I think that at one point or another we have all opened a fridge, and gotten hit by a wall of stench so foul that it could knock your socks off… Gag! I’m over here trying not to dry heave just thinking about how bad some of the fridges have been that I have smelled… But I have good news, it doesn’t have to be like that and it is much simpler to achieve a stink-less fridge than one might think.
This is one of those posts that I’m going to tell you my thoughts, and you’re probably going to say to yourself, duh! Of course it’s really that easy. Really all it boils down to is changing some of your habits and it makes all the difference in the world. I realize that training your family to follow these habits is going to be a little bit more of a challenge, but if at least one person in the family is keeping up on it, then you will have a noticeable difference in the way that your fridge smells on a regular basis.
Now on to the steps:
Step 1: Clean out your fridge! It may seem like super common sense, but if you’re going to get to the root cause of your stinky fridge, and why it always smells so badly, you need to at least start out with a clean slate. That means, go through your fridge and toss everything that is expired or old or that you know is part of the big stinky problem. Make sure to either use disinfectant wipes, or a solution of vinegar and water (if you prefer chemical-free) and give everything a good wipe down to kill all the bacteria and start fresh. Please note that it is easiest to do this particular step when you need to go grocery shopping so that there is hardly anything in there to begin with. Just plan to do it ahead of your shopping trip and you will want to thank me later…;)
Step 2: Stop just wrapping food or just placing food in the fridge. It needs to be sealed in an airtight container of some sort.
You basically are attempting to trap in any smells that normally permeate your fridge. Some of the worst offenders are onions, anything super garlicky, mexican food, chinese takeout leftovers, just think about when your fridge smells really bad, what is it that you have in there that is stinking up the place.
Even if you’re just trying to thaw meat, it needs to be in a container so that it never drips and makes a mess all over the bottom of your fridge because that bloody mess turns into a bacteria party and will stink up the place too.
Step 3: Keep A Non-Airtight Container Of Baking Soda In Your Fridge!!!
When I was a kid, my grandma always kept a little plastic lemon in her fridge and it was filled with baking soda to eliminate odors in there. So, take a page from Grandma’s playbook and do it too. Baking soda is wonderful natural deodorizer. I love it because I am able to use it and never have to worry about chemicals leaching into our food.
I like to constantly keep a little jar of baking soda (I use this size, but a pint would work too), with some holes punched into the lid, to maintain a stink-free or stink-less fridge, and it works like a charm. If you decide to do this too I recommend swapping it out every four to six months just depending on when it needs some refreshing…and make sure to discard it, I’m sure it could be reused to do some cleaning with, but I would never use it to cook with.
Step 4: Maintain a semi-clean fridge.
This is another habit that you need to develop. At least once a week you need to go through and pull out anything that is old or looking fuzzy. If you are crazy busy or have a hard time remembering to do things, just put a little recurring reminder on your phone. I personally like to clean my fridge out one shelf at a time and I only do it on an as-needed basis. I do this by moving everything that needs to stay cold to other shelves, tossing what needs to be tossed (always check expiration dates while you’re at it), and then I wipe down that shelf and organize everything else where it needs to be. Now, when it comes to the shelves in the door, I also only do those one at a time, but I add one extra step and take the shelf out and put it in the top rack of the dishwasher to give it a really good cleaning. Then when the dishwasher is done I pop the shelf back in and re-organize everything that needs to go in that shelf and voila, it’s done, easy peasy. Sometimes I only do one shelf a week, and my fridge is almost always pretty moderately clean because I have developed the habit to do so.
Can you believe that those four steps are all that it takes to get and maintain a fridge that doesn’t stink? It’s really not hard and I realize that unless you get the whole family on board there may still be a little smell, but like I said earlier, it should be significantly less than before…even if the only step that you are following is keeping some baking soda in there to absorb all of the yucky smells you should notice a big difference. However, if the baking soda is the only step that you follow, I suggest making sure to use a larger amount of it and make sure that you’ve got a pint jar in there.
That’s all I have for you all today folks! Some super simple steps to have a fridge that doesn’t smell like it would fit in right next to a pile of horse poop. As always, if you found this post helpful, please make sure to share it via social media. My girls and I really appreciate the support. Thanks so much! ~Sarah
P.S. If you haven’t looked through my cleaning section yet, you need to and can find that here. I guarantee I have at least one tip that you haven’t heard about yet.