A bad smell from your refrigerator can be a problem. It’s unpleasant but also unhygienic.
There are many possible causes of a nasty odor. Read on to find out about the most common ones and learn the steps you can take to fix it.
The following models of Electrolux refrigerator are covered by this guide:
Check for Expired Food
The most common reason for a bad smell coming from your refrigerator is food that has expired. Check your refrigerator for any rotten food and dispose of it. You should also check for any food spills and clean these using a wet cloth and a spray cleaner.
Store Food Correctly
Using your refrigerator optimally will help to prevent food from spoiling or taking on nasty smells.
Use the following tips to ensure best practices when using your appliance:
- Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below and your freezer at 0°F. Regularly check the actual temperature inside each compartment using an external thermometer. If the actual temperature is higher than your thermostat, adjust accordingly.
- Use the super cooling function when adding large amounts of new food to the refrigerator. To activate it, press and hold the set temperature button until the super cooling light turns on. This is best done about six hours before adding food to the refrigerator.
- Keep open food in sealed containers.
- Put strong smelling foods, such as onions, sauces, and smoked meats, away from milk, eggs, and cheese. These foods easily take on strong odors.
- Do not store food so that it or its container touches the back of the refrigerator. This will increase the likelihood of condensed water pooling and becoming stagnant.
Absorb Lingering Odors
A bad smell can remain in your refrigerator even after you have removed the offending food. Odor-causing particles can stick to the interior surfaces of the refrigerator or to food, causing the lingering scent.
There are several natural deodorizers that you can place inside your refrigerator to absorb the odorants.
Place one of the following deodorizers on a plate, and place it inside the main compartment for about 24 hours; then dispose of it. You can try more than one at the same time for a stronger effect.
- Baking soda
- Activated charcoal
- Freshly ground coffee
- Cotton wool soaked in vanilla essence
After deodorizing your refrigerator, you can place some cut citrus fruits inside to impart a fresh scent. Oranges and lemons work well.
Clean Your Refrigerator Regularly
Cleaning your refrigerator should be a regular habit regardless of whether it smells. If you can’t get rid of a persistent smell, a thorough clean should do the trick.
Follow the following tips to clean your refrigerator properly:
- Turn your refrigerator off at the wall or unplug it before cleaning.
- Take out all of your food before beginning and store it in a cool place. If you don’t have another refrigerator to keep your food cool, you can freeze ice packs and pack these around the food.
- Take out all removable components, including shelves and crispers, and wash these separately using dish soap and warm water. Do not put these in the dishwasher.
- Use a mixture of warm water and baking soda to clean inside your refrigerator, but avoid using this on the rubber seals. Apply it with a wet cloth or sponge and dry thoroughly.
- Use only clean water to clean the rubber seals and dry them thoroughly.
- After cleaning, leave the doors open for a few hours so the refrigerator can air out before replacing your food and switching it back on.
Clear the Drainage Hole
Your refrigerator has a drainage hole at the back that drains water condensing inside the refrigerator. This hole can become blocked over time with small pieces of food or packaging that wash in and build up.
Food and stale water inside the hole can also emit a bad smell. You should also notice water pooling in the bottom of the refrigerator if this is indeed the problem.
Here’s how to clear it out:
- Switch off your refrigerator at the wall.
- Remove the crisper drawers.
- Use a sponge to clean any water in the bottom of the refrigerator.
- Use the drain hole cleaning device provided with your refrigerator to clear the blockage. If you do not have this, you can order a replacement (product number 50214722006) from Electrolux. Cotton swabs or a straw cleaning brush are also suitable replacements.
- Dissolve baking soda in warm water and pour a small amount down the drain to wash it out.
- Replace the crisper drawers and turn your refrigerator back on.
Wash the Drip Tray and Condenser
The drainage tube leads to a drip tray behind the refrigerator. This is another place where food and stagnant water can build up, causing nasty odors that can often be smelled even when the refrigerator door is shut. A smell can also be caused by dirt and grime that has become trapped inside the condenser coils.
Here’s how to clean them:
- Switch your refrigerator off at the wall and unplug it.
- Pull your refrigerator out from the wall so you can access the back side of it.
- Use a stiff brush to clean the condenser coils and dislodge any dirt or grime.
- Locate the drip tray. It is the white plastic tray located above the condenser motor.
- Pull it toward you to remove it. It may be a little stuck if you haven’t removed it for a while, so pull firmly.
- Wash the drip tray using warm water and dish soap; then dry it thoroughly.
- Clip the drip tray back into place.
- Put your refrigerator back into place and plug it back in at the wall.
This guide has covered the most common reasons for a bad smell coming from your Electrolux refrigerator. If you try these methods, you should be able to get rid of the smell. If the smell persists after trying these fixes, contact a professional refrigerator repairperson.