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How to Remove Fridge Smells
By Tara Aronson
Whether the sushi went south last month, or last week's crab feast was forgotten on a back shelf (ewww), these four steps will remove whatever ails the air inside your chill appliance.
Here's how to remove the offending odor(s) in 4 easy steps.
1. Clean up what you can; get rid of what's left. Wipe up any spilled juices or furry growths. Toss along with the offending item (if it remains in your refrigerator).
2. Take everything inside out. Examine everything inside carefully as you remove it, even if you've already identified the smelly culprit. Keep what appears to be edible; toss what's gone south.Clean shelves and doors with a mixture of warm water and several squirts of hand-dishwashing detergent. Rinse with a sponge dipped in clean water to remove any lingering cleaner. Buff dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
3. Fill several cereal-size bowls with coffee grounds or activated charcoal. Coffee grounds and activated charcoal are excellent inexpensive deodorizers. Grab a few clean cereal-size bowls and fill each with either coffee ground or charcoal. Place on fridge shelves.A third option: stuff the shelves full of crumpled newspapers. These, too, are great, inexpensive deodorizers.
4. Let the smell-remover do its work for 72 hours.Yes, this does mean you shouldn't open the doors for at least three days. An ice chest is a good second in this case.
How to prevent future odors.Finally, to prevent future odors, remember to always wipe up spills immediately to keep bacteria from growing. Wash the spilled area with warm, soapy water; then sanitize with a solution of 1 teaspoon of bleach in 1 quart of water.Weekly, do a more thorough cleaning. Examine the appliance's contents and check expiration dates. Toss those items past their prime. Rotate food and condiments so that the oldest of any item (milk, for example) is front and center when little hands are searching.Deep clean monthly. First, unplug for safety. Remove all food. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of baking soda in 1 quart of water. Next, use a soft, clean cloth to wash all interior surfaces. Be sure to hit the top, bottom, drawers, and walls. Pay special attention to corners and crevices. Finish by rinsing surfaces with warm water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
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