KitchenAid Refrigerator Smells [Proven Solutions]

If your KitchenAid refrigerator smells bad, it may affect the taste of food, water, and food. Learn how to remove bad smells from your refrigerator.

KitchenAid refrigerator smells

KitchenAid Refrigerator Smells Bad – How to Fix

Bad smells from your refrigerator make everything in it undesirable. The first step is to find the source of the smell, which may mean cleaning the entire refrigerator. Disconnect the refrigerator from the electric power and turn off the water if applicable. Open all the refrigerator doors and remove every food item.

As you remove them, inspect each one to determine whether or not you have any rotten items. Also, check for foods with strong smells that may cause the refrigerator to smell. It is always vital to wrap such food items tightly to keep the smell from entering the refrigerator or water. If no items are causing the odor, thoroughly clean the refrigerator with baking soda and water. 

You can also clean it with warm soapy water if you do not have baking soda. Remember to clean the gasket, shelves, racks, and bins. The drawers or the gasket may have rotten food crumbs stored in them. So, cleaning them may stop the bad smell. Afterward, move the refrigerator and clean under it and behind it. 

Water may pool under the appliance and become stagnant, creating a foul odor with time. The condenser coils may also trap debris that rots and makes the refrigerator smelly. Cleaning inside, behind, and under the appliance should be a regular maintenance routine.

You may also want to remove the drain pan and empty it. This is especially true if there is standing water with dirt in it. The drain pan is usually the culprit of a foul-smelling refrigerator, although users tend to overlook it. Therefore, remove the drain pan, empty and wash it. 

Use bleach or white vinegar to sanitize it before putting it back under the refrigerator. Put the shelves, drawers, and racks in warm soapy water. You may want to soak them before cleaning the refrigerator because it makes washing them easier. 

The warm water and soap will remove stubborn food stains and other forms of dirt that may cause a bad smell in the refrigerator. Afterward, rinse them under running water, dry them with a microfiber cloth, and leave them out to air-dry completely.

Preventive Steps

Take specific steps to prevent the refrigerator from developing a bad smell again. The best step is to create a regular cleaning routine to ensure the appliance does not store food crumbs or stagnant water that may eventually smell. Tightly wrap foods with strong odors, such as cheese, in an air-tight food container. And if there are spills, ensure you clean them up as soon as possible.

Move the refrigerator once or twice a month, and clean under it to remove debris and stagnant water. Empty and clean the drain pan while doing so because it can make the refrigerator smell due to stagnant water and debris. Do not leave food items too long in the freezer or refrigerator; it helps to organize the sections regularly. 

That way, you can determine what has gone bad and dispose of it before it begins to smell. Additionally, clean the water line and ice maker if applicable. Dirt can cake on the ice maker and cause smells in the refrigerator. Even after cleaning the appliance, it may continue to smell if the ice maker is dirty. 

Models with air filters should replace them whenever the indicator turns orange or red. That means the filter is due for a replacement. The filters keep the odors away, sometimes more effectively than any other odor removal method.

Other Steps to Take

You can freshen the air in the refrigerator after cleaning it, especially if there is still a faint odor and the refrigerator does not use an air filter. There are several methods to try, such as putting open boxes of baking soda in the freezer and refrigerator sections. 

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Another method is to leave the doors open and wash all the shelves, racks, and bins in one part warm water and one part vinegar. Rinse them in one part warm water and one part lemon juice and dry them using a soft cloth. The natural air should help reduce the odor in the refrigerator and dry the removable parts. Afterward, put them back into the refrigerator.

It may be necessary to take other steps to remove stubborn odors, so try activated charcoal. Put some in several bowls and put them in both sections. Activated charcoal can absorb odors as much as baking soda and is reusable. Alternatively, use newspaper; squeeze some pages into balls and drop them into bowls.

Add a few drops of cooking vanilla to the balls of paper and put the bowls into the freezer and refrigerator sections. Leave them there for as long as is necessary to absorb the odors. Breath mints may also work; dampen some, drop them into a plate, and place them inside the refrigerator. Repeat the steps as often as needed until the smell goes. You can reconnect the refrigerator to the electric power when the odor diminishes.

