If you open your fridge and it smells like a dead animal, then you’re not alone. Many people experience this problem with their fridge, but don’t know the cause or what to do about it. In this post, we will discuss how a fridge can start to smell like a dead animal and offer several steps that will help get rid of the odor. We’ll also look at ways to prevent future fridge odors from occurring as well as safety tips for cleaning up an animal that has died in your fridge.
We’ll begin by discussing the cause of fridge odors. The most common reasons a fridge smells like dead animal are:
- Food is left in the fridge too long and has started to rot or grow mold.
- An animal, such as a mouse, rat, possum or bird died inside your fridge after being trapped while looking for water.
- Strong smelling foods have been placed next to each other causing them to ferment together and create an unpleasant odor.
The first two causes can be difficult to solve on your own because you may not find any visible signs of what’s causing the smell if it’s coming from underneath some type of packaging. In this case there will likely need to be someone who specializes in cleaning out fridges to assess the fridge and clean it.
If you have a cat or dog, then an animal may have gotten into your fridge if they were able to open the fridge door. If this is the case, then you will need to clean up any messes that were left behind by your pet. The fridge will also need to be cleaned.
If the fridge smells like a dead animal that is directly due to food or strong smelling foods fermenting, then you may be able to clean the fridge yourself.
To prevent future fridge odors you should regularly inspect your fridge for any possible areas where food is leaking or rotting. You should also check to make sure that fridge odors are not being caused by strong smelling foods fermenting together.
Table of Contents
How to clean a refrigerator with rotten food
A fridge that smells like a dead animal may have been caused by rotten food.
- Check the fridge’s temperature and make sure it is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If your fridge isn’t cold enough, this could cause all of your food to spoil faster than normal and lead to bad odors within the appliance. Fix any fridge temperature issues right away.
- Check the fridge’s drainage system and drain pan to see if anything is stuck in either component, leading to a bad odor coming from there.
- If you find any build up of food particles or other organic residue inside your fridge, use an all natural fridge cleaning product like our fridge cleaner. You may also use a fridge cleaning solution to spray down the fridge’s interior.
- If you notice any animal droppings, urine stains or other signs of an animal inside your fridge, make sure to clean up after it immediately. The smell from these dead animals will get stronger over time, so don’t delay in removing them completely.
- Clean out the fridge’s fridge shelves and drawers to remove any food particles or dirt that could contribute to a bad odor.
- If you have a fridge with front cold water dispenser, make sure it is not leaking . A leak from the unit will cause mold growth inside your fridge which can lead to terrible smells as well. Fix all leaks right away if you discover any.
- If you can’t find the source of your fridge’s odor, check for an air leak . Often times a fridge will start to smell like dead animal because it is losing cold air somewhere in its body. Check all seals and replace old ones if they are no longer sealing properly (add insulation if necessary).
- Clean fridge coils with fridge defrosting solution. This will help the fridge to run more efficiently and prevent future odors from developing in your fridge.
What to do if your refrigerator still smells after cleaning it out
If you have cleaned your fridge and it still smells, then there are likely some dead animal carcasses in the fridge that need to be removed. This is typically caused by a small rodent or other pet getting into the fridge while it was open at night for several hours when no one was around. When this occurs, the fridge will start smelling the next day and the fridge will need to be cleaned.
- Remove dead animal carcasses from refrigerator.
While you can try using a bleach solution or other cleaners, many times that won’t solve the problem either. The best way to remove any sort of odors is by turning up your fridge’s humidity level above 70%. This will provide more moisture for the fridge, allowing it to absorb odors. You can do this by purchasing a humidity pack or bringing some ice inside your fridge with you while cleaning so that evaporating water is added to it.
If you have tried both of these steps and still find that there are smells in your fridge, then more actions will need to be taken. In this case, you will need to contact a fridge repair service or technician who can locate any dead animal carcasses inside your fridge and remove them for good.
- Call fridge tech if fridge smells after cleaning it out
- Add moisture to fridge by bringing ice in the fridge with you when going grocery shopping and by purchasing a humidity pack
- If fridge smells, turn up fridge’s humidity level above 70% to provide more moisture for the fridge, allowing it to absorb odors. You can do this by bringing some ice inside your fridge with you while cleaning so that evaporating water is added to it.
- Always wear gloves when removing dead animal carcasses from fridge.
- Never touch the fridge’s switch while fridge is open to avoid electric shock.
How often should you clean the inside of your refrigerator?
A fridge can smell like a dead animal if it is not cleaned and maintained properly. The fridge should be thoroughly cleaned at least once per month using a mild detergent. However, it is recommended to clean the fridge every week because food spills and odors can accumulate quickly.
When cleaning your fridge, you should also pay attention to how often you change the water filter in your fridge door dispenser as this will help reduce smells too. If there are bad odors coming from inside of fridge, then you should clean the fridge more often.
Can you use bleach to clean a refrigerator?
No, you should not use bleach on any part of your fridge as it can damage the fridge and its components. It’s also important to remember that if you do not clean the fridge regularly, you’ll be letting food spills and residues build up. This can cause odors to form.
What should I do if I smell gas?
You should immediately contact your local emergency service, or call 911. Gas leaks are very dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death.
Why should you clean your refrigerator coils?
Fridge coils help your fridge run more efficiently and can reduce the risk of fires. Clean fridge coils also prevent bacteria from building up on them, which can contaminate your fridge’s food.
How to clean fridge coils to prevent fridge odors
If you do not regularly clean your refrigerator coils, then dirt and dust can accumulate on them. This causes the fridge to have a bad odor that smells like dead animal. When cleaning fridge coils , be sure to remove all food items from the fridge first before you begin. Remember, never use flammable liquids or aerosol sprays to clean fridge coils.
Ozone Refrigerator Deodorizer
Ozone fridge deodorizer is a new technology that quickly eliminate fridge smells, so you have fresh smelling fridge again. It is a fridge deodorizer that works like an air purifier for your fridge. Ozone fridge deodorizers are placed inside the fridge and it has no cords or batteries, so you can easily use them in any refrigerator.
Final steps to get rid of fridge smells
Replace fridge gasket: Fridge smells like dead animal can be caused by a leaky fridge door or fridge door not closing properly. The smell that comes from the fridge is actually methane gas and it commonly forms in tight places such as around fridge doors, because there’s no where for this odor to escape out of your fridge. Replacing fridge gasket is one of the most effective steps to get rid of fridge smells.
Wash fridge coils: If your fridge has ice buildups on it, then this may be a sign that there’s an issue with the fridge compressor. When this happens, you’re not getting cold air into your fridge and allowing warm moist air in instead. Warm moist air is the perfect environment for fridge odors to develop and grow, so make sure you get rid of these ice buildups.
Defrost fridge: If your fridge has a frost buildup on it that’s making fridge smells worse, then defrosting fridge can be an effective step to take towards getting rid of this smell.
Place fridge deodorizer: Placing fridge air purifier is an effective step that can help eliminate fridge smells. When you place this in your fridge, it will emit ozone into the fridge and remove all odors within 24 hours. It’s a long lasting solution to removing unwanted smells from your fridge.
It’s not always easy to figure out what is causing that awful smell coming from your fridge. But by following the steps we’ve outlined in this post and taking extra precautions, you can make sure your fridge doesn’t start smelling like a dead animal again!