21 Home Remedies for Refrigerators

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Keeping food and drinks cold, a refrigerator is one of those appliances that we “can’t live without.” Making sure that your fridge is clean and smelling fresh will only enhance and protect the contents you put in. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of money when you are familiar with home remedies for refrigerators.

Home Remedies for Refrigerators

Refrigerator Home Remedies

The refrigerator is responsible for preserving, storing and chilling our food and drink products. Without it, we couldn’t keep opened bottles of mayonnaise from spoiling, make Jell-O, or preserve medications, such as insulin for diabetes treatment. To make sure your appliance is clean and smelling fresh, consider the following home remedies for refrigerators:

a) Baking Soda:

To eliminate bad smells in a refrigerator, remove the contents and then sprinkle a bit of baking soda on a damp sponge. Scrub the sides, shelves and compartments of the refrigerator. Rinse well with a clean, wet sponge. Place a fresh box of baking soda inside to keep it smelling fresh. This remedy will also work to remove dried-up spills in the fridge.

b) Vanilla Extract:

To deodorize a refrigerator, dampen a cotton ball with vanilla extract and place on a shelf. The vanilla extract works like a deodorizer that sends a pleasant scent inside your appliance.

c) Club Soda:

To remove the smudges and stains on the outside of a stainless steel refrigerator, dampen a soft cloth with club soda and wipe down the spots after cleaning. Use a clean, dry cloth as a final wipe down.

d) Olive Oil:

After washing your stainless steel refrigerator, restore its shine by using olive oil. Apply a small amount of the oil to a clean, soft cloth, and then gently wipe onto the fridge. Make sure to work the oil into the direction of the grain.

e) Baby oil (or Mineral Oil):

After cleaning the outside of your stainless steel refrigerator, you may find it less than shiny. Restore its luster by wiping down with a soft cloth dipped in baby or mineral oil. Use a gentle wipe method to work the oil into the direction of the grain.

f) Lemons:

To remove fridge odor, dab lemon juice on a sponge or cotton ball, and leave in for a couple of hours.

g) Sniff Check:

Pinpoint the source of offending smells and toss them in the trash – you never know when the leftovers sitting for weeks have been shoved to the back of the refrigerator.

h) Salt:

Add salt to one gallon of warm water to create a solution for cleaning the refrigerator. After removing all of the contents and racks, use a sponge to clean the inside.

i) Tomato Juice:

Oddly enough, tomato juice can help remove the odors left behind when a power outage spoils all of your food. Toss away the bad contents of the fridge and thoroughly wipe the insides with a sponge or washcloth drenched in undiluted tomato juice. Rinse well with warm, soapy water – and wipe dry. You may have to repeat the process for truly strong odors[1].

j) Vinegar:

Use equal parts of white vinegar and water to wash down the interior and exterior of your refrigerator. To prevent the growth of mildew, wash the inside walls and bin interiors with a cloth dipped in undiluted white vinegar. You can also use vinegar to wipe away the dust and grime that gathers on the top of your fridge.

k) Plastic Lids [2]:

You can contain the damage that drip-prone bottles and containers cause by using plastic lids as coasters to protect your refrigerator shelves. Position the lids under the food containers to prevent any potential leaks. If they get dirty, toss them in the dishwasher.

l) Pantyhose:

To easily dust under your refrigerator, ball up a pair of old pantyhose and attach it to a coat hanger or yardstick by using a rubber band. Dust bunnies and dirt will cling to the nylon.

m) Plastic Wrap:

To create a protective shield that makes cleaning the top of your refrigerator a cinch – cover with overlapping sheets of plastic wrap. When you need to clean, all you have to do is remove the old sheets, toss away, and then replace with new layers.

n) Sponge:

To protect the food stored in your produce bin, line the bottom with pieces of dry sponge. This method discourages the accumulation of water and moisture, which can decrease the life of fruits and vegetables. When the sponge pieces start to get wet, wring them out before putting back into the fridge.

o) Bubble Wrap:

Lining your refrigerator crisper drawer with bubble wrap will prevent bruising of fruit and other produce. When the lining gets soiled, simply toss in the trash and replace with a fresh layer.

p) Dishwashing Detergent & Vinegar:

To clean the inside of a refrigerator, pour 3/4 gallon of clean, warm tap water into a plastic bucket used for cleaning the house. Add one tablespoon of mild detergent to the water[3]. Mix the ingredients well, and then add one quart of distilled vinegar, which will serve as a mild disinfectant. The vinegar will effectively clean old, messy food spills. To use the solution, soak an absorbent cleaning cloth or sponge in the water.

q) Coal:

Placing a piece of coal in a small cup or plate, and setting in your refrigerator will help keep stinky smells off of your edibles.

r) Coffee Beans:

Store coffee beans in a small cup or jar (with no lid) on your refrigerator shelf to help neutralize an unpleasant odor[4].

s) Newspaper:

Spreading a thick layer of newspaper on your refrigerator shelves will make cleaning easier to accomplish if you should spill anything.

t) Expiration Date Shuffle:

Keep an eye out for the expiration dates of the products stored in your refrigerator. Position the food and drinks that are closer to expiring in the forefront of your shelves, so you can use them before they perish and start to stink up your fridge.

u) Dishwashing Detergent & Baking Soda:

To remove stains without damaging the surfaces of your refrigerator, mix one gallon of warm water with one tablespoon of mild detergent and three tablespoons of baking soda. The abrasive action of the baking soda will work to remove hard-to-remove food stains. Use an absorbent cloth or sponge to clean.


[1] http://www.rd.com/home/clean-and-deodorize-your-refrigerator

[2] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 268.

[3] http://www.soap.com/html/sg/mild-dish-detergent.html

[4] http://lifehacker.com/5858606/use-ground-coffee-in-the-fridge-as-a-natural-freshener-and-odor-reducer