My wife and I just moved out of our apartment, which brought with it the necessity to venture into the long-neglected recesses of our refrigerator. It quickly became clear that we had not been especially diligent in keeping our refrigerator at its cleanest or best-smelling.
It's easy to lose track of how long food has been refrigerated, and it doesn't take long before the resulting smells seem ingrained in the very composition of the refrigerator. Here are a few easy tips for getting rid of those unwanted odors without replacing your fridge or using harsh chemicals.
Conduct a thorough cleaning.
Empty your refrigerator and scrub the interior with a mixture of water and baking soda. This should remove any trace of forgotten spills or food bits that have slipped through the cracks and gone unnoticed. Though it's a difficult space to reach, cleaning underneath your fridge will have a significant effect on smell too—fans under the fridge can bring outside odors in.
Freshen the air.
There are several ways to try freshening your fridge's air. One is to place activated charcoal in a small bowl at the back of your refrigerator to start pulling residual smells out. The traditional open container of baking soda is a tried-and-true method that works well too. Though unorthodox, you may even consider putting a small amount of clean, unscented kitty litter in the fridge as a means to absorb smells. Vanilla extract and fresh coffee grounds can also absorb unwanted scents when placed in the fridge.
Toss the old food.
Though it's difficult to remember the expiration dates on everything that enters your fridge, it's worthwhile to try. If something has gone bad or you suspect it has passed its prime—pitch it! The unpleasant odors in the fridge come from decomposing food—not something you want to keep alongside your future meals.
Find out how long your food stays safe when the power goes out.
Until next time,
The Home Know-It-All