Polar Appliance Repair

Getting rid of refrigerator smells

Does Your Refrigerator Stink? Not To Worry! Easy Ways To Remove The Smell.

We've all been there. Open the refrigerator door and a stench comes pouring out.

Whether your refrigerator quit working and your food spoiled, or you simply left an item or two in the refrigerator too long.

Unfortunately, spoiled food is often the nasty result from a refrigerator that has stopped cooling. This is especially common for secondary refrigerators or freezers that we don’t necessarily open every day. Perhaps a refrigerator or freezer in a garage or basement gets accidentally unplugged and by the time you realize it, the food has turned into mush. 


✔ Identify the source. If your refrigerator quit working entirely for a few days, that’s going to be easy. EVERYTHING needs to come out and thrown away. If that’s not the case, search your refrigerator for spoiled or expired food. Check your crisper drawers for food that has seeped liquid. Check underneath the drawers for liquid that may have collected there. Turn off, or unplug the refrigerator.

✔ With the help of coolers, empty your refrigerator and give it a good scrubbing with hot water and soap. Remove the shelves and drawers and clean them as well. As a cleaning solution, you can use either 1 tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water, or use a cloth that has been dampened with soapy water and white vinegar. 

Make sure to give the walls, the base, the ceiling, the door, and door gasket a good scrubbing as well. Dry with a clean, lint free towel and plug the refrigerator back in. That is, of course, if your refrigerator was cooling properly before the smell. 

If it wasn’t, it’s time to call a qualified appliance repair technician to come out and diagnose your refrigerator. 

Smell Still There?

Not to worry. Odors can and will permeate the interior of your refrigerator. Here are a few methods you can try to get rid of the stench for good.

✔ Baking soda: – Don’t just use an open box, spread the baking soda in a cake pan or cookie sheet and leave it in your refrigerator for 24 hours. Throw away the baking soda when done.

✔ Activated charcoal – Available at most pet stores. Similar to the baking soda method, spread the charcoal on a cookie sheet and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

✔ Coffee – In conjunction with baking soda, coffee grounds can significantly help to reduce refrigerator or freezer odors. Sprinkle grounds on a plate and let it do it’s thing for 24 hours. There will be a leftover coffee smell, but it will go away.

✔ Essential Oils or Vanilla extract – Add a fresh scent to your refrigerator by soaking a few cotton balls with essential oils, or vanilla extract. Leave them in your refrigerator for 2-4 hours to help give it a fresh scent. 

If you’ve gone through all of these steps, and you just can’t seem to get your refrigerator smells to go away, or a new stench presents itself, there could be other factors at work. Poor circulation or any other number of refrigerator malfunctions could be the culprit. 

It’s time to call in an appliance repair professional. At Polar Appliance Repair, we help keep appliances in top shape, including smelly refrigerators!  

Need appliance repair?

If you’re already at the point of needing appliance repair, Polar Appliance Repair has the experience you need when you’re looking for the best appliance repair services in the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. Our appliance repair company is conveniently located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  We’re factory trained on leading brands, and are experts with most appliances, including Sub-Zero refrigerator repair, Wolf appliance repair, Viking appliance repair, Whirlpool, Maytag and more. With Polar Appliance Repair, we offer same day service, and are ready to help if you need us.