The worst thing about our kitchens is having fridge smells but no rotten food inside. This problem needs extra attention because it can make us lose our appetite. So, knowing how to get rid of this foul odor can do a lot for you and your family.

In this guide, we’ll be naming the top reasons why your fridge stinks. We’ll also show you some of the best and effective ways to eliminate this funky smell.

What Are the Reasons My Fridge Smells Bad but No Rotten Food?

The most apparent reason why your refrigerator stinks is due to leftover or rotten food inside. Whether it be from your rotten cheese or moldy containers, they both contribute to your fridge’s funky smell.

But sometimes, you’ll go crazy trying to figure out the culprit because your fridge can still stink despite not having any of this inside.

If you’re facing this problem at home, then here are the top reasons why your fridge still stinks after cleaning it thoroughly.

Reasons Why Fridge Smells Bad

Pungent Fresh Food

If you keep your onions, garlic, and fish inside your refrigerator, then you may face this issue later on. Over time, these products release a distinct scent that may not be pleasing to everyone.

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Dirty Bins

Another reason why there is smells inside fridge but no rotten food is due to dirty vegetable bins. Although you have thrown your old veggies away, their scent may continue to linger on your containers.

On top of that, their juices may slip through and go underneath your bins. When this happens, they may spoil and cause molds and unpleasant smells.

Dirty Refrigerator

Apart from your filthy vegetable containers, dirty refrigerators can also release foul odors despite not having any rotten food inside. Spills from your soups, milk, and many more may build up over time and result in these smells.

Quality and Material of your Refrigerator

The least apparent reason why your refrigerator stinks is because of its quality and material. Typically, those composed of plastic will readily release these foul odors because of their composition.

Plastics generally absorb smells coming from your leftovers or fresh produce like fish and garlic effortlessly. Thus, having a refrigerator made from plastic can be the primary culprit.

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Underneath Your Refrigerator

If you’ve cleaned the inside of your fridge, but the unpleasant smell continues to linger, then the culprit may not be in it anymore.

Try checking underneath your appliance for food that has rotten over time.

What to Do Next When Fridge Smells But No Rotten Food?

If you’re facing awful smells from your fridge, don’t worry because you can eliminate them effortlessly with a few simple approaches.

But before proceeding with the following methods, make sure to remove all the products inside it first.

After that, clean your jars and containers to eliminate residue and place them in a safe and well-maintained area in your kitchen. Don’t forget to remove the bins, racks, and drawers present in your refrigerator.

How to Prevent Smells Inside Fridge? – Steps you Need to Take

Once you’ve removed everything in your refrigerator, the best and easiest way to eliminate these awful smells is to clean it inside-out.

Here are some of the easiest ways to give your fridge a deep clean.

Step 1 – Make a Cleaning Solution

Many cleaning solutions are available in the market. But to avoid toxic chemicals, we suggest going for natural alternatives instead. With a few essential home ingredients, you can effortlessly make your DIY cleaning agent at home.

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Just apply these solutions on a microfiber cloth and a toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas in your fridge.

Below are some of the best cleaning solutions you can make.

make a cleaning solution

# Soap-Water Solution

Soap-water is the easiest cleaning solution you can make. Just mix detergent soap and warm water in a container.

# Baking Soda-Water Solution

Another effective yet affordable cleaning agent involves mixing a cup of baking soda with warm water.

# White Vinegar-Water Solution

Apart from the solutions mentioned, you can also create a DIY cleaning agent made from white vinegar and water. But if you’re feeling a bit lazy, you can pour white vinegar into a bowl and place it in your refrigerator instead.

# Bleach-Water Solution

Mix 1/4 cup of bleach and a gallon of warm water. Make sure you’re using this measurement because undiluted bleach may be too harsh for your appliance.

Apply a cleaning solution to your cloth and start wiping. Ensure that you’re reaching underneath the surfaces, the sides, and through the hinges and locks.

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Finally, dip the cloth in warm water and wipe the refrigerator clean.

Step 2 – Place Natural Products

If the foul odor persists, you can place natural products in your fridge instead. Certain items like baking soda, coffee, and many more may help absorb these smells and freshen up your refrigerator.

Here are some of the commonly used ingredients.

# Baking Soda

Open a container of baking soda and place it inside your fridge. You can also put a layer on a plate and leave it in your fridge.

# Coffee Beans

For faster results, place freshly-grounded coffee in a bowl and leave it for a day or two in your fridge. You can rinse the inside of your refrigerator to remove the faint coffee smell.

# Oatmeal

Aside from baking soda and coffee beans, you can also leave oats in the fridge. Just put it in an aluminum bowl.

# Lemon

Citric acid can also freshen up your refrigerator. You can place a few slices inside or wipe the surfaces clean with lemon juice.

# Essential Oils

Similarly, you can also use essential oils or vanilla extract to clean the insides of your refrigerator. Just leave them for at least a day.

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# Activated Charcoal

Lastly, lower your refrigerator’s temperature. After that, place activated charcoal into a bowl or baking sheet and leave it inside. Give it around three days, and the awful smell will go away.

Step 3 – Place Newspaper

If you have a pile of newspaper lying around your house, you can use them to eliminate these awful smells. Just place these crumpled sheets and sprinkle your white vinegar-water solution over them.

Leave them for around five days and check whether the odor is gone.

Step 4 – Check Underneath the Fridge

Another effortless way to eliminate awful smells is to check underneath your refrigerator. If possible, remove any rotten food present.

Step 5 – Leave Refrigerator Open

Lastly, leave the fridge open for a couple of days. Ensure there isn’t any food left in it before doing this.

Step 6 – Maintain Your Refrigerator

The simplest way to maintain your refrigerator after giving it a deep clean is to lower its temperature to around 37°F to 40°F. Otherwise, microbes can grow inside.

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You can also place silica mats in your vegetable bins or store pungent food inside airtight containers.

Why My Fridge Dryer Smells Like Something Died in It?

smells inside fridge but no rotten food

The reasons for this awful smell include the following:

1. Unchanged Air Filter

Newer refrigerator models come with built-in air filters that trap and filter unpleasant smells. If you haven’t changed your filters for over six months now, then you’re at risk of facing these foul odors.

2. Condenser Coil Issues

Apart from unchanged air filters, faulty condenser coils can also bring in unpleasant smells. If this equipment has issues, it may accumulate moisture and emit a foul odor later on. Molds can also grow on these coils.

3. Molds on Drip Pan

Refrigerators have drip pans to collect condensation while it cools down. Because of this, unemptied pans may emit foul odors and eventually overflow. This excess moisture also encourages molds to grow.

How to Prevent Dryer Smells

As mentioned, your air filter, condenser coils, and drip pan may cause awful smells in your fridge. Here are the top methods to get rid of these odors.

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Unchanged Air Filter

If your fridge has an air filter, make sure to change it every six months. But if you have a deodorizer, you’ll need to soak its cartridge in warm water before drying and reinserting it back in place.

Condenser Coil Issues

For condenser coil issues, it’s best to replace it immediately in case it’s broken. But you can also clean it by brushing it with a rag.

Just make sure your fridge is off before attempting to do this.

Drip Pan

Lastly, you’ll need to unplug your fridge first before you can clean your drip pan. You’ll also need to remove everything inside it. Once you’ve removed the pan, clean it thoroughly with your soap-water solution.

Wrapping It Up!

Refrigerators can emit unpleasant odors even when it doesn’t have spoiled food inside. But there are many easy and quick cleaning methods to get rid of this smell.

Whether you make your DIY cleaning solution or place natural products inside your fridge, we assure you that they’ll give quick and excellent results in no time.

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