Really bad smell from back of fridge?

60
Found 18th Mar 2010
We have a really horrid smell coming from the back of our fridge, where the motor etc is, any one have any ideas what it is or why its doing it?
Community Updates
Why Does My Fridge Smell?
There are many reasons that a smell can be coming from your fridge and some are easier to fix than others. We’ll take a look at some of the reasons why it might be happening.


Identify the smell
Some smells can be more worrying than others. Particular smells can mean anything from faulty fridges to rotting contents. Here are the most common:

Ammonia (or other strong chemicals like acetone)
This strong smell is a good indicator that your fridge is leaking gases. In this case the advice is to leave the house and to call a technician as soon as possible as it can be very dangerous to inhale these gases.

Burning
The first thing you should do is to clean the condenser coils at the back of your fridge as the build up of dust and other debris with the warmth of the coils can cause a burning smell from the back of the fridge. If this doesn’t work, it is likely that there is a problem with the fan or another electrical fault. Switch off and call a technician round.


Fish
Assuming there is no fish in your refrigerator at the time, a smell of fish can also indicate an electrical fault. It is wise to turn off your fridge and get a professional to take a look at it.

Rotting smells
This can be a number of things but the first thing to do is to clean out your fridge thoroughly, including all drawers and shelves (see guide below). If the smell is coming from the back of the fridge, check is the drip pan, located below the condenser coils. If this gets clogged or blocked it will make your fridge smell even if the rest of the interior has been fully cleaned.


How to remove smells from your fridge
If you have have ruled out electrical problems and gas leaks then it is time to remove all the items in your fridge, throwing away anything that is mouldy and rotting, and start a thorough cleanse.

1. Remove all food and drink and check for moldly items and rotting produce. Some items, like butter, can hold smells from other sources so if the packets are open, it’s a good idea to throw these out too.

2. Take out all drawers, shelves and storage trays (not forgetting those located on the inside of the door).

3. Clean every part of the fridge you have removed and wipe the internal and external shell of the fridge. You don’t have to use chemical products for this. A good cleaning solution is made up from mixing 4tbsp of bicarb and a litre of warm water. Once you have done this, use a mixture made from equal parts of white vinegar and water to shine the surfaces.

4. Check the drip tray at the back of the fridge for smells. If this is the culprit use the baking soda solution to thoroughly clean it out or try a very diluted amount of bleach. As the drip tray is at the back of the fridge and not near food, using a mild bleach solution won’t cause any health issues.

5. Now your fridge is completely clean, it is a good idea to use a natural fridge odor absorber before you restock your fridge. A tub of baking soda, a tray of coffee grounds, oats or activated charcoal powder left in the fridge for a few hours will eliminate any odours that have been left behind.


What if your refrigerator smells bad outside?
If you have followed all the steps above and there is still a strong smell, then a good idea is to move the fridge out of position to check what is underneath or behind. It is very likely that the source of the smell is coming from something that has got stuck there.

Stopping fridge smells coming back
Once everything is back in your fridge and the smell has been eliminated then the next challenge is to stop them coming back. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Keep food in airtight containers or zip-lock bags, especially strong smelling items like fish or any leftovers.
  • Don’t over fill your fridge, it’s likely you might forget about items at the back which could go mouldy.
  • Keep highly perishable items at the front of your fridge so they are visible.
  • Keep an open tub of baking soda in the fridge to absorb any odors.
  • Regularly wipe down surfaces with the baking soda solution described above.
MiscAppliancesFridge
Top comments
there is a thing at the back of the fridge that collects water and thats blocked

pull out fridge and u will see it - unblock and clean it and smell will go

we had this problem few years ago and was driving us mad
I woke up this morning and my wife was out.

There was a note stuck to the fridge saying, 'I can't cope, it's clearly not working, I'm going to stay at my mums'.

I don't know what she is talking about, I just felt the milk and it's cold?
60 Comments
Has milk gone into it and gone sour?
I had a dead mouse in the back of mine once
there is a thing at the back of the fridge that collects water and thats blocked

pull out fridge and u will see it - unblock and clean it and smell will go

we had this problem few years ago and was driving us mad
dead mice?
pinkkitty2007;8144890

I had a dead mouse in the back of mine once


Are you kidding? :w00t:
Lulu'sMammy;8144878

Has milk gone into it and gone sour?



not that i can see, it all looks fine to me. :?
you won tlike this....

where the motor is, on top is where water drains down from the fridge to evaporate, and mice drink water from there, and sometimes die on top....and the heat makes them stink....

i would pull it out and look at the plastic tray on top of the motor, if all is well, clean all the dust off the condensor tubes as they get hot and that might be the cause of the smell, esp if something dropped down behind the fridge
bossyboots;8144892

there is a thing at the back of the fridge that collects water and thats … there is a thing at the back of the fridge that collects water and thats blockedpull out fridge and u will see it - unblock and clean it and smell will gowe had this problem few years ago and was driving us mad



Thanks will give it a try
Probably coming from the back of the fridge.

I cleaned my old fridge yesterday.

It took me ages to get it spotless.

Is there a dead mouse under it?
right so i've just had a look. the tray is dirty, but i can't get it off, however when you smell, the smell seams to be coming from the black piping all over the back of the fridge...
How long have you had the fridge?
lastlaststar;8144953

right so i've just had a look. the tray is dirty, but i can't get it … right so i've just had a look. the tray is dirty, but i can't get it off, however when you smell, the smell seams to be coming from the black piping all over the back of the fridge...



vaccum it off, wipe it down with white vinegar water solution

the black pipes get hot, and the muckeir they are, the hotter they get
DLM;8144956

How long have you had the fridge?



not sure, its a student house we've been in it for the last 2 years...
lastlaststar;8144969

not sure, its a student house we've been in it for the last 2 years...



