Unpleasant odors in your refrigerator can persist despite your efforts at cleaning them away.

Most of us will have to deal with unpleasant odors in the fridge at one time or another. The process described in this article can help you eliminate most sources of nasty fridge odors. It usually only takes common household products that you probably already have in stock to remove unwanted smells. Even strong, lingering odors can be eliminated with some elbow grease, patience, and the right approach.

The first method for odor removal is to place a small container filled with coffee grounds or dry oats inside on the top shelf to try to absorb odors. You can also try a box of baking soda with the lid flap removed. Let either sit for several days before checking again to see if the smell is gone. It’s a good practice to keep one of these in your fridge at all times to keep odors at bay, changing the contents at least once a month.

When you’re attempting to identify the source of a nasty odor in the fridge, start by removing all of the items inside. Toss out any leftovers that are questionable and check the expiration dates on every item that has one. Check meat and produce carefully for signs of spoilage and dispose of anything that doesn’t pass inspection. Go through the items one by one and perform a sniff test to determine if one of them is causing the issue.

Once you’ve eliminated any potential source of the odor, start by deep cleaning the interior of your fridge. After the contents are completely emptied out, remove the shelves and scrub them down in your sink or tub with hot water mixed with bleach or all-purpose cleaner and a sponge. Remove the bins and drawers and scrub them thoroughly with the same mixture, allowing them to air dry. Then wipe down the interior of the entire fridge from top to bottom and dry with an absorbent, clean cloth.

To deodorize and pull odors from the surface and interior of the fridge, mix up baking soda with enough water to form a thin paste. Using a sponge, wipe the entire inside of the fridge down with this mixture and let sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb smells. Then take a clean, wet cloth and wipe all of the baking soda away. Often, this can be enough to remove odors.

However, if you are still detecting the bad odor, it’s best to air out the fridge if possible by unplugging it and leaving the door open for 24-48 hours. This is not always possible if you have a lot of groceries and nowhere else to house them while the fridge is airing out, which is why it’s best to do this if you have a second fridge, access to a neighbor or family member’s fridge, or don’t have much food stored in the fridge currently.

If this process doesn’t eliminate the odor, it may be a sign of a deeper problem with your refrigerator that requires the experience of a professional. Contact CS Appliance Service at (781) 953-9600 if you’re experiencing this issue or any others with your refrigerator. For more helpful appliance tips, check CS Appliance out on Facebook at