Whatever your refrigerator or freezer is, may it be a small and simple one or the big ones like the American style fridge freezers, it is of paramount importance that you maintain it properly and clean it regularly so as to avoid the foul smell that it may produce. Maintaining fridges helps not only in getting rid of foul odors but in prolonging its life as well. There are many ways and materials that may be used to clean any fridge. Some tips are listed below.
For a fridge that has a day or two of odors, baking soda will work, however if the fridge has been absorbing fragrant odors for several months, you have to be more aggressive to remove the smells.
The first step,is to thoroughly clean the fridge removing all the items shelf by shelf and wiping down with a general purpose cleaner will go a long way to removing smells. For more persistent smells try a shallow pan of active charcoal, which you can find at your local pet store or aquarium supplier. Let this sit for a few days and see if it helps enough to make it tolerable. Another great hint is to fill a shallow pan with fresh ground up coffee. This smell is very powerful, and is easily absorbed by the plastic. This masks the problem rather than removing the odors, but it is likely better to smell coffee, than, well, whatever it smelled like before.
For more severe smells that will not be removed by conventional means, we have one final idea. Empty the fridge being sure that it is turned ON. Crumple up some old newspaper, and mist the paper with water. Stuff the fridge full of these big balls until it is entirely filled. Replace the old newspaper, with new, freshly moistened newspaper balls every other day. Repeat this four or five times (yes, this will take a week to 10 days!).
It is possible the fridge will require defrosting once you have done this, if the moisture has migrated up the freezer, and don’t forget to empty the drip tray as well!
Even when you are done all this, the baking soda, and/or ground coffee won’t hurt, although the coffee may tend to flavor unsealed food as well. Fridge smells can be persistant but remember to faster you clean messes or throw out old food the easier it is to keep your fridge smelling fresh.