How to Get Rid of Fish Smell in Refrigerator

VIA Appliance
April 10, 2023
Refrigerator Repair

There is nothing worse than the smell of old fish in a refrigerator! Not only is it a horrid odor, but it can also contaminate other food in your fridge, causing you to throw it out. 

In this guide, we will discuss two methods for getting rid of the fish smell in a refrigerator: the fast method and the deep clean method. If you’re short on time and want to remove the odor quickly, follow the fast method, but if you have more time and want to give your appliance a thorough clean, follow the deep clean method.

Let’s start with the fast method.

The fast method

Simply follow these steps to remove the fish smell:

  1. Remove the fish from your fridge. Start by finding and discarding the fish or other seafood products causing the smell. Before throwing it away, wrap it in paper or put it in a plastic bag to prevent the smell from lingering in your garbage bin.
  2. Take the shelf out. Remove all food and drink items that were stored on the same shelf as the fish. After removing the items, take out the shelf from your refrigerator.
  3. Clean the shelf. Thoroughly clean the shelf using hot soapy water in your sink, and then dry it. While cleaning the shelf, leave the fridge door open to help dissipate the fish smell.
  4. Put the shelf back into the fridge. After cleaning and drying the shelf, put it back into the fridge. Before returning the food and drink items, check their expiration dates and dispose of any that have expired.
  • Deodorize your fridge. To help eliminate the odor, place a small bowl of baking soda or coffee grounds on the shelf where the fish was stored. This will help to deodorize your fridge. Another option is to use an air purifier if you have one.

The deep clean method

If you have the time and want to give your refrigerator unit a more thorough clean, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the fish from your fridge. Start by finding and discarding the fish or other seafood product causing the odor. Before disposing of it in the garbage, wrap it in paper or place it in a plastic bag to prevent your garbage bin from smelling.
  2. Empty the fridge. Once the fish has been dealt with, remove all the other food and drink items from your fridge. You can place them in coolers to help keep them cool during the cleaning process.
  3. Throw away any expired food. Check the expiry date of every food and drink item. If any items are past their best-before date, throw them away.
  4. Remove the shelves. Remove all of the shelves and food drawers from your refrigerator. Place them all in your kitchen sink and fill them with hot soapy water. Give them a thorough clean, and then leave them to dry off while you clean the inside of your fridge.
  5. Leave the door open. During cleaning, leave your refrigerator door open to help remove any lingering fish odor.
  6. Clean the inside. To clean the inside of your appliance, use a commercial spray cleaner or make your own one using 1/3 a cup of white vinegar mixed with warm water. Once you have your cleaning mixture, spray and wipe all interior surfaces. If there are any stubborn stains, you can use a non-scratch pad to remove them.
  7. Clean the door seals. The next step is to clean the door seals/ gaskets. You can use a small brush like an old toothbrush to ensure you get into all of the hard-to-reach parts of the seal. The rest of the seal can be cleaned with your cleaning spray and a cloth.
  8. Clean the outside of your fridge. Spray and wipe all exterior surfaces to remove any stains. If you have a stainless-steel fridge, you can use lemon juice or a commercial stainless steel spray to give it a nice shine.
  9. Make sure your fridge is dry. Check that the interior of your refrigerator is dry. If not, use a clean cloth to dry any wet spots.
  10. Put your fridge back together. Once your fridge is clean and dry, you can put the shelves and drawers back into position, followed by the food and drink items.
  11. Deodorize your fridge. To help remove any remaining smell, place a small bowl of baking soda or coffee grounds on the shelf the fish was on. This will help deodorize your fridge. Another option is to use an air purifier if you have one.

Tips to keep your refrigerator clean

To help reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and eliminate nasty odors, here are a few simple tips to keep your refrigerator clean.

  • Clean up spills quickly. If you spill anything in your fridge, wipe it up immediately to prevent bad odors and stains from occurring.
  • Give your fridge a regular clean. It’s a good idea to clean your fridge every month – especially the shelves and drawers.
  • Store your food properly. Make sure you keep different food items separate, like raw meats and vegetables. Where possible, you should also store food in airtight containers or cover items with plastic wrap. This will prevent cross-contamination.
  • Monitor expiry dates. When you take food and drink items out of the fridge, it’s a good idea to check the expiry date so you can throw away any expired foods as soon as possible

Deodorize your fridge. Placing a bowl of baking soda in your fridge will help deodorize your fridge and prevent bad odors.

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