Why Does My Fridge Smell? 7 Surprising Reasons!

The question is: Why does my fridge smell? There could be several reasons as to why a fridge smells.

You can use fridge deodorizers or fresheners to prevent the smell but it is even better to identify the source of the smell, instead of simply masking it.

why does my fridge smell

Well, there are many reasons, as I mentioned. Maybe, your fridge is just dirty; and it just requires you a deep cleaning. There are instances when you just stored your food incorrectly. Whatever it is, there’s a solution to that, my friends.

So, for you to know more about this topic, read further!


Common Reasons Why Does My Fridge Smell

A foul smell in your fridge can man several things. Read further to find out the most common reason behind the smell so that you will know which one is most likely the issue with your fridge.


Reason #1. Dirty fridge

The primary reason behind the smell is food debris that is stacked insides the fridge. With that being said, regular cleaning is important to avoid any foul smell. It is recommended that you do this before you fill your fridge with groceries.

Empty the fridge cleanse it using a sponge that is soaked in mild detergent or vinegar. Make sure to clean the handle, little crannies, and nooks where food debris might be left like in the corners of the shelves or drawers as well as the door seals.

Take note; you should not use toxic detergents or bleach in cleaning the surfaces of the fridge. That is because these products may damage the plastic parts of the fridge or make it yellowish.


Reason #2. Incorrect storing of food

The smelling issue can be coming from food with a strong smell. That is why you need to ensure that the foods are stored properly inside a sealed container.


Reason #3. Dirty water tank

If your fridge is designed with a water dispenser and smells like a chemical, it could mean that you must clean the water tank. Also, you might need to change the filter. Again, refer to the user guide to know how to do this.


Reason #4. The fridge has to be defrosted

If you did not defrost the fridge properly, the frost accumulation would affect its operation adversely. That is because the temperature won’t be consistent and even inside the fridge anymore. It means that it won’t maintain the cold chain.

The thickness of the frost layer on the evaporator of the fridge must not exceed 2 mm. You should also distribute it homogeneously across the back wall of the fridge interior.

Otherwise, it could indicate the thermostat setting is too high. It might also mean that its door seal does not sit evenly or tightly in its place as you close the door.

You should also check whether or not its light is staying on if you close the door. That is because the light is giving off heat which is enough to cause issues with temperature.

For instance, it can make your fridge extremely cold or cause the buildup of excess frost. In checking the light, you may place your smartphone in your refrigerator with its camera on and shut the door closed.


Reason #5. Defective compressor

If your fridge is producing a hot or burnt smell, then the problem could be its compressor. However, it is possible that its motor does not work properly. That is particularly the case when it overheats. As such, you need a gap between the wall and the fridge enough to allow proper airflow.

It is also ideal to clean any dust off regularly because it might build up around the condenser and compressor. When cleaning, you can use a soft brush or dry cloth. Furthermore, you can also check whether or not the plastic smell comes from the box inserted into the compressor.

If that is the case, the cover needs to be removed. Then, check the start relay condition. Before you clean the area, remember to disconnect the fridge from the power first.


Reason #6. Too high or too low refrigerator temperature

The very first thing that you can do to get rid of the smell is to check the temperature of your appliance. If it is not cold enough, mold can grow in food, or various bacteria like salmonella may contaminate it.

On the other hand, if it has a too low temperature, it may give off a damp odor due to the frost build-up. Either way, you need to check if its thermostat works properly. In other words, you need to check whether or not the fridge gets too cold.

To do this, remove the bulb of the thermostat from where it is mounted. Then, place the thermostat sensor end in glass that is filled with cold water and ice cubes. After that, you need to adjust the setting of the thermostat with the use of its dial. In case it does not switch on, then it means that it needs to be replaced.


Reason #7. Mold build-up

Mold can grow in any environment, particularly in damp conditions. This can easily contaminate foodstuffs, thereby causing a foul smell. With that being said, it is important to throw away any products that are past their expiry date right away.


It’s A Wrap!

The above factors are the common reasons why does my fridge smell. You can also check if that is the case with your fridge. Do not worry about the smell too much because many ways can help in getting rid of it.

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