Important Notes 

These steps also apply if there is a problem with a KitchenAid undercounter refrigerator smell or if your KitchenAid refrigerator leaks water inside and is smelly. However, you must determine the source of the leaking water. The water may come from stored items in the refrigerator or the water filter. 

The filter housing may also be faulty, or the water line may need a replacement due to damage. Check out this article on a KitchenAid refrigerator leaking to fix the leaking problem.

When cleaning the refrigerator, use only a soft cloth or sponge. Never use a strong sponge or cloth, and avoid abrasive cleaning agents. Otherwise, you may damage the refrigerator’s finish or its plastic interior parts. Warm water, a soft cloth, and dishwashing detergent should do the job.

In addition, try washing the shelves by hand instead in a dishwasher. You can opt to use a dishwasher, but not all shelves are dishwasher-friendly. Keep the shelves with LED lights out of the dishwasher; carefully handwash them to keep water out of the lights. Ensure you do not put the shelves into the dishwasher or in warm water when they are still cold; allow them to warm to room temperature before washing them.

Check out these other articles…

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My New KitchenAid Refrigerator Water Smells Like Mud – Solved

A generally bad water smell in your KitchenAid refrigerator usually stems from a dirty water line or clogged water filter. If the refrigerator or water line is a new installation, the problem may be that you did not flush the line after installation. Dispensing water immediately after installation without flushing leaves the water smelling bad.

You can dispense water directly from the water line or the dispenser. Turn on the main water supply valve to release water for a few minutes. Channel the water into a large container until you completely flush the water line. And if the filter is clogged, ensure you use the correct filter replacement for a KitchenAid replacement and flush the system afterward.

Using the wrong water line type for a refrigerator may also affect the smell. You may want to check the user manual for your refrigerator for the specific water line type to use to avoid bad-smelling water. Alternatively, contact the KitchenAid Service Center for further assistance.

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The water from the main source may also be contaminated, although this possibility is rare. However, if nothing else seems to be the root of the problem, contact the appropriate authorities and report the issue. Also, try running water from the kitchen sink and see if it has an odd taste. That may explain the problem and help you fix it permanently.

My KitchenAid Refrigerator Water Smells Like Metal

The water may have high iron content, explaining the metallic smell, but it may not be the immediate cause of the metal-smelling water. Water high in iron usually comes from a well, so if your water source is a well, it explains the smell. However, the water line may be the culprit if the water is not from the well but from a municipal source. It may also be with a clogged water filter.

1. Water Line Material

Copper water lines tend to create a metallic smell in the water, which also reflects in the taste. If your refrigerator uses copper lines, consider replacing them with plastic lines to eliminate the taste. Plastic lines are usually easier to manage and safer to use in the long run. Ensure you get the correct water line measurement based on the distance of the appliance from the water pipe. Also, check the plastic water line and ensure it is the correct type for a refrigerator before getting it.

2. Usage

Irregular water usage from the refrigerator leaves the water too long in the water line. Consequently, the water has a strong metallic smell when you finally dispense it. Fix this problem by dispensing all the water in the line. 

Run several glasses out of the dispenser and discard them until the water smells and tastes better. You may want to turn off the water supply to the refrigerator if you do not regularly use it. Alternatively, occasionally dispense water to keep it smelling good and clear the line.

3. Filter

The final part to check is the water filter. A filter clogged with a significant amount of dirt changes the smell and taste of the water. If your unit has a built-in filter, it should also have a water filter status light to alert you when the filter needs a replacement. Therefore, you must occasionally monitor the light, especially when it stays up to six months in the unit.

Check the refrigerator’s user manual for the correct filter type for your KitchenAid refrigerator model. If you cannot find the right filter in a store near you, search online or contact KitchenAid. Ensure it is an Everydrop or KitchenAid model and follow the manual’s specific instructions to install the new filter.

4. Treat the Water

You may want to treat the water supply to your house if none of the above solutions works. Since the municipal authorities typically treat water when it is a threat to health and not when it has a bad smell, you need to handle it yourself. 

