How to Get the Rotten Food Smell Out of Your Refrigerator

Forgetting about a food item that has been placed deep inside of a refrigerator is just one of those things that happens from time to time.

White vinegar and baking soda remove bad smells from refrigerators.White vinegar and baking soda remove bad smells from refrigerators.
If such food items spoil while inside the refrigerator, an extremely foul odor may spread through part or all of the appliance. This odor will likely not go away simply by throwing out the rotten food. Cleaning the inside of the refrigerator with a household liquid eliminates the odors and makes the refrigerator's surface shine.

Remove the rotten food items from the refrigerator. Discard those items.

Take the rest of the food and drink items out of the refrigerator. Inspect the items and discard any that smell rotten or foul.

Remove the shelves and racks from the refrigerator. Clean any liquid spills or messes on the shelves, racks and inside the refrigerator with cloths or paper towels.

Mix an equal amount of hot tap water and white vinegar in either a bucket or spray bottle.

Dip a towel inside the cleaning solution or spray a towel with the cleaning solution.

Wipe the inside of the refrigerator thoroughly with the wet towel. Saturate more towels, if necessary, until the entire refrigerator has been cleaned. Wipe the racks and shelves of the refrigerator.

Dry the refrigerator, shelves and racks with clean cloths or towels. Place the shelves, racks, and food and drink items back inside the refrigerator.

Open up a 16 oz. box of baking soda. Place it somewhere inside the refrigerator. Replace this box once every 30 days to eliminate and prevent foul odors inside the refrigerator.

Things You Will Need

  • Cloths/towels/paper towels
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Bucket/spray bottle
  • Baking soda

About the Author

Andrew Smith has been a freelance writer since 2006, specializing in sports and technology. His work has appeared on various online sites. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Pennsylvania State University.