Foul odors tend to linger in kitchens. Storing things properly in the fridge and staying on top of regular upkeep will prevent bad smells and keep your kitchen fresh.
People who cook at home often struggle with smells coming from their fridges. Unfortunately, while you’re trying to keep things cool, they can fester and trigger stinky smells. Knowing when and how to store food will help you avoid unpleasant odors and get the most from your fridge.
Typically, the problem with smells isn’t your fridge’s fault. Though bad appliances exist, the more significant issue is frequently loose containers, poor cleaning, and the lack of good cleaning products.
If you’re trying to make your fridge smell nice and fresh, here are some tips you can use that don’t require that much work.
1. Use an Odor Absorbent
Chances are, you grew up seeing a big box of yellow baking soda inside the fridge door. Perhaps you had no idea what it was for, but seeing baking soda in the fridge is very common.
Well, baking soda is excellent for adsorbing odors because it gives small food particles that cause smells something to bond with. So instead of floating around, they bond with the baking soda, neutralizing the smell.
Baking soda is terrific for making your fridge smell nice because it’s affordable, and one box will last for years. Depending on the size of your fridge, you can purchase a small box, open it, and leave it on a door shelf or fridge container to do its work while you’re away at work or asleep.
Besides baking soda, there are plenty of odor absorbers and fridge deodorizers specifically designed to combat funky smells in your refrigerator. Most of them are neutral scents, but there are also scented products for people who want a nice smell every time they open the fridge door.
2. Buy Some Air-Tight Storage Containers
Leaving things like bowls or plates open in the fridge will quickly give rise to strong smells. Depending on the food you make, you could affect the way your fridge smells for days or weeks. For example, if you make a strong curry or steak dish and leave it out in an unsealed container, its aroma will contaminate the rest of the exposed food in your fridge.
Instead, invest in high-quality containers that will seal the smells and help you get the most out of your leftovers. You can store the strongest garlic dish or kimchi in an air-tight container without worry. They’ll keep the smells inside as long as the food is in there, even if what you cooked a week ago starts to turn sour.
These containers come in all sizes, so you can find some great configurations to fit with your model fridge. Skip the plastic wrap or foil and use the containers instead.
Zipper bags are another fantastic solution for trapping smells and making your fridge smell nice. Bags are ideal for things like chopped veggies, fruit, and meat.
3. Clean Your Fridge Regularly to Make it Smell Nice
Regular cleaning is one of the best ways to deodorize a fridge. Unfortunately, your fridge can stink even if you have no leftovers or strong-smelling food inside.
Usually, when this happens, it’s because you’ve got food particles, old juice spills, and crusty hot sauce sitting on your shelves or in your drawers.
If you want to make your fridge smell nice, you need to clean it well and often. It’s wise to clean a refrigerator at least once a quarter and more often if you’re frequently cooking at home.
You don’t need to do much of anything special, just:
- Buy some multi-surface cleaning spray and rags.
- Empty out the fridge before you spray and clean.
- Ensure the fridge is as water-free as possible before piling things back inside.
Also, take care of any spills quickly to stop liquids and crumbs from seeping into the seams of your fridge. Look for trouble areas like the rubber seal around the fridge door, and clear out any gunk or crusty food particles that are stuck inside.
The cleaner will likely have a fresh scent, which will make your fridge smell clean and almost new again.
4. Keep the Lid on Jars and Bottles
Jars and bottles are a significant smell culprit inside your fridge. When you live somewhere long enough and try some recipes, you accumulate jars of sauces, crushed garlic, dressings, and other condiments with strong smells.
First, open jars are more likely to leak, leading to fridge damage and foul odors. Dealing with a leak is never fun because you usually have to empty out the rest of the items near the spill to clean it up. Second, loose jar lids leak smells around the clock while your fridge is closed. That jar of pickles you forgot to close tightly pushes garlic and vinegar odors around your fridge constantly.
One or two jars may not be a big deal, but many loose jar lids or open bottles will combine into something you’ll hate smelling whenever you open your fridge. So instead, make sure to close everything tightly whenever you use them.
5. Use Coffee Grounds as a Deodorizer
Whether you’re a coffee drinker or not, using some coffee grounds in an open jar or container inside your fridge does wonders for keeping your fridge smelling nice. Coffee grounds absorb strong odors and leave your appliance smelling as fresh as a morning brew every time you open the door.
You don’t need a lot of coffee beans or grounds to do the trick. Instead, find a small container and keep it out of the way to avoid spills. Eventually, your fridge will start to smell nicer, and you won’t have to worry about what you put in there after cooking.
6. Air Out Your Fridge
Airing out the fridge is a trick homeowners and landlords use whenever they’re moving out or in. By defrosting or airing out your fridge, you can neutralize any strong smells from before someone else moves in or if a prior tenant who was in the home before you.
Of course, you’ll want to plan well in advance to avoid spoilage or food melting while you air the fridge out. Make sure you eat any frozen items like ice cream ahead of time.
Airing out your fridge for a few hours to an entire day is an excellent way to reset the fridge and clear out any bad smells. So the next time you move into a new apartment or house, give it a try before you start loading the fridge up with your food.
7. Put Dates on Food You’re Saving
What if you meal prep or habitually leave leftovers in the fridge for too long? Eventually, all that prepared food goes bad and will start to smell.
Foods have a finite shelf-life. To stop wasting food and combat odors, start marking your containers with dates on a piece of masking tape. This will help you know when you need to eat something or throw it away instead of recognizing it’s time to clean things out when you can’t stand to open your fridge anymore.
A nice, organized fridge that smells nice is a joy to use for any homeowner or tenant. Keep your fridge in great shape by sealing smelly foods for the right time and regularly cleaning spills or debris.
The more you stay on top of your food prep and the condition of your fridge, the less likely you are to deal with smelly food and other foul odors.
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