How To Fix a Fridge That Smells

By on September 11, 2020 in Major Applicances with 0 Comments

I have a brother who lives on his own.  Generally, he eats well, but every single time I am at his place and I open his fridge I get a pungent smell.  I mean his fridge smells bad.  We argue all the time but I’ve tried to tell him that his fridge smells of cheese.

Regardless of his arguing, if a fridge smells off, its almost always cheese although there can be other culprits.

He particularly loves speciality cheeses.  Not pre-packaged, or thin sliced cuts although they can certainly stink if you leave them in your fridge.  For my brother its those really special cheeses, he buys.  He’s bought Pont l’Eveque and Epoisses cheeses before, which are two of the most stinky cheeses out there.

I love an organised kitchen and I am a cleanliness freak so I try to clean out my fridge at least once a week. Before I go shopping for the week’s groceries.

I also do a deep clean every three months.  By that I mean everything comes out, I wash the interior fridge walls, crisper drawers.  Anything that might be smelling or off gets thrown out.

It is simple, if your fridge smells like cheese, here are a few tips for you.

fridge smells of cheese

If you fridge smells of cheese

Take the time to look at what old cheese you have.  If you live on pre-packaged cheese or thin slices cheeses from a deli.  It might not be that much of a problem.

If your like my brother who loves speciality cheeses (Whoever heard of a Roquefort).    Anything like washed-rind cheeses, look for mouldy cheese.

Make sure you have it properly wrapped as well.  Left unwrapped you are asking for a nice cheese smelling fridge.

Check your shelves

Usually, you put the most popular things in your fridge about the first 15 – 20 cms on a fridge shelve. If your anything like my brother, you end up pushing things to the back of the shelf.  Never to be seen again.

He’s been known to push fruits, meats and cheese to the back of the shelf and forget about them.  It’s a great way to guarantee that your fridge will start to stink.

Take the time to look at what you have at the back of the shelf, rotate it if you need to.  Or do what I do, throw out the stuff that is on its way out every week.

Wrap and package properly

Make sure you wrap everything properly.  Alfoil is great for just cooking not so good for storage, you might want to use cling wrap instead.

Invest in some decent Tupperware, make sure you press the lids down correctly.  There is nothing worse then leaving a lid half off if you let the food go off it will smell.

Throw rotten produce out

Nothing worse than buying the same fresh produce every week, and just throwing it in the same crisper draw in the fridge. Take the time once per week to throw any suspect fruit and vegetables out of your crisper draw.

If you leave produce in there long enough it will turn to soggy mush.

Check sauces and milk

My brother tends to store all his open sauce bottle, milk, OJs, and last nights takeaway sauces in the side door of the fridge.  I kid you not, his oyster sauce bottle had mould in it.  Make sure in your weekly clean out any condiments that are off as well.  Left half-open they will stink up any fridge.

smelling fridge

Check the back of the fridge

Sometimes smells might not be coming from inside your fridge.  Just sometime it might be the outside.  Make sure when you clean it once a week, give your fridge a wipe down from the outside.  If you smell a burning type of smell, clean and check the condenser coils at the back of the fridge.

The back of a fridge is the one place where dust and other debris will collect.  If you’ve cleaned the back of the fridge and you can still smell something.  Then make sure you call an appliance technician.

What temperature is your fridge set at

You should also check the temperature that your fridge is set at.  If you live in a humid location you might need to turn down the internal temperature setting.  Normally the fridge should be set at between 35oF (1.6oC) and 37oF (2.7oC). So check that your fridge is at the right temperature.

Add some assistance

I found these on Amazon.  You can get silica mats that can help keep odours away.  They are designed to prevent premature produce rot, by fitting into your crisper draw.

Baking soda is my mum’s favourite thing to use.  Also, she puts a dash of vanilla essence in the fridge when she cleans it fully.

When you are cleaning your fridge, try using a nice smelling spray and wipe.

It’s easy to stay on top of a smelly fridge.  Just do a quick clean once per week, then a deep clean every three months.  If your fridge smells of cheese it might just be something else that is causing it.

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About the Author

About the Author: Rachel is a lover of the Kitchen. Having designed her own several times, picking the top kitchen equipment. She's learned how to prepare some of the best and tastiest foods possible. .


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