Oh right, do what jubbyme suggests:thumbsup:
need help ive a whirlpool fridgefreezer and their is a really bad smell comming frombehind the back of it i cleaned it but smell is so so bad does anybody have any ideas what it might be
Our fridge freezer has just started doing this. The smell was awful. I pulled the fridge out and there was a container collecting water at the bottom - the water has turned to gloopy red gel - yuk! Cleaned it out and it's sorted! I will be doing this regularly from now on!!!
Cheers for all the replies - i had this problem with my fridge freezer today and sure enough it was the water tray containing a nice stinky gunge. All cleaned out, so glad it was not a dead mouse!
I woke up this morning and my wife was out.

There was a note stuck to the fridge saying, 'I can't cope, it's clearly not working, I'm going to stay at my mums'.

I don't know what she is talking about, I just felt the milk and it's cold?
I just looked on here as i had a really stinky stench from the back of our fridge. Read the Qs an As and then went and had a look at the back of the fridge. Low and behold there is a dead mouse on top of the water tray. Yuck!! Now how dobwe get it out?
john2020md

I woke up this morning and my wife was out. There was a note stuck to the … I woke up this morning and my wife was out. There was a note stuck to the fridge saying, 'I can't cope, it's clearly not working, I'm going to stay at my mums'. I don't know what she is talking about, I just felt the milk and it's cold?


lol.
jin46

I just looked on here as i had a really stinky stench from the back of … I just looked on here as i had a really stinky stench from the back of our fridge. Read the Qs an As and then went and had a look at the back of the fridge. Low and behold there is a dead mouse on top of the water tray. Yuck!! Now how dobwe get it out?



I found dead Cockroaches on mine.
I found Lord Lucan in mine.
How do I get the plastic tray off that attached to the motor?
Is the fridge running?
Nicola6691

How do I get the plastic tray off that attached to the motor?



Just mess about with it with a tug here and there, it comes off eventually, usually pops up over, just don't spill the gunk, lol.
Omg!!! You all are life saversss!! THE SMELL WAS STARTING TO MAKE ME DIZZY AND GAVE ME HEADACHES it was horrible, thank goodness for Google .... The smell was from the tray behind my fridge ...it most certainly was a watery gooey thing that smelled like feet and bad cheese and dead animal lol! Idk but it "Stankkkkkkk". Thanks for sharing your info
this was such a brilliant help- new ****, unknown spill of cream-increasing smell-no sign of rat etc-then before complaining bitterly to shop _ I read this blog WOW!!!!!!! in half an hour all trace of smell gone-no cost THANKS GUYS++++++++
docleaf

this was such a brilliant help- new ****, unknown spill of … this was such a brilliant help- new ****, unknown spill of cream-increasing smell-no sign of rat etc-then before complaining bitterly to shop _ I read this blog WOW!!!!!!! in half an hour all trace of smell gone-no cost THANKS GUYS++++++++



You're welcome.
Glad I looked at this site. Seems I might have the same problem. Can't believe the smell that's coming from the back of my fridge. I will get my 'better half ' to investigate tomorrow otherwise I will be leaving home!!!!!!!
I've got a really bad smell coming from the back of my hotpoint fridge freezer. I've cleaned the tray at the back, but there's still a strong odour. How long does it take for the smell to go once it's been cleaned?
Holleva

I've got a really bad smell coming from the back of my hotpoint fridge … I've got a really bad smell coming from the back of my hotpoint fridge freezer. I've cleaned the tray at the back, but there's still a strong odour. How long does it take for the smell to go once it's been cleaned?



Its immediate.

Serious question..... have you checked your pants ?
http://i2.asntown.net/5/man_finds_dead_baby_in_fridge_of_his_own_house.jpg

Needs Cleaning
Monkeybumcheeks

Its immediate.Serious question..... have you checked your pants ?



http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss313/Jimmibabby/GIFs/tumblr_lkjtajXz5q1qdq0s0.gif
http://i1036.photobucket.com/albums/a441/xDaGamerx/PANTS.gif
Err it wasn't the freezer after all and i can assure you it wasn't my pants either lol
My fridge have a bad smelling coming at the back of the fridge when I check there is a black tray but I cant take it out and clean it.
vuyo

My fridge have a bad smelling coming at the back of the fridge when I … My fridge have a bad smelling coming at the back of the fridge when I check there is a black tray but I cant take it out and clean it.



http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/514/597/6c0.jpg
john2020md

I woke up this morning and my wife was out. There was a note stuck to the … I woke up this morning and my wife was out. There was a note stuck to the fridge saying, 'I can't cope, it's clearly not working, I'm going to stay at my mums'. I don't know what she is talking about, I just felt the milk and it's cold?



wish I could of done this!! but I aint got nobody to leave a note for! but it sure made me laugh. LOL thanks. Just cleaned my smelly fridge too. Alas it was milk zeeped through onto back plastic tray.
We have the same problem and there was some red/black gunk when I pulled the fridge out last night. I cleaned it out but the smell was still there this morning so it must be the pipe leading to it. Any ideas on the best way to clean the pipe?
Thanks for this post. We had a bad smell coming from somewhere around the kitchen. After all the finger pointing, we narrowed down to the fridge, fearing the mouse scenario. After much mucking around with German engineering, thanks Miele, found a black sludge in the evaporation tray. Unfortunately we can't remove the drip tray on our fridge. With poor access soak up the liquid with paper towel, sludge had maggots in it. Suspect the mouse went for drink fell and died. I have removed as much of the sludge with paper towel, filled evaporation tray with bleach. I will drain this then use bicarbonate soda to neutralise odour.

Thanks again to all the contributors for your help
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