No matter what the source of the odor, a stinky fridge can put a damper on even the simplest meal. If your fridge isn't doing its part to create an appetizing aroma, here are a few ways to solve the problem.
Start with a Deep Clean
Even if your fridge isn't stinky, periodically deep cleaning it will make sure it stays fresh. First, unplug the refrigerator and remove all the contents. Throw out old, unused, or expired food and drinks. If you're not sure about something, you might be better off tossing it and replacing.
Then, remove all shelves, drawers, bins, and other removable organizing pieces. Hand wash each with hot, soapy water and leave to air dry. Then, wipe out the interior of the fridge with a solution of one cup baking soda dissolved in one gallon of hot water. Make sure to clean gaskets thoroughly.
While you're in there, be sure to replace the air filter if yours is equipped with one. If you are able, allow the fridge to air out for at least one day to let odors escape.
Cleaning the Coils
While you've got your refrigerator unplugged and undergoing a renovation, now is a good time to give the evaporator coils a cleaning as well. First, pull the fridge away from the wall taking care not to disrupt water lines if present.
On an older fridge, you'll find a network of coils on the back that provide the cooling function for your appliance. Newer refrigerators will have the condenser coils located at the bottom of the appliance, either behind a panel at the front or via an access panel in the rear.
Vacuum the coils thoroughly to remove dust and dirt, making sure not to damage or disrupt any parts. If a fan is present, vacuum that, too. For stubborn areas, use a narrow, soft paintbrush to remove buildup.
If you've cleaned everything you can get to in your refrigerator and are still experiencing bad odors, place a dozen crumbled charcoal briquettes on a tray in the fridge or freezer. Replace daily for a week, or until the smell is gone.
If you've tried all these steps and are still having trouble with your refrigerator, there's no need to worry! Give your friendly neighborhood appliance experts a call. At Mr. Appliance, we're here to make sure your appliances are fresh and operating smoothly so you can get back to the things that are important to you.