How to Get Rid of Onion Smell in Fridge: Five Effective Methods

Many of us choose to store most of our food on fridges because it helps the food stay fresh for a longer time. However, some food with a strong scent, such as onion, might remain in the fridge and leave unbearable.

How to remove Onion Smell from Fridge

In this blog, we will guide you on how to get rid of onion smell in fridge and prevent the smell from coming back again. Read on!

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell in Fridge – Five Best Homemade Solutions 

Deep Clean Off

The best way to remove odors is to clean the entire refrigerator and all its contents. By cleaning properly, you will get rid of all the rotten food, onion smell, and even liquid. To give your fridge a good sanitization, follow these steps. 

Step 1: Take All the Food and Shelves Out

First, turn off the fridge so you will not waste electricity while cleaning. If your fridge is too smelly, we suggest you deep clean it and not just clean a few parts of your fridge. 

Now, take all the food, drinks, and the shelves out. In case you want to keep the food cold, you can put it in a plastic bag or a bucket with ice and water in it. 

Step 2: Get Rid of All the Bad Food

Check all the food you take out and ensure you throw away all the rotten or inedible food. As you know, rotten food can be the main reason that makes your fridge smell terrible.  

Step 3: Choose and Mix Your Cleaner

There are so many solutions for you to choose from, but in this section, we will work with the most common solution people use for cleaning the fridge, which is mixing mild cleaner (such as dishwashing liquid) and water.

All you need to do is mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid with around half a liter of clean water and stir them carefully. Prepare a soft sponge or cloth to clean your fridge later. 

If you do not like to use mild soap, check other useful ingredients later on this blog and pick the most suitable one. 

Step 4: Clean The Entire Fridge

Use the sponge or cloth to clean the entire fridge line-by-line and side-by-side. Ensure you clean all the dirt, liquid, and dust from your fridge. After you are done mixing the solution, clean the fridge with a cloth and water until all the soap bubbles are gone. Then, open the fridge’s door to let it dry completely. 

Step 5: Clean All The Shelves

Your shelves should be clean carefully, as well. Use the mild soap solution to wash them like the way you wash your dishes. After that, let them dry naturally and put them back in once the fridge and all the shelves are clean and dry. 

Step 6: Clean Your Food If It Is Smelly (If Possible)

Some types of food, such as fruits and vegetables, can be cleaned easily. Therefore, we suggest you clean them before putting the food back in the fridge, especially when they already caught the onion smell.


Vinegar is a great ingredient. With vinegar, you will be able to neutralize so many types of bad types of odors, including onion, garlic, or even rotten vegetable smell. We advise you to use white vinegar as it is cheap and does not have any special scent like other fruit-based ones. 

No matter how bad your fridge smells, we highly suggest you not to use pure vinegar on your fridge because it is too acidic and might leave a really strong smell after cleaning. 

The ideal thing to do is mixing vinegar and pure water with a ratio of 1:1. If you do not like the acidic smell of vinegar, you can add some pleasant essential oil to the solution, such as lemongrass or ginger oil. When you are done mixing the solution, follow the “Deep Clean off” we mentioned above. 


The two methods above are for those who want to clean the fridge to get rid of odors. However, if you do not have time, you can also apply some useful tricks. 

Lemons and limes have a great scent, and they are also good ingredients for neutralizing the onion’s smell as they have citric acid. To use them, you need to prepare a few cotton balls and put them into one bowl or different bowls. Squeeze the lemon or lime juice in the cotton, then place the bowl(s) on your fridge. 

You can leave them blown inside for one or two days and check the results. If there is still a bad smell, check the other ingredients below. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is easy to use. All you need to do is pour this chemical compound into a small bowl and place it on the fridge. If the odor is too harsh, you can sprinkle the powder on the shelves and clean it up with water after two hours or more.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract is another good ingredient to remove bad smells from your fridge. This method should be done after you use and remove the baking soda out of the refrigerator. 

It’s easy to use vanilla extract. First, you need to prepare a small bowl with a ball of cotton. Put the cotton in the bowl, then drop a few drops of vanilla extract on the cotton. After that, place the bowl on your fridge and leave it there for around two days. This extract will help you get rid of the onion smell effectively.

Tips for Keeping Your Fridge Free from Onion Smell

Ensure the Temperature is Correct

The fridge’s environment is wet and closed. So if it is too warm, it is ideal for bacteria to grow and reproduce. To keep your food fresh for a longer time and the fridge has a good smell, ensure you keep the temperature appropriately. 

Our fridge’s ideal temperature is around 37 to 47 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4 and 5 degrees Celsius. The freezer should be from 0 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 to -17 degrees Celsius.  

Store Your Food in Food Containers That Have Tight-Fitting Lids

Putting onion and other food on containers to prevent bad smell

For food that has a strong or unpleasant smell like onion, garlic, or boiled broccoli, we should put them in those containers that have tight-fitting lids. These containers will prevent the odor from spreading all over your fridge. If you are someone who loves onions, make sure you store them carefully. 

By following this little tip, you will save so much time cleaning your refrigerator later on.

Put Odor-Absorbing Ingredients on Your Fridge Regularly

Our fridge can easily catch the odors because there are many types of food inside, but sometimes, we do not have too much time to clean it often. In this case, the best thing you can do is place some odor-absorbing ingredients to reduce the intensity of the smell.

Fortunately, those ingredients are pretty cheap, and you can find them anywhere. As mentioned above, baking soda and lemon/lime can deal with the smell pretty good. You should use them to remove the smell or prevent the smell at the same time. Besides, used ground coffee is another good choice. 

Do not Put Wet Onion on the Fridge Right Away

Wet Onion can go rotting much faster compared to the dried ones. Therefore, you should allow them to get dried before placing them on your fridge.

Avoid Storing Onion on The Fridge If You Do Not Have To

Onion can be stored outside of the fridge for a while. The only time you will have to store it in the refrigerator is after you cut it and cannot eat it all. Again, ensure you put it on a tight container as cut onion will spread a strong odor. 

In Sum

No matter how bad the onion smell in your fridge is, we believe that you will know how to get rid of onion smell in fridge with the tricks and solutions we suggested. Besides the cleaning and removing bad smell techniques, we highly recommend you follow the tips you provided to prevent the odors from coming back.

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