Why Does My Fridge Smell Like Chemicals? 5 Surprising Reasons!

You may start worrying and ask, “Why does my fridge smell like chemicals?” and when this happens, it’s usually a sign that there is a chemical leakage in your unit. But don’t stress it out because you can solve it in simple ways.

This article will give you an idea of when you should start worrying and contacting your neighborhood electrician for fridge help and when not to. Well, for your sake, hopefully not!

Why does my fridge smell like chemicals

Fridges are machines that run through electricity. And it needs chemicals, known as refrigerants, to do its job, that is, to keep your food cool and fresh.

But, don’t panic yet! These factors are not particularly harmful when exposed to them. However, if you leave your fridge untreated, it might just start to.


Reasons Why My Fridge Smell Like Chemicals

Why does my fridge smell like chemicals? Chemical odors can be attributed to a lot of things. In appliances that require chemicals to keep it running, this situation is not exactly new to users.

However, if you haven’t encountered it yet, you haven’t had the full refrigerator experience! This article will guide you when you start worrying and pass it off as a normal phenomenon.


#1. Refrigerant coolants are leaking

As previously mentioned, refrigerators require the aid of chemicals to run effectively. Though toxic, they are not harmful, especially since the amounts produced by the fridge are minimal in quantity. However, the said gadget has various coolants that are prone to leakage.



When it comes to refrigerator coolants, freon is the most common and well-known. It is toxic, but it does not affect anything as long as it is taken in small amounts. Watch out. However, do not expose yourself to high temperatures or gases that are too hot. The reaction between the two can be a deadly hazard.

Freon does not smell like anything, so it will be much harder to detect and fix.  However, in most cases, it can still emit a pungent, chemical smell. Physically, it can also produce a greasy liquid on your appliance.

Chemicals are essential to maintain a smooth use of the fridge so, you can’t exactly have it removed to get rid of the chemical smell. However, in terms of leakage, have a professional check it for the root cause of the leak and then have it fixed.


#2. Gases are being emitted

Since fridges are modern-day appliances that use energy for convenience, it produces some harmful by-products. Toxic gases produced are not dangerous to your health since it there are not many. However, if the issue is left untreated, it may accumulate in your atmosphere. In the future, it can be fatal and lead to health issues.

The smell of ammonia can primarily identify toxic gases. Since the said appliance cannot help but release these gases as a side product of usage, it is not harmful.

However, if produced in overflowing amounts, this is a sign that there is an issue with your gadget. Make sure to be in touch with a professional immediately and avoid inhaling the gas.

It can also help to remove any food inside. That is to avoid contaminating it. Turn off the fridge as well. If it’s no longer working, the gases produced will be lesser than average, even with a fault in the controls. Aside from these emergency responses, there’s not much you can do but wait for the professional.


#3. Contaminated evaporator fan

That may happen quite often than you think, and you better wish this was the only issue in your refrigerator. Though removing the smell in this situation is more time-consuming, it requires less effort and little to no money.

Chemical presence is not entirely new, especially at home. Though infrequent, their smell usually stays, and even if placed far away, it can still make its way into your fridge and inside your fans. Evaporator fans are also responsible sucking in cool air.

Therefore, there is a possibility that it can inhale the chemical smell, as well. When inside the refrigerator, the smell cannot spread all over the appliance. Thus, creating the odor, you want to get rid of.

If this happens, all you have to do is wait until the fumes finish their cycle all over the place. You can speed up the process by opening up the door. Removing the contents is also good, especially if you don’t want pungent odors sticking to your food.


#4. Newly-bought

The pungent odor produced by your fridge is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, it can be silent proof that it is new, unused, and fresh. Machines that produce chemicals have that unused, chemical-ish smell to them. That is because no food odor has contaminated its interiors yet.

You don’ have to do anything about this. The scent will eventually wear off in time, especially after you start placing food inside it.


#5. Cleaning products

Again, chemical smell is not a sign of hazard all the time. In some cases, it’s because you’ve never used it before. However, in most households, the chemical smell can signify that it’s been used before.

Used and cleaned. Cleaning products contain chemicals that aid in maintaining the hygiene of your appliances. However, they usually emit a strong smell due to the combination of ingredients.

Do not worry about this. All you need is to keep the door open after cleaning to exhaust the foul odor. Then, once finished, you can use it again.



When encountering a dilemma on why your fridge smells like chemicals, it’s either between its too clean or it starts evacuating your food because that is toxic. Anyway, you now have an idea of when to the former and latter. And that is your answer to “Why does my fridge smell like chemicals?”  I hope you do great!

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