Tips to clean your Refrigerator and remove Odors

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Caring for your refrigerator prolongs the life of your appliance and helps keep it odor and germ-free.



Remove the Source of the Odor

Even if you give your refrigerator a good scrubbing, the smell inside will keep coming back until you get rid of its source. Dig through your fridge and look for any expired items or leftovers that are over a week old. Sniff each item; if it has a bad smell, throw it out. Some items don’t go bad until weeks after the expiration date, but as soon as you notice a foul odor or mold; it’s time to toss them out.
Check your produce drawer for forgotten fruits and vegetables that have rotted or turned into mush. Some fruits and veggies leak a pungent liquid when rotten, so be careful not to spill it when removing the produce from the drawer. If your fridge features spill-proof shelves, most of the liquid should be contained in one drawer, making cleanup relatively easy.
If you’ve had a power outage that’s lasted longer than four hours, you may need to discard most consumable items in the fridge. Remove highly perishable items such as meats, fish and most dairy products that were held above 4.4 degrees Celsius for more than two hours. Hard cheeses and butter are fine to keep unless they develop a bad odor.
Clean and Sanitize
Once you’ve found the source, it’s time to remove the odor along with it. The smell of rotting food can permeate every inch of your fridge, especially if an item leaked out of its package. Fridges with lots of drawers and shelves give odors and trapped food debris many places to hide.
Cleaning the Interior: Clean the inside walls and accessories with a mild detergent and wipe dry with a soft cloth. You can remove the drawers and shelves for a more thorough cleaning. Always dry the shelves before putting them back into the refrigerator.
Cleaning the Exterior: Wipe the display panel with a damp, clean and soft cloth. Do not spray water directly on the surface of the refrigerator. The doors, handles and cabinet surfaces should be cleaned with a mild detergent and then wiped dry with a soft cloth.
Cleaning the Rubber Door Seals: If the rubber door seals are dirty the fridge doors may not close properly and the refrigerator will not operate efficiently. Keep the doors with a mild detergent and damp cloth. Wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Some refrigerators have a built-in deodorizer that absorbs smells. If your fridge has a deodorizer, but you still notice a bad smell, you might need to clean the cartridge. Remove the cartridge and soak it in a bowl of warm water for four hours or more. Let the cartridge dry outdoors for at least eight hours, and then reinsert it into the fridge. Don’t clean or dry the cartridge indoors or in a confined area as it may emit odors that cause the room to smell.

Stubborn Odors

If the odor persists, you may need to let the refrigerator air out for several days. Take out all of the food and put it in a cold location, and then unplug the fridge. Leave the door open until the smell dissipates.
Baking soda, coffee grounds, silica gel, and activated charcoal helps absorb odors. Put some on a plate and stick it on a shelf in the refrigerator.
Dab a few cotton balls in vanilla essential oil or extract, and then place them in the refrigerator. Close the door for 24 hours.
Newspaper can help absorb odors. Stuff wads of newspaper in the fridge’s drawers and shelves, and then close the door for a few days. After that, remove the paper and wash the fridge with a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar per 1 gallon of water.

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