar in your fridge.
Oatmeal can also serve the purpose of absorbing nasty odor.
Place a bowl of dry oats in your fridge.
A few slices of lemon have been effective in sucking up any unpleasant smell in the fridge, so give them a try.
If you are not a DIY kind of person, then you better purchase some commercial fridge odor cleansers and absorbers.
Some popular brands in the market include :
The All-Natural Bamboo Deodorizer
It comes in a pack of two, and it’s pretty affordable.
It’s an unscented deodorizer made from charcoal and keeps your fridge fresh by removing food gas and maintaining perfect humidity levels.
Additionally, it also helps remove foul odor since it is made of natural activated charcoal.
Moreover, it can last up to a year; you just need to place it under direct sunlight to recharge.
Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh Refrigerator Air Filter
It comes in a pack of four and is made from baking soda.
And can be placed anywhere, thus perfect for the fridge, freezer, and cooler boxes.
Additionally, it acts so fast that the nasty odor will be eliminated from your fridge within a few hours.
It has a tight grip to attach it near the foul odor source. It has an indicator that shows when it should be replaced.
Frigidaire PAULTRA Pure Air Ultra
It is pretty effective, and it is made of carbon filter media. It helps clear the air and keep odors away using carbon technology.
It’s better than baking soda and lasts for about six months.
It’s easy to install; you just need to tear the serrated edge, pull out the window and place it in the fridge.
Make sure to mark the installation month to make replacing easier.
Other deodorizers to give a try include NonScents Refrigerator Deodorizer, DampidRid Drop-in-Tab, and MOSO NATURAL.
How to Prevent Your Refrigerator From Fouls Smells
When your fridge starts smelling when turned off, the first step is to identify the source of the smell.
If it smells like spoiled food, you need to discard any bad food and clean the fridge.
Smells like mildew, you need to clean the fridge and use a dehumidifier to remove the mildew smell.
Additionally, if it smells like gas, you need to call a technician to fix the refrigerator.
Once you have ensured that your fridge is free of foul odor, ensure it stays that way. You can do so by utilizing the following tips;
- Always use airtight containers when storing food in the fridge
- Adjust your fridge temperature to range between 37 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This humidity level ensures that no mold or bacteria can grow or thrive in your fridge.
- Always label when you place food in the fridge. This ensures that you know what to consume first and when to throw away foods that have exceeded the expiry date.
- Ensure that your fridge has excellent air circulation. You can do this by organizing your fridge.
- Conduct regular maintenance of your fridge to ensure that it does not have any leaks.
- Wipe away any food and drinks spillages immediately
- Thoroughly clean your fridge once every week or two. And avoid turning it off for a long time without clearing it out.
- You can place natural or store-bought deodorizers in the fridge to help air circulation and absorb unpleasant smells.
Final Thought on How to Stop A Fridge From Smelling When Turned Off
A fridge is an essential appliance in many homes, especially in urban centers.
And as much as it makes our lives more manageable, it can also be frustrating, mainly when foul smells are coming from it.
Therefore, always take time to take care of it by cleaning, conducting regular maintenance, and above all, do not leave rotten food in it or turn it off for extended periods with food in it.
You won’t have anything to complain about, and you can also ensure that it stays clean and fresh by using natural or store-bought deodorizers.
Have you used any of the above methods to remove bad smells from your fridge? Share your experience and questions in the comment section.