Have you ever entered your house only to be chocked by a stinking smell from your fridge? Such a smell could be embarrassing if visitors were to visit. The next thing that comes into your mind is what could be the cause. Read below to understand the source and how you can solve the problem.
What Makes The Fridge To Smell?
The main culprits are the bacteria and molds. If the fridge has moisture, then these microbes will thrive. Maybe you are wondering where the moisture comes from. It could be from the condensation from your fridge or even from spilt food. Humidity from outside could also cause it. Once the microbes accumulate thanks to the favorable moist environment, they reach a critical mass. That the point where the smell notifies you of their presence. So what should you do?
Quick Tips of Getting Rid Of the Odor
Lower the Temperature
The manufacturer recommendation indicates that the optimum fridge temperature should be between 35°F and 37°F. The right temperature staves off the moisture from building up. You have to know if the place you live is much humid since you may have to adjust the temperatures further. If your fridge has no thermometer, you might consider buying one.
Locate the Source
You need to know where the smell is coming from. Start by checking the door. In most cases, the food placed on the door pollutes faster. If that’s not the cause, continue sniffing the rest of the fridge, mostly the food that you kept earlier. If any food is spoilt, remove it.
Clean The Fridge
If the smell doesn’t go even after removing the food causing the smell, you need to deep clean your refrigerator. Stuff the food in a cooler with ice and clean your fridge thoroughly. Does your fridge have a spill-proof shelf? A traditional one might not have, but a more recent one should have it. Spill-proof prevents small spills from messing up the fridge with a smell. However, bacteria like hiding where the glass and plastic meet in the refrigerator. Use the right disinfectant and deal with that part first.
It can be very frustrating if the smell doesn’t end even after doing all that work. Don’t give up yet. Underneath your fridge, there is a drip pan that could be causing the smell. The work of the drip is to protect the floor and ensure that the liquid does not run over. Once the pan traps any runoff milk, or meat and other foods, they accumulate near the hot motor. The smell that results from there you might mistake it for a dead animal.
You should check it and clean it thoroughly with a disinfectant. You can also use a mild bleach solution.
Also, if the water filter is either used up or damaged, it could be the culprit responsible for the bad smell. You can also check if there is a buildup in the drainage system of your fridge.
Refrigerators Door Gasket
Around the refrigerators door, there is a seal that many people tend to ignore. Food hides in its grooves and crevices and spoil, resulting in a bad smell. Clean the seal thoroughly using a disinfectant. Also, clean the bottom of the fridge door. Don’t forget to clean the gasket where the nasty liquid is likely to collect.
Refrigerators Condenser Coils
The idea that mold can grow on the refrigerators condenser coil seems impossible. Though it’s not so common, it does happen and result in a stinking smell. Clean the condensing coils by first unplugging the refrigerator. On the lower front, there is a grill that you need to remove. Use a rag to wipe the underneath of the coil. You can also clean it using a long handle brush.
Prevent the Odor
Do you know that you can prevent the smell by rapping leftovers and other food with a strong aroma with an aluminum paper? It will also protect the food near them from getting the odor. You can also place a silver mat to prevent premature product rot thus keep the odor away. If you enjoy coffee, place a glass full of ground coffee in the fridge. If you don’t have a ground coffee, you can place a baking soda in your refrigerator.
Many people like putting baking powder since it absorbs the smell faster. A piece of charcoal can also remove the odor. Another method includes soaking a ball of crumb bread in the vinegar and then placing it in the fridge. It neutralizes the odor. You can also place a few liters of water in a container. In each liter add a tablespoon of bleach. Use it to rinse the fridge.
In case the stinking smell is stubborn, leave some baking powder in an open box for three days in the fridge to absorb all the smell. You can also leave cotton soaked in vanilla extra overnight in your fridge. Then rinse the refrigerator using a mixture of water and bleach.
How Soon Should You Deep Clean Your Refrigerator?
After going through such an experience, you would never risk having your refrigerator smell again. The next question that comes in your mind is how often you require to deep cleaning your fridge. The number of times depends on the usage of the refrigerator and how often food spills in it.
If you don’t use the fridge more often and the food rarely spills in it, you can clean the inside at least once per year. If you use the fridge more often, the probability of spill is high. That means you will require cleaning its inside more often. If possible, do a thorough cleaning on the inside each time there is a nasty spill.
The dead animal smell in the fridge is very uncomfortable and requires to be dealt with right away. You should first identify the cause of the smell. After locating and removing it, clean the refrigerator thoroughly and give special attention to areas where spilt food hide. Eliminate the odor using baking powder, charcoal, ground coffee or any other recommended way.
John DiBella is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, a cooking enthuthiast and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about home kitchenware, he enjoys hiking, camping, sailing and cooking.