Do You Have an Odor Coming From Your Fridge?
Step 1: Empty Fridge
Even if you think you’ve identified the item causing the odor, you need to empty the entire contents of the refrigerator and freezer. If you have a second fridge, stash perishables there. If the odor is the result of a power outage, don’t take any chances by hanging onto food that may have spoiled. A refrigerator will keep food at safe temperatures for about 4 hours, if it’s left unopened, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Services.
Step 2: Hand wash Bins and Shelves
Take out the shelves, bins, crisper drawers, ice trays, and any other loose components and wash them.
Step 3: Deodorize the Interior
Now you’re ready to wash the inside of the refrigerator. Stay away from abrasive cleaners and pads, which can scratch the interior of the refrigerator.
Step 4: Air it Out
Here’s where the patience piece comes in. For best results, you need to unplug the refrigerator, leave the door open, and air it out for at least one day.
Step 5: Clean the Evaporator
If there’s a lasting funk that just won’t go away, chances are the refrigerator smells have permeated the evaporator coil, which produces cold air for the fridge and freezer. The coil, along with the fan that distributes the air, are typically located on the back wall of the freezer.
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