5 Types of bad smells from the Refrigerator along with their solutions.

Refrigerator Smell Solitons
Refrigerator Smell Solitons

A refrigerator can stink. A strong metallic damp smell or a musty smell is because of molds and bacteria. A rotten smell is because of some vegetables or food items. A chemical or gas smell is due to leakage of the refrigerant.

Here are common moisture absorbents that will help keep smells away from your fridge.

4 Moisture Absorbant 

A bad-smelling refrigerator is a common problem. There are multiple reasons for it. Everybody smells things differently.

But this smell has a common name that is applicable to everyone, that is stink.

You will not like it. It feels bad to store food in such conditions. So we need to know the following:

  • What kind of smells are possible?
  • What is causing it?
  • How to get rid of that smell?

Let us now see what kind of smell is possible. It is very difficult to describe a smell in written words.

It will be difficult to understand and a common answer will be stink or weird. So read till the end to get a good perspective of the problem.

Read: Best Triple Door Refrigerator.

Musty smell in a Refrigerator

A musty smell is what I perceive like a strong, metallic and damp smell. This smell starts when bacteria or molds start growing in the areas where there was moisture.

This kind of smell is common when your fridge is not working. Suppose you go on a long vacation and you had switched off your refrigerator.  

After coming back when you open the fridge door, you will be greeted with this smell.

Know that we know what is the problem. We have to find a solution.


We would need to get rid of the moisture. These are the following things you need to do.

Read: Best Doube Door Refrigerator in India.

Empty your refrigerator.

It will be very difficult for you to clean the refrigerator; when it is stuffed with food items. So you will have to empty it. I know it is not easy. So you have to plan it accordingly.

Discard the paper and plastic packets.

The paper and plastic packets are used to store some food items. Both of them absorb moisture and also the smell.

So if they are not very expensive and are replicable then discard them. I am talking about plastic packets or bags, not plastic boxes.

Also, try and avoid using single-use plastic even if it is available.

Clean the refrigerator.

Cleaning the refrigerator is a bigger topic.  So I have discussed it in detail in this article. But as of now, I will give you a short insight.

Prepare detergent water and dip the plastic boxes and wash them. Once you wash them then keep them upside down on a table. Let the extra water drain. Finally, dry them with a dry cloth.

Clean the interior of the fridge with warm water and detergent. Wipe all the corners carefully. Then dry it with a warm cloth.

Use Moisture absorbent

Take a pot and put moisture absorbent. Leave the pot there for 24 hrs. In the meantime, leave the doors open with the help of a towel.

These absorbents will absorb the remaining moisture. So no more bacteria and molds. So no musty smell. Not finished yet. We have to restart the fridge.

Read: Best Mini Fridge in India.

Restart the Fridge

After 24 hrs, start the refrigerator. Do not rush inputting your food items back. Start slowly by putting some items.

Remember that your refrigerator is smart as it runs on smart inverter technology.

It will cool depending on what you have stored inside the refrigerator.

Wait for a few hours. Then start putting your stuff back.

Must Read: Refrigerator Maintenance and Cleaning.

Common Moisture absorbent:

Here is a list of common moisture absorbents. You can get access to them very easily.

     Baking Soda

Also known as sodium bicarbonate can be used for multiple purposes. It has fungicidal actions, it has mild disinfectant properties. It also absorbs moisture. There are many other good uses for baking soda. You can read about this in Wikipedia.

     Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans are hygroscopic. This means that it will absorb moisture wherever it is kept. Keep coffee beans in a cup or pot. It will absorb the remaining moisture. You can also read in Wikipedia.

      Silica Gel

It is also used as a moisture absorber. You can keep 4 to 5 bags of silica gel in a pot and keep it in the refrigerator. It will soak the remaining moisture. But remember, it is not safe to consume. The warning is written on the bags itself.  So discard it after its use. Also, keep them away from children. You can read on Wikipedia.


It also absorbs moisture. It can also be used. Remember to use a pot or cup to put them.


Clay can also be used for absorbing moisture. But I do not think you will like to keep it in your fridge. But is inexpensive.

I personally like baking sida the most. Let us know which one you use or would like to use.

Rotten smell from refrigerator

A rotten smell is a common occurrence. How will you get a rotten smell? These are some of the reasons.

Meat products

  It comes from uncooked meat products, which are stored for many days. Tough the temperature in the freezer is less than 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you can store food products for a longer time. But there is a limit to it.


I do not store meat products for more than 2-3 days. I am not talking about the packaged products. But the ones which I just bought from the local market.

Store it in a plastic container.

Blood stains

I know it sounds bad. So if you are a vegetarian, skip this paragraph and jump to the vegetable part.

The rotten smell can also come from any blood stains that might accumulate in your freezer after sipping from the meat.

But this smell will also be more like metallic and musty odor.


To prevent these properly clean the meat products.

Keep then in a plastic box rather than in a plastic packet.

Rotten eggs

 Sometimes by mistake, you can accidentally buy a rotten egg. One rotten egg spoils the entire foodstuff in the cooling chambers.

 Get rid of it.


 A small vegetable piece got hidden in some unreachable corner in the cooling chambers. And you have not cleaned it. Now it is emitting a rotten smell.

This can happen. That is why the vegetable storage areas are now transparent.


Clean every corner properly.

  Old cooked food

In order to accommodate the remaining food in the fridge, we use multiple containers. These containers come in various sizes.

We stuff that container and quickly slip them inside the shelves or drawers of the cooling chambers. And we keep on doing that every day.

Of course, we use them, that is eating them. But have you ever thought that how much we are eating and how much we are storing?

Because once I found out even we are eating some of our stored cooked food, we are replacing them with new boxes with more food.

One of them easily can spoil and emit a rotten smell.

So it is better to keep track. Also, it is necessary to declutter the cooling chamber from extra boxes.

Chemical Smell from the Refrigerator.

Chemical or gas smell is bad. If you smell it, you should be cautious. This means that the refrigerant is leaking.

A refrigerant is a fluid that is used in refrigerators, to take heat from the stored food items of a refrigerator and throw the heat out in the atmosphere.

The older refrigerants were CFC, commonly called as Freon. HCFCs (or Hydro Fluro Carbons).  replaced the CFC. But the Government has planned to phase out from India by 2030.

Now a day the refrigerant are HC (or Hydro Carbons). Commonly used HC are Propane (R-290) and “Iso-Butane” for R-600A.

Now if you smell any chemical or gas smell. You should do the following things.

  • Switch off the fridge.
  • Call the Service center.
  • Empty the fridge.

Burning Smell from the Refrigerator

This should also alarm you. First, make sure it is coming from your fridge. If you are sure, then call the service Centre immediately.

Weird Smell from the Refrigerator.

Musty, metallic, and rotten are the common smell that can disturb you. But the main problem is that sometimes the smell masks each other resulting into a weird smell.

In order to get rid of them, properly clean the refrigerator.


Different people perceive smells differently. But a bad smell is a bad one. You now know what causes musty, rotten and metallic smells. You also read in this article how to get rid of them.

Let us know which one you used and what result you got.