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Clean a Stinky Fridge

Updated: May 02, 2023

Eliminate bad fridge odors with newspaper and charcoal

FH12MAR_DESTFR_01-3 stinky fridge refrigerator odor remover, fridge odor removerFamily Handyman
Turn a stinky fridge into a clean fridge by disinfecting the interior and then adding newspapers and charcoal for the final treatment. Odors will be gone within several days.

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Stinky fridge to clean fridge

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Absorb stinky fridge odor with newspaper and charcoal

Smash about 12 charcoal briquettes from your grill and spread the chunks on two trays. One goes in the fridge, the other in the freezer. Then crunch up newspaper and fill the shelves with it. Close the doors and walk away. Repeat every day for a week. Here are a few tips for cleaning the freezer.

When your power goes out and the food in your fridge and freezer goes bad, you’ve got a really stinky mess on your hands. Obviously, the first step is to remove the food and wipe everything down with a disinfecting cleaning spray. But our appliance expert, Costas Stavrou, gave us the rest of the story.

Turns out the most common mistake DIYers make is not cleaning all the nooks and crannies inside the freezer. The biggest culprits? The shelf supports in your freezer. Costas says to remove them and clean behind them with detergent and disinfectant (refrigerator odor remover) to get rid of any blood or crud. If they’re permanently attached, soak them with cleaning spray. Next, forget about those expensive charcoal odor removers or coffee (which is even more expensive). Just use newspaper and charcoal briquettes. Finally (and this is the most important part), replace the old newspaper and charcoal with fresh stuff every day for about a week or until the stinky fridge smell is gone. Don’t think a single treatment is enough. It isn’t to get rid of a stinky fridge smell.

Required Materials for this refrigerator odor remover Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Charcoal briquets
  • Disinfecting cleaner
  • Newspaper