Have you ever found a strange pungent smell coming out of your refrigerator every time you open it? If yes, its probably because something has spoiled inside the refrigerator. Maybe its a glass of milk, maybe a rotten potato or just a egg that has gone bad. Whatever the case may be, it is going to produce a very bad smell that will spread throughout the refrigerator. Some of these smells are very hard to get rid of while some will make you nauseous at the slightest hint of it.
If the smell is left untreated it can seep to every corner of the refrigerator which only will make it more difficult to remove later on.
If you ever have to face such situation follow out step by step guide and get rid of the odor in an effective way –
1. Empty the refrigerator –
You might find the particular item causing all the odor and stench but it is necessary to remove all the items from the refrigerator and not just the offending item. Odor tends to attach itself to any nearby items and when such a odor is produced it will carry itself over to other food items in the refrigerator too.
If the odor is due to a power outage then it is highly advised to just get rid of any of the compromised food as a refrigerator can only keep the food fresh for 4 hours without a power supply.
2. Clean everything –
Once you take out all the food items, either keep it in a secondary fridge or a cold place for the time being. Since odor tends to attach to objects in the surrounding areas, the interiors of the refrigerator are the most common places that will be compromised. Take out the interior components such as plastic bins, trays, shelves, bins, crisper drawers, ice trays, etc and handwash them with warm water.
Make sure you use enough soap and wash them thoroughly. If the smell is too bad, use a tablespoon of chlorine bleach or sanitizing lotion to clean the components. Once all the parts are washed leave them to dry, if possible dry them in the sun. This will help to remove any of the remaining odor.
3. Deodorize –
Once all the removable parts are washed, you need to wash the interiors of the refrigerator. Pull the power plug off and let the refrigerator warm up to the room temperature. To wash the interiors of the refrigerator make a solution of baking soda and water.
The best mixture can be made by adding a cup of baking soda to each gallon of water. While cleaning, use a sponge and soak it in the solution and gently clean the interior thoroughly. Do not use any abrasive brushes or cleaners as they can scratch the refrigerator damaging it.
4. Dry it out –
Once the cleaning is done we need to dry it out. The best and most effective way to dry it is to leave the refrigerator door open and let it air out on its own. It is better if you dry it out in the presence of direct sunlight. Sunlight helps to evaporate any kind of odor that is still pertaining. If the smell is too strong and not going away easily you can also spray some air freshener inside the refrigerator while its drying out.
5. Cleaning the evaporator –
If even after trying all the steps given above, you are unable to get rid of the odor then it is probably due to the fact that the odor has seeped into the evaporator coils that circulates cool air throughout the refrigerator. This can be tricky to get rid of as the coils are delicate and need to be handled with care. To proceed, locate the coils, in most refrigerators, they are located under the refrigerator behind a grill.
Remove the screws on the grill and access the coils. Create a solution of warm water and liquid soap in equal amounts and spray it on the coil and the fan blades. Wipe it with a damp cloth to dry it faster. Now let the coils dry out on their own. Once they have dried out, put back the grill and put in the screws. Once the refrigerator starts working again the coils will circulate fresh air inside the refrigerator, which will remove all the remaining odor and replace it with clean fresh air.