how to remove bad odour from fridge

Have you ever opened your fridge, took a whiff and smelled a strange odor? Well, if this is the case every time then you need to give your fridge a thorough rinse. The lingering strange smell in your fridge may be due to food spoilage or spillage that you may have forgotten to clean. This needs your immediate attention as bad odor could attract bacteria and molds which may affect food quality and be potentially harmful to health. Hence it is important to clean your fridge regularly and prevent it from developing bad odors. 

So if you're wondering how to remove bad odour from fridge then give this guide a thorough read. We have also enlisted the best tips and strategies on how to remove bad smell from fridge.

Causes of Bad Odour in Fridge 

Before learning about how to get rid of bad smell in fridge, it is important to understand what causes bad odor in the first place. Here's a list of the potential causes of bad odor in fridge.


The number one reason of bad odor in fridge is due to bacteria or mold that often appear due to food spoilage or moisture buildup. The bad news is that bacteria exists even after smell goes away as it is highly resistant to cold although this may delay the process of food breaking down and bacterial growth.

Plastic Interior

Another reason could be plastic as it absorbs odor. If you don’t clean your fridge regularly, your fridge may develop unpleasant smells which don’t go away on their own.

Drip Pan

Similarly, many people often ignore cleaning the drip pan which accumulates water and moisture from the condensate line that may lead to mold growth and bad smell. This could be the reason why your fridge smells despite having no rotten food.

Dirty Filters

Your fridge may have air and water filters that purify air and water. These need to be cleaned occasionally to prevent bad smell and bacterial growth.

Rotten Food

The most obvious reason is food spoilage and old drinks in your fridge. If you forget food in your fridge, they spoil and give off a foul smell. Therefore, it is important to clean your fridge regularly and thoroughly to avoid such incidents.

How to Remove Bad Odour from Fridge: 7 Effective Methods  

So now you have learned about the potential causes of bad odor in fridge. Let’s proceed to learn how to get rid of bad smell in refrigerator.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is the best solution to removing unpleasant smell in fridge. It is also readily available and is the perfect cleaning ingredient for various uses. Apart from bad odors, baking soda can be used to clean mattresses, and remove stains on walls and carpets. Turns out, it also effectively removes foul smell from the fridge. To remove bad odors,

  • Add two tablespoons of baking soda to warm water. Also add a few drops of dishwashing liquid in the solution. Use this solution to clean the shelves and drawers of the fridge.

After cleaning the shelves, place an open container having about a cup of baking soda in one corner of the fridge and let it rest there for 24 hours. Baking soda readily absorbs odor and maintains pH levels, preventing bacterial and mold growth. As a bonus tip, add a few drops of essential oil to the container as it will help your fridge smell nice.

Coffee Grounds

If you wonder how to get rid of bad smell in refrigerator naturally then use ground coffee as it also absorbs odor like baking soda. This is the reason perfume counters keep a bowl of coffee beans to remove perfume smells. 

Also, they have a good aroma. You can place a cup of ground coffee on one corner of the fridge after cleaning it thoroughly. After a while, the bad odor will go away and you will get a whiff of pleasant coffee aroma when you open the fridge door. 

Activated Charcoal 

If you wonder how to eliminate bad smell in refrigerator using charcoal then here’s how. You may use activated charcoal to fight bad smells as it is readily available at the market. Like baking soda and coffee beans, charcoal also rapidly absorbs bad odor making it an ideal deodorizer for your fridge. 

Place activated charcoal in granular or fine form in the corner of your fridge’s shelf in an open dish after you have cleaned the fridge. The activated charcoal will absorb the bad odor. If your fridge has a strong odor, place multiple bags of charcoal. It is recommended to replace charcoal after every month to guarantee freshness.

Replace Your Refrigerator Water Filter 

Sometimes the issue isn’t with rotten food or bacteria, having expired water filters may also contribute to foul smells in your fridge for ages. It is crucial to check and replace water filters regularly to prevent bad odor. Every refrigerator water filter has a lifespan which can be checked on the manufacturer's manual. Usually, the lifespan of water filters ranges from three to six months so you may get the idea on how often you should replace them according to instructions.

Refrigerator Water Filters

This also depends on your fridge usage. If you use less water, your replacement frequency may differ. While replacing a water filter is mandatory, the other important thing is to choose a high-quality and affordable water filter such as the SimPure water filter. If your refrigerator is an LG, GE, Maytag, or Samsung, and it's time to replace the fridge filter, click on SimPure to get the same models at a more affordable price! More durable and efficient. Check the specific models on the page.

