Bad smells in my fridge: 10 natural methods to eliminate them

Unpleasant smells in the fridge happen quite often. But when they become infected, then it’s time to act. If they persist despite a good cleaning, natural methods exist: the good old remedies of grandmothers. Stop bad smells and make way for good habits, here are 10 effective and natural deodorizing tips.

Grandma’s tips: an unbeatable antidote

From whatever generation, the good old natural remedies cross the ages without failing in the face of all the so-called “magic” products developed on the market. And for good reason, they are ecological and very often very economical, for a proven effectiveness for a long time. To your post-its!

1 – Baking soda

The grail with multiple benefits! Among its many purifying, anti-tartar, anti-limescale properties, but also aiding digestion, baking soda is also a powerful odor neutralizer with a very simple trick to implement: drop three tablespoons of it into a small container that you will place in the fridge, decorated why not with 2 to 3 drops of essential oils. The action of the bicarbonate will eliminate unpleasant odors, and that of the essential oils will perfume the interior. Ideally, this operation should be repeated once a month.

2 – Coffee grounds

A residue of coffee percolation, the marc also has unsuspected powers. In addition to being a recognized natural fertilizer and an effective repellent, it is also a very good odor neutralizer. Like baking soda, you will need to put a small amount in a container and put it in the fridge. Small particular point of vigilance: to ensure its effectiveness, it will be necessary to think of renewing the coffee grounds as soon as they are dry, that is to say approximately every 15 days. For a perfect cycle of eco-responsible use, you can imagine drinking a good coffee, putting some coffee grounds in your fridge to neutralize odors, and once dry, putting it at the foot of the plants to nourish the soil, or in your composter to activate decomposition. Note that ground coffee can act just as effectively as an odor sensor. For him, a monthly renewal will suffice.

3 – White vinegar

Another essential among natural tips, white vinegar has multiple qualities: when cold, it degreases, descales and deodorizes; heated, it is an excellent pipe unclog. Like the first two, it will be a question of pouring a small quantity of vinegar into a water glass-type container, preferably stable to avoid accidents, at the bottom of the fridge. A renewal every 15 days will be sufficient.

4 – Milk

Yes, yes, milk! Little known, it nevertheless effectively absorbs bad odors. Again, a small container of milk placed safely at the bottom of the fridge will help fight against stubborn odors. 24 hours will suffice. Beyond that, it will have to be renewed.

5 – Green clay

Surprisingly, green clay is also a good odor absorber. Again, a little clay in a small container, placed in the fridge for a few days. The cold will make it dry slowly, it will then have to be renewed.

6 – Lemon

Better known for this characteristic, half a lemon placed in the fridge will neutralize unpleasant odors to bring a better scent. It will be necessary, for him too, to take care of its renewal when he will have dried. Lemon is also well known for aiding digestion and preventing kidney stones with its diuretic action.

7 – Cork

It too has the same odor neutralizing power. And no need to invest, a cork is often lying around in a drawer. Place it in the fridge and voila, for about 15 days.

8 – Oats

High satiating power, protection of the epidermis, fight against insomnia, renewed energy, fight against cholesterol, prevention of the thyroid… oats are of all the combats. She, too, has this power to absorb odors. Placed in a container in the fridge, it is to be renewed once or twice a month.

9 – Vegetable charcoal

It can be found in pharmacies or pet shops. It is a natural active ingredient which has, among other things, an absorbent power. Vigilance that it does not contain flammable additives which are toxic to health. The process is the same: place in a container at the bottom of the fridge. Vegetable charcoal is also renowned for fighting mild stomach aches and for its purifying power, which is increasingly found in cosmetics.

10 – Litter

Curious idea isn’t it, and probably not the one we will choose first. However, it deserves to be listed for its perfect efficiency. And who could doubt it when you know that it absorbs animal urine which is very fragrant. A container at the bottom of the fridge for two weeks should do its job.

But by the way, why does my fridge smell bad?

The reasons for unpleasant odors in a refrigerator can be varied. The following items should be checked:

  • The thermostat knob : It must be in the “middle” position at a minimum. Below, the fridge does not produce enough cold, which can lead to the proliferation of bacteria on the food and cause these odors;
  • Tester le thermostat : Even if correctly adjusted, it may be defective, and again not produce enough cold. Typically, a thermostat control box is located on the back of the unit. A multimeter is required to ensure proper operation. A professional can carry out this check and change the thermostat if necessary;
  • Check the door seal : It is often here that mold settles because food is leaking. It must be cleaned regularly, using a toothbrush. Moreover, the use of toothpaste is proven to restore the joint to its whiteness and cleanliness;
  • Check the water collection tank : Located at the back of the fridge, it may sometimes be incorrectly positioned or cracked. If this is the case, water could run down the side of the tray and, again, cause unpleasant odors. If this is the case, it is necessary to plan for the renewal of the baccalaureate.

Tips for avoiding odors in your fridge

These remedies, each more surprising than the next, are certainly very effective for a lower cost, but they should not prevent good habits of using your fridge.

Hermetic boxes

Some foods – we obviously think of cheese for example – naturally give off a strong smell. Combined with others and for several days, the smell of the fridge can quickly become foul. A very simple habit consists of not leaving any food in the open air, obviously to limit the spread of bacteria, but also to limit odors. Plastic boxes or cling film are quite effective. For the cheese, we prefer to leave it in its original packaging, itself placed in a cheese tray or any other airtight box.


Arranged in the bottom of the vegetable bins, it thus makes it possible to absorb moisture and thus to avoid mould. Be careful, if it absorbs moisture, it must be deduced that a regular renewal will be expected, every fortnight should be enough.

Sorting of food

The uses are customary: products that have been open for too long, of which we are no longer sure of the expiry date, but which no member of the household dares to throw away. Weekly sorting is essential: throwing away expired products or products that have been open for too long will probably limit some olfactory unpleasantness and certainly the proliferation of bacteria.


The best for last, obviously the regular cleaning of the fridge! There too, effective natural remedies exist by mixing, for example, water with lemon juice and baking soda, or hot water with white vinegar. Ideally, the preparation will be poured into a vaporizer.

Before attacking, it is better to completely empty the fridge (we will avoid cleaning it once the races have been returned). It is a relatively thorough cleaning that must take place: the shelves, the grooves, the grids, the supports and the shelves, and all this from top to bottom. Ideally, this will be done once a month.

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