Using Baking Soda in Your Fridge: Your Complete Guide

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If you are cut from the same cloth as me, then you’ll remember your mom putting a box of baking soda into the fridge to freshen it up.

It was always there, almost like fridges couldn’t function properly unless they were placed inside. At least, that’s what I thought as a child. I never really knew why or how it all worked – I just believed that it was there for a really important mission – top secret.

If you have ever purchased a used fridge from a local reseller store or a classified website then you know what I am saying. You take your time and wash the used fridge clean, making sure to disinfect it and then place a box of baking soda inside to finalize your cleaning process.

Why does baking soda work? Or better yet, does baking soda actually work. We want to put this theory to the test and learn everything that we need about baking soda and its fight against nasty fridge odors.

Why Should You Use Baking Soda in Your Fridge

We experience smells because of volatile organic compounds stimulate receptors in our nose. There are lots of VOCs all around us that we encounter on a daily basis. Yet, not all smells that are present in a fridge are caused by these compounds, some are caused by volatile fatty acids.

These acids can be neutralized by bases, and baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a base. Baking soda reacts with butyric acid to form sodium butyrate which has no smell because it is volatile.

You also have to remember that not all smells in a fridge are caused by foods. There are lots of foul volatile compounds that are caused by a complex mix of bacteria and household mildew which can be present in your fridge. The outcome is the production of a variety of acids with terrible smells.

Pseudomonas bacteria will result in a horrifying smell. This is usually the culprit of rancid freezers or smelly dirty dish rags.

For the most part, the smells in your fridge are made up of food particles that are floating around and eventually will end up in other foods.

Using a box of baking soda acts as an absorbing agent and those smells floating around in your fridge bond to the baking soda.

This solves the smelly dilemma.

The Proper Place to Put Baking Soda in Your Fridge

Baking soda can help eliminate these smells and freshen your fridge or freezer but you’ll have to have more than just a small corner open on the box of the baking soda.

It’s best to actually pour the baking soda into a bowl or spread it around on a large plate and leave it at the top of your fridge.

If you just want to use the box, then make sure that there is a large opening on the box. If the baking soda is going to do its thing and neutralize the orders in your fridge it needs as much surface space exposed to your fridge as possible.

How Often Should You Change Baking Soda in Your Fridge?

It’s important to change your box of baking soda every 30 days as recommended. The absolute longest you would want to keep a box of baking soda in your fridge or freezer is for 3 months.

If you are dealing with a really smelly fridge then I would suggest that you change the box every 30 days.

How Often Should You Change Baking Soda in Your Fridge?

It would also help to date the box so you are reminded to change it when the time comes up. Grab a black sharpie marker and write the date when you placed the baking soda into the fridge or when it needs to be changed (30 days from the date you put it in your fridge). This will help keep your fridge or freezer fresh and smell free.

Can You Use Baking Soda After It’s Been in the Fridge?

If baking soda has been in the fridge absorbing odors then you’re going to want to set that aside for the task of fighting odors and not for baking.

Part of the neutralizing process is absorbing food particles that are floating around in your fridge, this means that the taste of the baking soda will be affected.

Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

Baking soda will go bad. It’s probably going to be good past the best before date, but it will lose its effectiveness gradually over time.

A good rule of thumb is two years for an unopened box of baking soda and about six months for an opened box.

If you want to test to see if baking soda is still working the way that it should, take some baking soda and throw it into a bowl with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. The baking soda should start to fizz heavily. If you don’t get much fizz after adding the vinegar or lemon juice then it means that your baking soda isn’t as potent and it’s time to purchase a new box.

Can You Use Baking Soda in the Freezer If Your Freezer Stinks?


Baking soda will also work in a freezer. If you have a freezer that smells like fish or something terrible then use a box of baking soda to neutralize the problem.

The problem with freezer or fridge smells is that they will eventually end up in your ice or other foods that you eat. This is why using baking soda to fight these smells is a great way to keep your food and ice fresh.

Baking soda is not just used for fridges and freezers, you can use it in a bunch of different ways to keep your home smelling great. Use baking soda to deodorize a closet or deodorize smelly shoes.

You can also put baking soda in your car for neutilizing that pet smell that lingers around. There are so many great uses for baking soda in our everyday life, so remmeber it’s not just something that we use in our fridges but in a variety of scenarios.

Can You Make a Homemade Odor Neutralizer for Your Fridge?

Using baking soda is the most natural and cost-effective way to fight off odors in your fridge or freezer. It doesn’t take very long to cut open a box of baking soda and place it in your fridge, but the effects are almost immediate.

Using baking soda for tackling odors in your fridge instead of harsh chemicals is a great way to keep your family safe and your fridge fresh.


We all want our fridges and freezers to smell great and our food and ice to taste great. This is why using baking soda is an excellent way to accomplish that goal.

Baking soda in fridges isn’t something that people used because they were misinformed, it’s a proven strategy for keeping odors away.

It’s safe for your family, and it isn’t that large of an investment.

If you are not already doing so, grab a box of baking soda for your fridge or freezer and cheers to freshness.


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