SimPure refrigerator water filters are tried and tested and are certified against NSF International for safe material, chlorine test and odor. They are also compatible with various fridges and are effective at removing impurities from water including 99% of chlorine taste, pathogens and VOCs. They also enhance water taste and quality while retaining beneficial minerals. Moreover, these water filters are BPA-free and are made with food-grade materials making them sustainable and eco-friendly. So, if you want a permanent solution to bad odor, consider SimPure water filters. 


Lemon is also a great deodorizer and works well with baking soda. If you have a smelly fridge, use baking soda and lemon to combat bad odor. It also generates a fresh scent which overcomes stinky odor. Following are the instructions on how to remove bad odourfrom fridge using natural ingredients.

  • Slice a lemon into wedges.

  • Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda and table salt on the lemon wedges.

  • Place the lemons on an open dish.

  • Put the dish inside the fridge and let it stay there for up to 6 days. Also, they can be used to fight bad odor in microwave ovens as well. If you don’t have lemons, use orange as a substitute.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is the perfect answer to how to get rid of a bad smell in fridge. Here’s how you can utilize vinegar to remove bad odor from fridge.

  • Pour vinegar into a small paper towel and place it an open dish and leave this inside the fridge for at least 24 hours.

  • Make sure to replace the towel every few days to keep the interior scent fresh.


  • Add vinegar into water and use the solution to wipe the shelves and drawers.

  • You can spray the rest of the solution on the walls of the fridge.

  • Let it sit for a while before scrubbing it off the walls. This will guarantee freshness and cleanliness.

Additionally, white vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant so it is perfect for killing bacteria. However, white vinegar has a strong smell so it is advised to keep the fridge door open for a few hours before putting back the food.


If you often question how to get rid of bad odour in fridge using stuff present in home, then oatmeal is your answer. Oats act as natural odor removers and also help absorb oils, odor and liquids, making them the perfect cleaning ingredients for home use. Place the uncooked oats in an open dish and leave it inside your fridge. This will remove bad odor.

FAQs on Removing Bad Smells from Fridge 

how to remove bad odour from fridge

Now that you have learned how to remove bad odour from fridge using natural ingredients, let’s answer some frequent questions people often have regarding eliminating bad odors from fridge.

1. How Do I Get Rid of a Bad Smell in My Fridge Fast?

You can easily get rid of a bad smell fast by using natural ingredients, such as lemon, baking soda, oats, or vinegar. All you need to do is to place these ingredients in the fridge for a while and you will be surprised how quickly the smell goes away.

2. How Long Does It Take for Fridge Smell to Go Away?

It takes a few hours to get rid of bad smell using cleaning supplies and natural ingredients. A maximum of 24 hours is all you need to completely get rid of bad smells from the fridge.

3. How Often Should I Clean My Fridge?

Ideally, you should clean your fridge every 3 to 4 months depending on the frequency of usage. If you regularly use your fridge, then you must give it a thorough wipe every month. The more you clean your fridge, the more pleasant scent it will give.

4. What if the Odor Persists After Cleaning?

If you still smell bad odor after cleaning your fridge, then repeat the process again with warm water and ensure you have covered every corner of the fridge. Sometimes, an expired water filter is also a culprit. So, you should replace them as per the manufacturer's instructions.

5. How Can I Get Purified Cold Water Without Using a Refrigerator Water Filter?

With the SimPure Y10C Cold Countertop RO System Cooler Water Filter Dispenser, you can enjoy purified cold water without a refrigerator. Featuring innovative cooling technology, this device offers adjustable cold or room temperature water (43-59°F). The 7-stage filtration system includes RO, CTO, and UV, ensuring 99.99% removal of contaminants. It's plug-and-use, portable, and eco-friendly, providing instant, refreshing water with a smart panel display for easy operation.


Getting rid of bad odor from fridge isn’t difficult. All you need to do is to ensure regular cleaning and utilize natural ingredients to fight bad odors. It is important to clean the fridge regularly to prevent bacterial and mold growth as it may affect the food quality and lead to several health issues. It is also important to replace old and expired filters after every few months to keep the fridge functioning in its full capacity and preventing bad smells from developing in the fridge.

Replace Your Refrigerator Water Filters Now!