It is impossible to imagine modern life without a refrigerator – an assistant in storing fresh food and perishable dishes. But, if an unpleasant smell from protein products (meat, fish) appears in it, you can completely lose your appetite. A persistent, fetid, fishy “aroma” is a direct indicator that consuming food stored in the refrigerator can cause an intestinal infection. Simple and proven tips on how to quickly remove the unpleasant smell of fish from the refrigerator will help prevent a dangerous situation.

How to get rid of fish smell

Causes of the problem

Any, even the most durable plastic, from which refrigerator parts are made, suffers from environmental influences. Daily contact with packaging materials and utensils over time leads to a violation of the integrity of work surfaces. Such miniature cracks become a place of accumulation and reproduction of pathogenic agents. Surface cleaning is not able to eliminate all germs. The growth of pathogenic microorganisms in the refrigerator causes the appearance of specific unpleasant “aromas”.

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A typical reason why it can stink of fish in the refrigerator is non-compliance with the conditions and terms of storage of the product. Quite often, the revision of the contents and sanitary cleaning of the cooling equipment is not carried out often enough. To keep the equipment clean, to prevent the appearance of old stains of dirt and unbearable stench, it is necessary to perform washing, cleaning and disinfecting procedures at least once a month.

It is very important to carry out an inventory of products and ready-made meals daily, getting rid of unusable ones in a timely manner. After all, removing the smell of rotten protein is much more difficult than preventing the appearance of a fetid “aroma”. Eliminating unpleasant odors in the refrigerator is a necessary procedure, because its appearance indicates the appearance of microbes that are dangerous to health.

How to get rid of the smell in the refrigerator after rotten meat

Image taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jqf5AljO8xU

The Best Options for Neutralizing Fish Smell

How to effortlessly get rid of the fetid smell of fish in the refrigerator without spending money? In the arsenal of every family there are a number of tools that can solve and prevent this problem.

Many housewives use orange and lemon in the fight for a fresh scent. Citrus crops contain active ingredients that can neutralize even the most persistent odors. Having purchased factory-made or made your own juice from citrus fruits, you need to dilute it with warm water in a ratio of 2: 1. Wipe all internal surfaces of the pre-washed refrigerator with the resulting liquid.

Another way is to install a “trap” for odors. To do this, you need to decompose freshly peeled citrus crops into small plastic containers. Instead, you can put slices of lemon, orange, grapefruit on saucers. A new portion should be updated after a couple of days. An important quality of citrus fruits is not only the ability to eliminate odors, but also the ability to suppress the vital activity of microbes.

grapefruit photo

Works like an absorbent sponge, lightly cooked rice. On each shelf should be placed a plastic glass with 100 gr. grains. An even greater fragrance in the refrigerator will appear after adding sliced ​​apples to the rice. The composition is valid for 3 days, after which you should update the homemade “smell absorber”.

After washing the refrigerator, when the device is disconnected from the power supply, you can put a cup of freshly prepared natural brewed coffee on the shelf. Of course, this cannot be done with a working refrigerator. But it can accommodate a container with 50 gr. (2-3 tablespoons) freshly ground grains. Coffee aroma very quickly removes repulsive odors.


It will also be possible to remove the smell of fish from the refrigerator with a popular product – baking soda. It can also easily eliminate stubborn, dried drops of liquids, greasy stains. Baking soda also has antiseptic properties. The deodorization procedure is carried out according to the following algorithm:

  1. Prepare cleaning compound. In a glass of warm water, add 3 tbsp. l. baking soda.
  2. Stir until completely dissolved.
  3. Apply the resulting mixture with a foam sponge to all shelves.
  4. Leave to act for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse surfaces with clean water.
  6. Wipe dry using soft cloths.


We must not forget that the cleaning process is carried out only after turning off the power supply to the device.

Hydrogen peroxide

You can get rid of the fishy smell in the refrigerator by purchasing an affordable remedy at the pharmacy – hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide solution is a powerful antiseptic and disinfectant. When the composition is applied, active oxygen is released, which cleans the surface of microbes and decomposes organic substances.

The disinfection procedure must be carried out with gloves. Such a protective effect is necessary, since with individual sensitivity to the components of the drug, the development of local allergic reactions is possible. Moisten a dry cloth with plenty of solution. Thoroughly wipe all shelves of the refrigeration unit. The product does not require subsequent rinsing.

Hydrogen peroxide

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Activated carbon

You can remove the fishy smell with the help of inexpensive sorbents. This will require a pack (10 tablets) of activated charcoal. This pharmaceutical product has a high surface activity and high sorption capacity.

Charcoal tablets should be crushed to a powder. Pour the grains into three small saucers (according to the number of shelves) and place in the refrigerator. Replace after one week. Charcoal can be used instead of a pharmaceutical preparation.

