9 ways to banish fridge stink


Related Articles

Reprinted from BrightNest.com

You know it’s in there, hiding in the back of your fridge — a stink bomb of forgotten food. If your kitchen smells like a dead raccoon every time someone reaches for a yogurt, you know it’s time to find and remove the stinky culprit. But is that enough?

If the problem lingers after the rotten item is tossed, try one of these deodorizing methods. The best method for you will depend on the level of your stink!

(And be sure to check out HellaWella's guide to how long foodd lasts in the fridge.)

Level I: There’s a mildly unpleasant odor.

1. Cotton balls: For a quick stink fix, dampen a cotton ball with your favorite essential oil. Then, toss the balls into your fridge. The pleasant scent will fill your fridge!

2. Oats: Fill a bowl with fresh, unflavored oats — not the cinnamon and sugar variety. Set the bowl in the fridge. The absorbent nature of the oats will grab and hold onto the smell. Just make sure to toss the oats when you’re done — you don’t want to serve stink oats for breakfast!

3. Lemons: Cut a fresh lemon in half, and then put the lemon juicy-side up in a bowl. Sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons of salt onto the lemon, and let the bowl sit in the fridge for several days. Not only will the odors dissipate; your fridge will also be filled with a clean, lemony scent.


Level II: The stench is difficult to ignore.

4. Tomato juice: You want your fridge to be completely empty before trying this one, so make sure the stink can’t be fixed with steps 1, 2 or 3 first! Dip a sponge in undiluted tomato juice and wipe down your fridge. Rinse the tomato juice with warm soapy water — your fridge should smell fresh! Note: When done, dry the fridge completely to avoid any mold or mildew problems.

5. Newspaper: Crumple up your favorite daily, spritz the crumpled pages with water, and then throw them in your fridge overnight. The newspaper will deodorize the fridge.

6. Coffee grounds: Place a couple of bowls full of fresh coffee grounds in your fridge. After a few days, the smell should be completely absorbed by the grounds. Note: Once your fridge smells sweet, toss the grounds. They will not make a great-tasting cup of Joe.


Level III: RUN! The death-stink has broken free!

7. Baking soda: Spread a full box of baking soda on a baking sheet and slide the sheet into the refrigerator — the baking soda will nullify the odor. Tip: Afterward, add a box of soda to your fresh-smelling fridge to prevent future stink.

8. Vinegar: Sure, it’s great on salads, but vinegar has a side-job: deodorizer extraordinaire. Pour vinegar into a bowl or glass and place it in the fridge. Let it sit overnight with the fridge door closed — no late-night snacks allowed! By morning, you’ll have a fresh-smelling fridge. Note: If you’re not a fan of the smell of vinegar, don’t worry. The smell dissipates.

9. Charcoal: For charcoal to do its magic, you need to leave the door closed for several days. So it’s best to do this trick when you’re leaving for the weekend or planning several restaurant visits in a row. Place pieces of unused charcoal in several small bowls, and then set the bowls throughout your fridge. Close your fridge. After a few days, toss the charcoal. Your fridge will be stench-free!

BrightNest is a free site that provides customized tips and tools to help homeowners save money, get organized and keep their homes in great shape.