5 Natural Ways To Clean a Smelly Refrigerator

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Giving your refrigerator a regular cleaning is important. It helps prevent odors and keeps your food and drinks safe from bacteria. While you might be tempted to just use your normal bleach-based cleaning spray to clean your fridge, it can be risky due to the potential of contaminating your food. Thankfully, several natural cleaning products are available to use instead—most of which you probably already have in your pantry.

In this article, we discuss the five best natural ways to clean a smelly refrigerator.

1. Vinegar

The number one natural cleaning product, which has been used by humans for centuries, is white vinegar. Vinegar is a great natural stain and odor remover, which will kill all nasty bacteria in your fridge. Making a white vinegar-based cleaning solution is super simple and only requires mixing it with hot water.

Here’s how to clean your fridge using vinegar:

  • Start by turning your refrigerator off.
  • Make the white vinegar cleaning solution by filling a spray bottle with ¼ cup of vinegar and ¾ cup of hot water.
  • Fill your sink with hot water and pour ⅓ of the cleaning solution into it.
  • Remove all the food and drinks from your fridge. You can place them in coolers to keep them from spoiling or getting warm.
  • Remove all the shelves and drawers from your fridge.
  • Place the shelves and drawers in your sink and, if your sink is big enough, submerge them.
  • Spray and wipe every surface inside your fridge. If you have any heavy stains, spray the stain and leave it for 15 minutes before scrubbing it with a non-scratch cleaning pad.
  • Clean all the shelves and drawers in your sink and leave them to drip dry.
  • While the shelves and drawers are drying, spray and wipe the outside surfaces of your fridge.
  • Dry all the shelves and drawers with a clean cloth and then place them back in your fridge.
  • Finally, put all your food and drinks back in the fridge.

2. Lemons

The acid in lemon makes a great natural cleaning product. When diluted with hot water and placed in a spray bottle, it works great to eliminate stains and odors. It also smells much nicer than white vinegar.

Here’s how to clean your fridge using lemons:

  • Start by turning your refrigerator off.
  • Make the lemon-based cleaning solution by filling a spray bottle with four tablespoons of lemon juice with two cups of water. (You can add a tablespoon of white vinegar if you want to.
  • Fill your sink with hot water and pour half of the cleaning solution into it.
  • Remove all the food and drinks from your fridge. To keep your food from spoiling or getting warm, place it in coolers.
  • Remove all the shelves and drawers from your fridge.
  • Place the shelves and drawers in your sink and, if your sink is big enough, submerge them. You can rinse them first if any are covered in debris.
  • Spray and wipe every surface inside your fridge. If you have any heavy stains, spray the stain and leave it for 15 minutes before scrubbing it with a non-scratch cleaning pad. (Pro tip: If you cut a lemon in half and remove the seeds you can use it to scrub stains.)
  • Clean all the shelves and drawers in your sink and leave them to drip dry.
  • While the shelves and drawers are drying, spray and wipe the outside surfaces of your fridge.
  • Dry all the shelves and drawers with a clean cloth and then place them back in your fridge.
  • Finally, put all your food and drinks back in the fridge.

3. Castile soap

The next natural way to clean a smelly refrigerator is to use castile soap. Castile soap is made from vegetable products and doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients. Although not as good for removing stains as white vinegar or lemon juice, it still disinfects your fridge and removes any bad odors.

Here’s how to clean your fridge using castile soap:

  • Start by turning your refrigerator off.
  • Make the castile soap-based cleaning solution by mixing four parts castile soap with one part water in a container.
  • Fill your sink with hot water and pour half of the cleaning solution into it.
  • Remove all the food and drinks from your fridge. You can place them in coolers to keep them from spoiling or getting warm.
  • Remove all the shelves and drawers from your appliance and place them in the hot soapy water.
  • Use a sponge dipped in the solution to clean the interior surfaces of your fridge, then wipe the surfaces dry. Use a non-scratch brush if required to remove any stains.
  • Clean all the shelves and drawers in your sink and leave them to drip dry.
  • While the shelves and drawers are drying, use the sponge to clean the outside surfaces of your fridge.
  • Dry all the shelves and drawers with a clean cloth and then place them back in your fridge.
  • Finally, put all your food and drinks back in the fridge.

4. Baking Soda

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) makes a great deodorizer and is especially good for cleaning and polishing stainless steel. If you don’t want to use vinegar, lemon, or castile soap, baking soda is a great choice.

Here’s how to use baking soda to clean your smelly refrigerator:

  • Start by turning your refrigerator off.
  • Make the baking soda-based cleaning solution by mixing one liter of hot water with four tablespoons of baking soda. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Fill your sink with hot water and pour four tablespoons of baking soda into it.
  • Remove all the food and drinks from your fridge and place them in a cooler.
  • Remove all the shelves and drawers from your appliance and place them in the hot water.
  • Spray the interior surfaces of your fridge with the solution and wipe them dry. Use a non-scratch cleaning pad if required to remove any stains. If the stain is stubborn, spray the stain and leave it for 15 minutes before wiping it.
  • Clean all the shelves and drawers in your sink and leave them to drip dry.
  • While the shelves and drawers are drying, spray and wipe the outside surfaces of your fridge. If you have a stainless steel fridge the baking soda in the solution should give it a good shine.
  • Dry all the shelves and drawers with a clean cloth and then place them back in your fridge.
  • Finally, put all your food and drinks back in the fridge.

5. Natural extracts or essential oils

If your fridge is clean and you just want to remove odors, you can use natural extracts like vanilla or essential oils like peppermint oil to remove odors from your fridge. All you have to do is coat a large cotton ball with your favorite extract or essential oil, put the cotton ball in a shot glass, and place that in your fridge. This helps cover any bad odors and keep your appliance smelling great. If you don’t want to use extracts or oils, you can simply fill a small container with baking soda and place it in the fridge—this has the same effect of removing odors.

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