The refrigerator smells like chemicals.

You open your refrigerator and are assaulted by the smell of chemicals. What do you do?

Remove any food that may have been exposed to the odor, and clean the refrigerator thoroughly. If the smell persists, you may need to call a professional to inspect and potentially clean your refrigerator coils.

The refrigerator smells like chemicals.

Common Causes of Refrigerator Odors

There are a few common causes of refrigerator smells like chemicals.

The most likely cause is a dirty condenser. Over time, dust and dirt can build up on the condenser and restrict airflow. This can cause the compressor to overheat, leading to a nasty smell.

Another possible cause is a leaky refrigerator. If the seal isn’t tight, it can allow warm air and moisture to get in, quickly leading to bacteria growth and bad odors.

Finally, your fridge needs a good cleaning. All that built-up grease and grime can produce unpleasant smells.

How to Locate the Source of the Smell

The first step in locating the source of the smell is to figure out where it’s coming from. Is it the fridge itself, the food, or something else?

Open up the fridge and freezer and take a good look inside. See if you can spot any food that might be spoiled or causing the smell. Remove any items that are causing the problem and throw them away.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to move on to step two.

Tips for Removing the Odors

You can do a few things to try and remove the chemical smell from your refrigerator.

The first is to make a mixture of baking soda and water and use it to scrub down the inside of your refrigerator. Be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies, and let the mixture sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

Also, leave an open box of baking soda inside your refrigerator to absorb the odors. Changing the baking soda every few weeks should help keep the smell at bay.

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If that doesn’t work, try using vinegar and water to clean your fridge. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spray it on the inside of your refrigerator. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Cleaning a Smelly Refrigerator

Now that you have pinpointed the source of the smell, it’s time to tackle it. Open up the doors and drawers of your refrigerator and start cleaning thoroughly with a mixture of warm water and dish soap.

Use a sponge or cloth to clean down all the surfaces, ensuring to get into all the cracks and crevices. Pay special attention to any food containers inside, as they can quickly become covered with bacteria and might exacerbate the smell.

You can use an all-purpose cleaner or a specialized kitchen cleaner like vinegar or baking soda to help eliminate odors. 

You should also inspect your refrigerator for any open or unwrapped food items, as that could be another source of the smell; if you find anything, it’s best to throw it out immediately and start fresh.

Once everything is clean and dry, leave the doors open for at least 15 minutes before turning them back on. This will help eliminate all traces of chemical smells before using your refrigerator again.

Practicing Prevention to Avoid Future Smells

If you want to avoid smelly refrigerators in the future, there are a few steps you can take to prevent this from happening. Firstly, don’t keep any chemical products, like paints or solvents, near or in your fridge. These substances can give off fumes that can enter and ruin the smell of the food inside your refrigerator.

Additionally, it’s important to check your seal periodically to ensure it’s still tight and secure. Finally, if your refrigerator has an odor filter, replace it every few months. This filter helps absorb bad smells that linger inside and keeps them out of your food.

By following these simple precautions, you’ll be able to keep your fridge smelling fresh and inviting for years to come!

DIY Solutions to Get Rid of the Smell

Now that you know what could be causing your refrigerator to smell like chemicals, it’s time to take action and remove the odor. Here are a few DIY solutions you can try:

  • Wash your refrigerator with a mixture of one part water and one part vinegar to neutralize the smell.
  • Try sprinkling some baking soda on shelves and drawers, then leave it for several hours before wiping it off.
  • Place an open box of baking soda inside your refrigerator and replace it every three months.
  • Place activated charcoal or coffee grounds on trays in the fridge, which will absorb any smells for up to two days.
  • Put a bowl of lemon juice inside the refrigerator to help neutralize odors.
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These simple solutions should help eliminate any nasty chemical smell from your refrigerator. Always keep your fridge clean, and don’t forget to periodically check for moldy or spoiled food that might also cause odor problems.


When your nose is constantly bombarded with smells, it can be tough to pinpoint the source. And if your fridge is starting to smell like chemicals, that can be a major cause for concern.

It’s important to take action as soon as you notice a weird smell coming from your fridge because that smell could be a sign that something is wrong. If you need help getting rid of the smell or it is getting worse, it’s best to call in a professional.

A fridge that smells like chemicals can signify a bigger problem, so don’t wait to address the issue. If you’re having trouble getting rid of the smell, call in a professional to help.

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