Activated charcoal for bad breath

Image taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO43bT_zY2g


Acetic acid will help remove the smell of rotten fish from the refrigerator. In addition to eliminating stench, table vinegar is often used for disinfection. 70% vinegar essence is a popular eco-cleaning product. The procedure should be carried out with gloves and a respirator to prevent the ingress of potent substances on the skin and into the respiratory tract.

Diluting 1/4 cup of 9% vinegar in two cups of water, you should wipe the inside and outside surfaces of the refrigeration equipment. Wash off the remaining liquid with warm water.

To neutralize pathogenic microorganisms responsible for the formation of a fetid odor of fish, you need to place liter glass containers filled with vinegar in the refrigerator for 2 hours. However, such an event will bring a temporary effect, and the procedure will need to be repeated after a while.

Vinegar or acetic acid for the smell of rotten meat

Image taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G33dSUaXDtU

ammonium chloride

Ammonia (ammonia) is a very powerful agent that helps eliminate any persistent odors. An aqueous solution of ammonium hydroxide is available at any pharmacy. After applying ammonia to the sponge, you should quickly wipe all the shelves of the refrigerator. Leave to act for 15 minutes. Then rinse with plenty of clean water.

However, the use of this substance in everyday life requires strict adherence to preventive measures. The window in the kitchen should be wide open. Work must be carried out only in durable rubber gloves. Cover your face with a protective respirator. It should be remembered that inhalation of ammonia vapors can cause reflex respiratory arrest.

Ammonia against the smell of rotten meat

Image taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G33dSUaXDtU

Household chemicals

There are many chemicals on the market that help eliminate stench and eliminate harmful microorganisms. Most manufacturers indicate step by step in their instructions how to remove the smell of fish from the refrigerator. However, the sequence of application should be as follows: direct cleaning and protection in the future (absorption of unpleasant odors).

The first way is to wash the refrigerator with cleaning agents. A good product is the Tortilla refrigerator cleaner, which has an antibacterial effect. A proven and reliable product – Electrolux refrigerator cleaning spray, which greatly facilitates the work of the hostess. It effectively cleans the shelves, internal and external surface of the refrigerator from grease and dirt. The composition easily destroys mold and bacteria, prevents the formation of unpleasant odors.

Spray for cleaning refrigerators Electrolux

Image taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ-QjJ4MQdU

The second way is to use odor absorbers. Inexpensive tool – a product of the trademark Sky. Economical in consumption, the odor absorber reliably fights against the sharp aroma of fish and the disgusting “odor” of spoiled products. The product is safe for human health and harmless to products stored in the equipment.

Prevention Tips

To prevent an unsanitary condition of the refrigerator and to avoid the appearance of a repulsive smell, two basic rules must be observed:

  • regularly carry out cleaning and disinfection activities;
  • strictly observe the terms and conditions of storage of products and dishes.

It must be remembered that fish in any form – fresh, dried, smoked, as well as products made from it, are perishable products. The relatively short shelf life of fish products is due to the high content of microorganisms in them. Storing fish products at a low temperature somewhat slows down the activity of pathogenic bacteria.

Most domestic refrigerators are set to operate within the range of +3 to +5°C. This cannot provide a long shelf life for fresh fish requiring storage in a temperature range of -2° to 0°C. For this reason, fresh fish products can be kept in ordinary refrigeration compartments for no more than a day.

In the “zero” compartment (Bio Fresh), cut fish, packed in cling film, will remain fresh a little longer – up to two days. To prevent damage to the product, you can use a simple method. Fill a suitable food container with ice cubes. Place the carcass there, cut into portions, wrapping each in a film. Close the container hermetically with foil, creating a cooling thermos. Every 12 hours, the container must be placed in the freezer compartment for 30 minutes in order for the ice to freeze again. Thus, the shelf life of fresh fish can be extended up to three days.

fish and ice photo

Dried products feel quite comfortable in household refrigerators. By placing them in the null zone, they will remain usable for several months. However, it is dried fish that often becomes a source of an unpleasant odor. Therefore, it must be carefully packaged. For these purposes, plastic bags or film cannot be used (the fish will “suffocate”). For packaging, it is better to take thick wrapping paper. Each carcass must be wrapped in three layers. Put the food in a cloth bag (paper bag) and tie it tightly.

Improper storage of smoked fish will lead not only to spoilage of the product, but also to the appearance of a persistent fetid odor in the refrigerator. To avoid such a surprise, remember: smoked products should be stored separately (on different shelves). A whole carcass must be wrapped in two or three layers of paper. The maximum shelf life for hot and cold smoked products at temperatures up to +3°C is no more than ten days from the date of production.


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