We’ve all been there — you open up the fridge and get hit with a pungent, stinky odor.
Whether the foul smell is from food that’s gone bad, last night’s takeout, or just food with strong smells like garlic and onions, no one wants their refrigerator to stink.
So how do you get a bad smell out of your refrigerator?
Simple — just whip up this easy 3-ingredient homemade fridge odor eliminator.
It’s a natural odor eater that absorbs stinky odors and leaves a light fresh, clean scent.
Just place it on a shelf in your fridge and any lingering odors will be gone in no time.
What You Need to Make Refrigerator Deodorizer
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How to make refrigerator deodorizer
step 1: add 1/2 cup baking soda to jar
tip: Choose a jar that’s made from materials safe to use with diluted essential oils. Glass, stainless steel, and certain types of plastic (plastic #1 HDPE or plastic #2 PET) work well.
tip: Use a jar with a wide opening. You want the baking soda mixture exposed to as much air in your fridge as possible. More surface area means more odors will be sucked out of the fridge air and absorbed into the baking soda mixture.
tip: You don’t want to put a solid lid on the jar. You can either 1) leave the lid off entirely – it’s not needed, 2) use a lid with holes so the air can circulate to the baking soda mixture, or 3) use a piece of fabric with an open weave like cheesecloth of loose linen, then secure the fabric to the jar using just the ring of a mason jar lid.
step 2: add 1/2 cup diatomaceous earth
tip: There are two main types of diatomaceous earth: pool grade and food grade. Pool grade is used for many industrial uses. For household use like this fridge freshener, make sure you use an organic food-grade diatomaceous earth.
tip: Diatomaceous is a natural deodorizer. It has a wonderful absorbent, porous structure that makes it the perfect odor absorber.
tip: When baking soda and diatomaceous earth are combined, they work better as a refrigerator deodorizer than either alone.
tip: If you don’t have diatomaceous earth, you can substitute another 1/2 cup of baking soda instead. That’s 1 cup total of baking soda.
step 3: add 15 drops lemon essential oil
Not only does lemon essential oil smell clean, it’s a great natural deodorizer.
Lemon oil’s high limonene content helps it pull odors from the air and neutralize them, leaving the fridge smelling fresh and clean.
But lemon essential oil is just one of many options for getting rid of the stinky odors in your fridge.
Below I share 20 of my favorite essential oil deodorizing blends so you can customize the deodorizer to the fresh scent that’s perfect for you.
step 4: stir to mix well
My Favorite Deodorizing Essential Oil Blends
What essential oils are best to use when making all-natural fridge deodorizer?
Here are some essential oils and blends you might want to try. Feel free to customize with your favorite oils and blends.
- 15 drops lemon essential oil
- 9 drops eucalyptus essential oil + 6 drops spearmint essential oil
- 6 drops bergamot essential oil + 6 drops sweet orange essential oil + 3 drop lemon essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree (melaleuca) + 5 drops lemon + 5 drops lime
- 5 drops lemongrass + 5 drops lavender + 5 drops eucalyptus
- 9 drops sweet orange essential oil + 6 drops peppermint essential oil
- 9 drops lemon essential oil + 6 drops cypress essential oil
- 9 drops sweet orange + 2 drops rosemary + 2 drops clove
- 12 drops lemon essential oil + 3 drops clove essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree (melaleuca) + 5 drops lemon + 5 drops orange
- 3 drops lime + 3 drops sweet orange + 3 drops lemon + 6 drops spearmint
- 5 drops lavender + 5 drops lemon + 5 drops rosemary
- 5 drops lavender + 5 drops cypress + 5 drops tea tree
- 5 drops eucalyptus + 5 drops frankincense + 5 drops lemon
- 9 drops grapefruit + 3 drops frankincense + 3 drops peppermint
- 9 drops tangerine + 3 drops lemon + 3 drops tea tree (melaleuca)
- 5 drops lemon + 5 drops peppermint + 5 drops eucalyptus
- 6 drops frankincense + 6 drops cypress + 3 drop ylang ylang
- 5 drops spearmint + 5 drops sweet orange + 5 drops lavender
- 4 drops lemon + 4 drops lime + 4 drops tea tree + 2 drops fir
How to Use
- Put in the refrigerator on a shelf out of the way. You don’t want to have someone accidentally knock it and spill the powder all over the place. Done that, and it’s not fun.
- Make sure it has lots of air flow — leave top off completely or use top with holes. The deodorizer needs to be exposed to air for it to absorb any odors.
How long will this baking soda fridge deodorizer last?
- It usually lasts for 1-2 months.
- tip: To help keep it going strong, stir or shake container once a week to expose new baking soda/diatomaceous earth to the air. This will reactivate it and help absorb more odors.
- tip: When you’re done using the deodorizer in the fridge, don’t toss it. Pour it down the drain and let it deodorize your sink and drain. Get every last bit of use out of it that you can.
How to Deep Clean Your Refrigerator
Want to up your refrigerator game? In addition to using this DIY fridge odor freshener, give your fridge an occasional deep clean.
- empty — Take everything out of the fridge. tip: The cleaning process shouldn’t take long, but if you think you might get interrupted, then put the most perishable foods in a cooler while you work.
- tidy up — As you empty out the fridge, check dates on foods. Get rid of old, expired food that has gone bad.
- wipe — Use my homemade “Lysol” disinfecting spray (recipe here) to do a thorough cleaning of the inside of the fridge — all shelves, drawers, and walls. tip: bacteria and mold can hide so make sure you get all the grooves, nooks, and crannies. Don’t forget the underside of all shelves and drawers. Cotton swabs and toothpicks are great for small crevices.
- dry– allow fridge to dry before putting food back in
- restock fridge — tip: Wipe down jars and other containers as you put them back in the fridge.
- deodorize — use the DIY refrigerator deodorizer above to keep fridge clean, fresh, and smelling great until the next deep clean.
- clean outside — Use my homemade stainless steel spray (recipe here) to clean and shine the outside of the fridge.
How often should you deep clean your fridge?
About every 3 months — I try to remember to clean my fridge with the change of seasons.
Of course, if something spills or there’s a particularly bad smell, then you might need to give it a good cleaning before the 3 months are up.
More DIY Deodorizing Recipes to Keep Stinky Odors Out of Your Home
homemade Poo-Pourri toilet spray (spray toilet bowl before you go number 2, and it traps the odor in the bowl. No one will ever know you went.)
essential oil deodorizing pads (stick these little felt pads anywhere you want to prevent odors)
fabric refresher linen spray (aka homemade “Febreeze”)
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Disclaimer: Please know that this website contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission. The price is exactly the same for you as it would be without the affiliate link.