Something forgotten in the back of the fridge can go unnoticed for weeks or even months before it is discovered. This is because the refrigerator is doing its job – slowing down the decomposition of food. However, when old food does begin to break down, it releases gasses that can cause a foul odor. Not only is this unpleasant, but the smell can permeate other foods in the fridge that are still fresh, and ruin them. Things like sauces, soups, and butter can take on a bad taste when they absorb the smells released by rotting foods. There are a few steps you can take to prevent this from becoming a problem:
Clean out Your Refrigerator
Clean out and organize the shelves and drawers. Soak the drawers or grates in hot water with one half cup of bleach to disinfect and deodorize them. Cleaning the inside walls and drawers of the fridge with a vinegar and water mixture will help to remove any present odors and prevent mildew and mold from growing.
Organize How You Store Things
Decide what types of food you want to store on each shelf and drawer, and make an effort to follow through with it. This will help you to keep track of what you have and where you can retrieve it. Make sure that everything is stored in airtight containers or tightly sealed with plastic wrap. It is also a good idea to use a marker to mark the date of storage on each item so you know when something is past its use-by date. It is also helpful to keep a white board on your fridge to write down any foods you need to use soon so you do not forget about them.
Use Deodorizing Products
To prevent bacteria, moisture, and gasses from running rampant, use some kind of refrigerator air filter. An open box of baking soda can be placed on a shelf and left there for one to two months to absorb odors and moisture. There are also special charcoal filter bags just for refrigerators that can help prevent odors from becoming a problem.
Remember to replace your filters every couple of months so that they work as efficiently as possible. At the same time you replace them, it is also a good idea to go through your fridge throw away anything that is too old to be used.