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Maytag Refrigerator Odor Problems (How to Fix)

Maytag is one of the most popular fridge brands, and they make a wide range of different fridges. If some food or liquid spills on the interior of your fridge, bad smells can develop, but in other cases a bad odor can develop seemingly from nowhere. Below is how to fix odor problems with your Maytag fridge.

Start by wiping down all interior surfaces with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water, or any type of vinegar. Let it sit on the surfaces for 2 to 3 minutes and then wipe it off thoroughly. After that if the bad odor remains, leave baking soda in an open container in the fridge for a few days.

bad smell of refrigerator

The main reason odors linger in a fridge is because a fridge is cold. And the air in the interior does not circulate once it’s inside your fridge. Therefore, putting things that will absorb the odors like baking soda works very well to remove odors.

They soak up the bad odors and neutralize them. It’s generally easier to do that, than to leave the door of your fridge open for a few hours, because during that time you can’t use your fridge. Because the air is cold the bacteria that are causing bad odors take longer to break down the source of the smell.

For both of these reasons, minor smells linger for a long time in a fridge. Therefore, the two steps you need to do are to remove the source by breaking them down with vinegar or bleach, and circulate air inside the fridge to remove the odors from the air. Or, place something in your fridge such as baking soda which soaks up the bad smells.

Why Your Maytag Refrigerator Smells Bad

bad smell of refrigerator

Generally, a fridge should have a mild odor at the most. But, it’s fairly common for a very bad smell to develop in a fridge, and linger even after it has been cleaned.

In general, something in the drip tray is causing the odor, there are invisible particles causing smells on the surfaces of the compartments, trays, racks or walls of your fridge, or something spilled or leaked and the smell is stored in the ice, producing an odor during the defrost cycle.

Overall, it’s best to start with some simple fixes such as using special cleaners, and inspecting all the items in your fridge to locate anything that smells bad. After that, you may need a technician to inspect the internal components to see if something is in there that is causing the smell.

Here are the reasons why your fridge smells bad, and why they cause it to happen.

1. There is something causing a bad odor in the drip tray

There is a drip tray on the underside of a fridge. It collects water vapor that accumulates on the evaporator to stop it dripping onto the floor. It will dry out faster than the water can accumulate. 

Dead insects or a dead rodent may be located there. Or, mold may have started to grow. The fan that draws in air to cool and blow it into your fridge, can pick up the odor from the drip tray and blow them into your fridge. 

The drip tray is typically a bit tricky to get to, and you need to remove a few screws or pull off a panel to access it. Refer to the owners manual for your specific make and model of fridge to see how to access the drip tray. If you’ve tried all of the above, then you need to have a repair technician take a look at it. 

2. There is invisible food residue on the inside of your fridge

When a spill occurs, after you wipe it up there can be microscopic food residue where the spill was. It will release odors over time. A fridge also doesn’t have air flow that draws the air inside it out and away. 

So, even small smells can accumulate over time and remain in your fridge. This is especially true for food like fish, meat, and other animal products. These have enzymes which take a long time to break down. 

To get rid of the source you need to use a special cleaner. The most recommended is any type of vinegar. It breaks down the source of the smell. 

Also placing items that absorb the smell, or turning off your fridge and leaving the doors open to let it air out works very well. An open container of baking soda or coffee ground works well to neutralize odors in a fridge. 

It’s more convenient to place one or both of these on the inside of your fridge. Most people report about 2 days is enough to neutralize any bad odors remaining in a fridge, after you have removed the source of the odors.

3. A bad smell is stored in the ice in your freezer

If there was a leak in the freezer it can get stored in the ice. During normal operation your fridge does a defrost cycle, and the ice in your fridge partially melts. When this happens it blows the bad odors into your freezer and fridge. To fix this issue inspect the ice to see if you can identify a spill. If not, and if you have tried all the above steps remove the items from your fridge and freezer. And unplug your fridge. Let all the ice melt, and wipe down all of the surfaces using vinegar. That sums it up for all of the top reasons why your fridge smells bad.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on February 23, 2023.

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