Add a carbon filter at the water’s entry point into the house to treat the entire water supply to fix the issue. But your house will require a water treatment system if your supply comes from a well.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Smells Like Burning Plastic – Fixed

Turn off your KitchenAid refrigerator once you smell burning plastic from it. It may be that the wiring is overheating or the interior lights are melting the plastic parts. Whichever it is, the refrigerator represents a fire hazard, and you must keep the unit off to prevent it until you resolve the problem.

Open the refrigerator and freezer doors to identify the source of the burning. If you notice melted parts inside the unit, it may indicate that the light fixture is faulty and never turns off. As a result, the heat becomes intense and warps the plastic. 

Spoiled food around the light area also points to the fact that it never turns off, even when you close the refrigerator or freezer door. But if there is smoke around the wiring or light, the plastic covering on the wires may have melted due to overheating in the wires. 

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Ensure you do not touch any wires while waiting for professional assistance. Transfer perishable foods to another refrigerator or an ice cooler packed with ice. You may also want to empty the refrigerator and leave the doors open for better results.

Contact the KitchenAid Service Center and report the issue as well as possible. Alternatively, hire an independent technician if the manufacturer is not readily available. Let them test each component, especially the start relay, light fixture, and connection points.

Preventive Steps

Regularly checking the refrigerator and all its connections is crucial. You can detect loose connections or faulty wiring if you or a service technician carry out maintenance checks on the appliance. If any wire or power cord appears damaged or frayed, replace it as quickly as possible. 

Keep the refrigerator on a dedicated power outlet and circuit; do not overload the circuit to avoid overheating the wires. Lastly, replace the refrigerator if it is already more than twenty years old; the older a refrigerator is, the more likely it is to become a fire hazard.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Gas Smell – Solutions

If your KitchenAid refrigerator smells like gas, the first crucial smell is to turn off the refrigerator. It is better to play it safe when you are unsure of the source than to turn off the appliance too late. Try to find the source of the gas smell; go close to the cooling line behind the refrigerator. If the smell is stringest from the coils or compressor, contact KitchenAid to request service or have an appliance technician repair the leak.

Ensure you create enough ventilation within the house. Open doors and windows to remove the smell of gas. That way, you can prevent poisoning; refrigerant poisoning is dangerous. Sometimes, the gas smells bad, and other times, it has a sweet smell. Keep the refrigerator off until a technician can check and fix it. You may want to transfer food items out of the unit while it is off.

The refrigerant that flows in a refrigerator runs through a closed loop, transferring from the compressor to the condenser coils and into the evaporator coils. It never needs to be refilled due to the closed system. However, if there is a gas leak, you may notice it by the odd smell, but you are more likely to notice it from a loss of cooling or ice buildup on one side of the evaporator coils.

Defrosting the coils can only temporarily solve the problem. Besides, there is a chance of total system failure if you continue using the appliance without fixing the gas leak. Therefore, have a technician fix it before using it again. 

If you have the skills, you can try detecting and fixing the leaks yourself. Note that it takes a special skill to detect and fix a refrigerant leak, but it may be best to hire a professional for the job.

Old KitchenAid Fridge Smells Bad at the Back When the Fan Is On – Quick Fix

The back of any fridge is a breeding ground for many microbes, which can cause foul smells. Dirty water and various forms of debris can also find their way behind the fridge, festering and causing a foul smell. The same is true if there is debris in the condenser compartment.

The best step is to turn off the fridge and move it. Clean the back to remove every debris, and clean any stagnant water behind or under the appliance. Also, remove the drain pan and thoroughly wash it; bad smells typically come from the pan because it holds water and debris, and the user usually forgets to clean it. There may also be a rodent problem, especially if you have not cleaned behind the fridge in a long time. Clear the debris and remove any dead rodents.

Make cleaning the back of your fridge a regular maintenance step to keep it from smelling. You can also catch other faults if you constantly check the fridge; you may hire someone for a professional job or clean and fix the issues yourself.

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