Even though a refrigerator can keep food safe to eat for at least a few days, it's easy to forget what kind of food you have. After a few weeks, you might open the refrigerator door only to be assaulted by a horrible smell. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of a bad smell in your fridge if you put in a little bit of work and follow these helpful tips.
Remove the Source of the Odor
First of all, you need to find and remove the source of the odor in your refrigerator. It is likely food that has been kept long past its expiration date, which should hopefully be easy to find. If you don't sniff out what is causing the bad smell in your fridge, all of your cleaning efforts will be in vain.
Wipe Everything Down
Once you've removed the source of the odor, your next step will be to clean and sanitize the refrigerator. Remove everything from your fridge, and clean all the shelves and other surfaces thoroughly, and wipe everything down with a solution of chlorine bleach and water. For best results, add a tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water. Most refrigerator shelves and drawers can be removed for easy cleaning, so take full advantage of that.
Dealing with Stubborn Odors
If you still cannot get rid of the odor even though you've cleaned your refrigerator thoroughly, you might need to take additional steps. You can air out a smelly refrigerator if you take everything out of it and leave it unplugged with the door open for 24 hours. To avoid encountering bad smells in the future, keep boxes of baking soda or open containers of coffee grounds, activated charcoal, or even kitty litter in your fridge to absorb odors.
As always, if all else fails and your refrigerator is still fairly new, you can go to a refrigerator store near you to find out about getting a replacement. Many refrigerators come with a warranty that cover things such as foul smells. Ask a salesperson at the appliance store where you purchased the refrigerator for more information.