Skip to main content
Whirlpool Home Appliances

How to Remove and Prevent Odors

Suggestions for preventing or reducing odors

  • Keep foods tightly wrapped or covered this also helps keep food from drying out
  • Wipe spills up immediately
  • Clean both section about once a month
  • Keep Refrigerator and Freezer well organized, including crisper drawers will help you manage freshness levels 
  • Discard any spoiled or rotten food
  • Routinely clean under the refrigerator, removing any dirt or items that may have gotten trapped under the refrigerator. 
  • Some models come with an air filter which is 15 times more powerful than baking soda at reducing common food odors inside the refrigerator.  If your refrigerator has an air filter, regularly replace the filter based on the indicator tab. 

If you would like to purchase one of these accessories, you may visit your local retailer or Order Accessories online.

Basic Odor Removal

  1. Remove all food
    • Check for any spoiled or rotten items
    • Check for items that may not have been sealed properly when they were stored
    • Check for any items that may have spilled or leaked
  2. Unplug refrigerator or disconnect power.
  3. Remove all removable parts. This includes all crisper drawers, bins and shelves. 
    • Hand wash, rinse and dry
  4. Clean all interior walls and bottom of refrigerator
    • Hand wash, rinse and dry
  5. Replace all removable parts
  6. Plug in refrigerator or reconnect power. 

Additional Information

  • Always use a clean sponge or soft cloth when cleaning all surfaces.  
  • Use a cleaning solution of mild detergent and warm water.
  • Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners such as window sprays, scouring cleansers, flammable fluids, cleaning waxes, concentrated detergents, bleaches or cleansers containing petroleum products on plastic parts, interior and door liners or gaskets.
  • Glass Shelves and Bins are dishwasher safe, but hand washing is primarily recommended.
    • Shelves with under-shelf LED lights are NOT dishwasher safe
    • Place Shelves and Bins on top rack of the dishwasher
    • Make sure the shelves and bins have come to room temperature before placing in the dishwasher; to avoid cracking and breaking

Stubborn Odor Removal

Only use this process if the above, "Basic Odor Removal", process did not work. Depending on how strong the odor or smell is, it may take several weeks for the odor to be eliminated. For best results this process should be completed with an empty refrigerator. 

  1. Remove all removable parts. This includes all crisper drawers, bins and shelves. 
    • Hand wash items in a cleaning solution made of 1 part vinegar and 1 part warm water
    • Rinse items in a solution made of 1 part lemon juice and 1 part warm water
    • Thoroughly dry all removable parts with a soft cloth
  2. Replace all removable parts
  3. Add activated charcoal
    • Place some activated charcoal in a paper bowl.
    • Place one paper bowl inside the freezer compartment and another one in the refrigerator compartment. For very strong and stubborn odors, multiple bowls can be added to each compartment.
  4. Add baking soda
    • Open two boxes of baking soda.
    • Place one box in the freezer compartment and the other in the refrigerator compartment. 
  5. Add newspaper
    • Take newspaper and roll the pages in loose paper balls
    • Place a couple of newspaper ball on a paper plates. 
    • Add one drop of cooking vanilla to each newspaper ball
    • Place one paper plate on each shelf in the refrigerator and freezer section.
  6. Add a breath mint
    • Dampen a breath mint and place it on a paper plate
    • Place the plate on the center shelf of the refrigerator
  7. Plug in refrigerator or reconnect power.  

If Odor Remains

Depending on how strong the odor or smell is, it may take several weeks or months for strong penetrating odors to dissipate. 

  1. Repeat above process every week to every couple of weeks until smell is gone or has dissipated
  2. Continue changing out the charcoal, baking soda and newspaper balls