How to Get Fish Smell Out of Fridge? – Easy Fix 2023

If you are wondering how to get fish smell out of fridge, you can start by cleaning it to figure out what’s causing the smell. However, you need to know the correct procedures to follow and the items you need to use. If your refrigerator smells like fish, attend to it as it might even be due to bacterial growth that could end up contaminating other food items as well. As this is a simple problem, you can solve it easily with the ingredients you have at home. 

How to Get Fish Smell Out of Fridge?


Follow these steps to eliminate bad odors from your refrigerator. Make sure to keep your fridge clean to prevent odors.

Remove Food From Refrigerator and Freezer

Remove Food From Refrigerator and Freezer

As the first step is eliminating the fish smell, empty your refrigerator by removing all food items from the fridge compartment and the freezer. You need to empty the freezer as both the refrigerator and freezer share the same air. Ensure to store the removed food items with cool ice packs or transfer them to a neighbor’s fridge so that they won’t get spoiled while you clean your fridge. 

Throw Away Rotten Food

How to Get Fish Smell Out of Fridge

The reason that your refrigerator smells like fish can be due to rotten foods. So throw away expired foods and beverages while you take out the food items. Items that were not sealed properly might have grown mold on them, causing a bad odor. Check whether any food packs smell of fish as you remove them. This is the most practical way to identify the source of the smell.

Remove the Shelves

Remove the Shelves

Unplug the refrigerator to save power since you have removed all food items. Then keep the doors open, allowing it to defrost completely to avoid any mold formation. Then remove all the drawers, shelves, and racks that are removable. 

Clean the Interior of the Refrigerator

how to get fish smell out of fridge

Start cleaning the interior of your refrigerator by making a soap solution. For this, fill a bucket of hot water and add five drops of liquid dish detergent. After the suds are formed, you can soak a cloth or a sponge in the soap solution. Then clean the entire area inside by re-soaking and wiring out the sponge frequently. After cleaning with the solution, wipe the soapy surfaces with the sponge soaked in clean water.

Use a Disinfectant Solution

How to Get Fish Smell Out of Fridge

You can make a disinfectant solution with the cleaning products available at your home. First, mix it well in a bucket and disinfect all the surfaces inside your refrigerator. Keep the sponge saturated by dipping it frequently in the cleaning solution. After this, fill the bucket with clean water and wipe the surfaces again to remove the excess cleaner from your refrigerator. If you find the fishy smell in fridge continues to linger even after you have cleaned well, apply white vinegar to all surfaces inside the fridge. This should eliminate the problem of bad odors.

You can make a disinfectant solution by mixing any of the following compounds.

  • Equal parts of water and white vinegar can be used to wipe inside your refrigerator.
  • ½ cup of bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water can also be used for this.
  • A paste of baking soda mixed with water can be used to scrub the entire interior.
  • You can also use a quart of water with ¼ cup of baking soda and a few drops of liquid dish detergent.

Dry the Surfaces and Air Them Out

How to Get Fish Smell Out of Fridge

Use a towel or a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down all the interior surfaces in both your refrigerator and freezer. This helps the drying process of the surfaces. Keep the doors open and let the compartment’s air dry for two hours or more. It would be beneficial to keep them open to dry for up to two days. But make sure to keep children and pets away from the place while the doors are kept open. 

Clean the Shelves and Racks

Clean with Refrigerator

Then clean the drawers, racks, and shelves similarly as you cleaned the interior of the fridge. This is one of the most important cleaning steps if your refrigerator smells like fish. First, clean them with soapy water followed by clean water and then disinfect them with the cleaning solution. Finally, rinse the shelves with clean water to clean the excess solution. Then leave the cleaned racks and drawers out of the fridge to air dry.

Absorbing Excess Odors

how to get fish smell out of fridge

After allowing the refrigerator and its shelves to dry completely, place all the racks in the original positions and plug them back into power. Although it takes only about 6 hours to reach the correct operating temperature, leave it empty for 24 hours before you fill it up. Place an odor absorber inside when you turn it on to remove any traces of fishy smell in fridge. If you wonder how to get odor out of refrigerator, here are some of the odor absorbers you can use.

  • Place one plate of baking soda in the fridge and one in the freezer.
  • Place a bowl of fresh coffee grounds or lighter-fluid free charcoal in the fridge and another in the freezer.
  • Stuff crumpled newspaper sheets into the open spaces of the fridge and freezer.

Put your food items back in the chilled fridge and freezer after 24 hours. Organize them well with one of the above-mentioned odor-absorbing options. Replace this odor absorber with a fresh plate or bowl of content every month. 

Tips to Keep Your Refrigerator Odorless

Follow these tips indicated here to prevent any future occurrences of bad smells.

  • Set your refrigerator’s temperature between 37 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Clean out the spills as soon as possible, and do not leave them unattended. 
  • Consume the food in your fridge before they expire and go bad.
  • Remove any food items that start giving away any bad odors.
  • Store all items properly in sealed bags or airtight containers. This should be done especially for food like fish and meat.
  • You can also get a small amount of vanilla extract to a paper towel and wipe it over the surfaces as it can get rid of bad fishy odors.
  • Check your refrigerator and freezer for any spoiled or rotten food at least once a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

how to get fish smell out of fridge

How to get rid of fishy smell in fridge?

If you wonder how to get odor out of refrigerator, first you need to remove all expired and rotten food items. Then you can clean the interior and the shelves thoroughly to eliminate the bad odor. For this, you can use bleach and water solution made with equal parts and spray it on the fridge’s interior. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing it with clean water.

Why does my freezer smell rotten?

Bacteria is the main reason for a stinky freezer and fridge. These microbes such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds become inactive in freezers set to 0 °F. But they can live in warmer temperatures warmer than this, and due to this, bacteria spoil food, causing them to smell.

What is the best thing to absorb odors?

Baking soda effectively absorbs odors from both air and surfaces. Sprinkling baking soda on any surface can eliminate odor, usually after a few hours or overnight. For example, placing a plate sprinkled with baking powder inside your refrigerator can help to remove the bad smells inside.

How do you deodorize a fridge with vinegar?

Add some vinegar to a small washcloth or paper towel and place it in a shallow utensil at the back of the fridge. Wet the towel frequently with vinegar as it dries out. This vinegar helps neutralize the food odors in your refrigerator and keeps it fresh throughout.

How often should you clean your fridge?

It is necessary to empty the fridge and clean it thoroughly every 3 or 4 months. Take the crisper drawers out and clean the shelves and interior of the fridge with warm soapy water. This prevents the growth of mold and bacteria on the food items. If the fridge is not cleaned properly at the necessary time, it can contaminate your food and make you sick. So make sure to clean your refrigerator and adjust it to the appropriate temperature.


As you have figured out how to get fish smell out of fridge, you can hopefully get rid of this problem. However, it is always better to take proper care of your refrigerator and other household appliances and keep them clean all the time. Through this, you can not only eliminate bad odors but also can ensure health and hygiene.

In addition, here are useful methods which you can use to eliminate bad odors if your dishwasher smells like eggs. Sometimes, there may be technical reasons behind strange odors coming from your appliances. For example, here’s how you can troubleshoot if your dishwasher smells like burning.