3 easy methods to eliminate unpleasant odors emanating from the refrigerator by only using baking soda

by Mark Bennett

June 25, 2024

Interior of a refrigerator with the foodstuffs organized into containers



How annoying is it when you open the refrigerator and are hit by the whiff of overpowering smells? Even when food has not gone off, it can still give off strong smells. In fact, some combinations of food smells can be downright unpleasant! Well, baking soda can help you in this regard: not only can baking soda be used to clean and sanitize a fridge, it can also be used to easily absorb strong odors emanating from the fridge! 

Baking soda in the crisper drawer

sprinkling baking soda on the bottom of a fridge drawer lined with paper towels


The crisper drawer of a refrigerator is usually the bottom one and where it is recommended you store vegetables and fruit to keep them fresh and crisp. And because most store their produce in the crisper drawer without any packaging (or with the packaging removed), odors can develop.

To use baking soda in the crisper drawer, all you need are some kitchen paper towels.

  • Line the bottom of the drawer with paper towels;
  • Sprinkle the paper towels with baking soda, creating a fairly uniform, shallow layer;
  • Cover with more paper towels.

Now, you can place fruit and vegetables directly onto this "odor-eating bed", and you're done!


Large fridge full of strong-smelling foods? No problem

Perhaps you like fermented dishes, strong-smelling cheeses, or some other food which - even when stored in special, air-tight containers - still manages to spread its odor throughout the fridge. What can be done about this?

Well, all you need is one box of baking soda for each shelf in the fridge. Simply open the boxes of baking soda and stick them in the back corner of each shelf. In a couple of days, the strong odors will disappear! Remember to change the boxes of baking soda every two or three months.

Baking soda in the freezer

a box of baking soda being placed in a freezer


Baking soda can even remove unpleasant odors in the freezer. Have you ever noticed that ice itself can give off a "strange" smell at times? Well, this is because ice absorbs odors from food which has been placed in the freezer but has not yet frozen solid.

And just like the refrigerator, you can also use baking soda as an all-natural deodorizer for the freezer:

  • sprinkle a tray with baking soda and place this at the bottom of the freezer;
  • place an open box of baking soda at the bottom/on the bottom shelf of the freezer.

Again, remember to change the baking soda every two/three months.

Other useful tips

  • Every time you use a box of baking soda, write the date you opened it on the box to make it easier to remember when to replace it;
  • What can you do with expired baking soda used for these deodorizing purposes? Well, avoid using it for cooking, of course!  That said, you can use it for some cleaning chores where abrasive power is needed to remove dirt (and especially if it is to be used in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide or vinegar).

Baking soda is great to have available in the home, don't you think?