Maytag Refrigerator Smells [Proven Solutions]

A refrigerator helps keep food and other items from going bad. But it can get dirty and become smelly over time. This article discusses Maytag refrigerator smells and what to do.

Maytag refrigerator smells

Maytag Refrigerator Smells Bad – Solved

If you find that a Maytag refrigerator is smelling bad, take basic steps to curb the smell. Look for open foods that have strong odors and remove them. Keep them wrapped or concealed in airtight food containers. Doing this also keeps the foods from becoming too dry or going bad.

Clear out the refrigerator and clean all the parts. Soak the shelves, racks, and bins in warm water to allow stubborn and dry stains to soften. That way, you can easily wash them off. Next, clean the interior parts of the unit with baking soda and warm water. Gently scrub every part and ensure the baking soda reaches all the parts. It helps eliminate foul odors and keeps the unit smelling clean.

Now, wash all the parts in warm water with soap and thoroughly rinse them with lots of clean water. Dry them with a lint-free towel and allow them to air-dry before putting them back into the refrigerator. The next step is to sort through the foods to remove old or expired ones. Storing foods for too long can cause the refrigerator to smell. Keep the items organized for better freshness.

Some Maytag refrigerators have air filters. These filters are effective at removing bad smells, more effective than baking soda. If your unit has an air filter, regularly replacing it is crucial. If you leave it in the unit for too long, it can no longer perform its duty.

Clean the Exterior Parts

After cleaning the interior parts of the refrigerator, move the unit to reach behind and under it. Many times, spillage can extend to the condenser and under the refrigerator. The mess can eventually begin to smell if you do not regularly clean the refrigerator. Therefore, clean the condenser coils, fan, and compressor area. If you are unsure of how to clean the condenser area, use a professional for the job.

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Also, clean the drain pan; the pan is usually a source of bad smells in a refrigerator. Typically, users forget that it should be cleaned until it begins to smell. Empty the pan if there is standing water and wash it with warm water and soap. After that, sanitize the pan with bleach or vinegar.

Water spilling from the drain pan over time pools under the refrigerator and smells. So, move the unit and thoroughly clean the area under it. Ensure you remove every stain and dirt sticking to the area to prevent a future occurrence of bad smells.

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Other Steps to Take

If the bad smell remains after giving the refrigerator a basic cleaning, take it to the next step. Empty the refrigerator again of all contents, including the shelves, racks, drawers, and bins. Clean them with warm water and vinegar to remove odor. Next, rinse them in warm water and lemon juice, and thoroughly dry them with a lint-free cloth.

Put the parts back into the refrigerator and get activated charcoal. Put some of it in bowls and place the bowls in the freezer and refrigerator compartments. If you do not have access to activated charcoal, baking soda will do the job. It will work excellently, especially if your refrigerator has an air filter. Put one box of baking soda in the refrigerator and another in the freezer.

Another option is to use breath mint or newspapers. Get a breath mint and dampen it before putting it on a plate. Put the plate into the refrigerator and freezer to freshen the air. If you are using newspapers, roll them into loose balls, put them in bowls, add a few drops of cooking vanilla onto the newspaper balls, and put the plates into the refrigerator and freezer. Remove the baking soda, newspapers, or charcoal every week to two weeks and replace them with fresh ones until the bad smell dissipates.

Maytag Refrigerator Has a Burning Smell – Fixed

Electrical connections can go bad and burn, leading to a burning smell from a Maytag refrigerator. Specific models may have design problems that degenerate to issues such as the internal lights never going off. And if the lights never go off, the heat begins to melt the plastic parts. The melting parts produce a burning smell. This article on why a refrigerator smells like it is burning explains in detail and proffers solutions.

Maytag Refrigerator Ice Maker Smells – Solution

If the ice maker in your Maytag refrigerator smells, it may be that you have foods that ordinarily smell too close to it. Foods like cheese have strong odors, and if they are too close to the ice maker, the machine will smell. Another possibility is that the water quality is low and over time, the smell from the water is causing the ice maker to smell.

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If any of the above applies, move the foods away from the ice maker and store them in airtight containers. The containers will help trap the smell from affecting the water and other refrigerator contents. And if the water quality is low, use another source of water. Avoid using water softeners so that you do not damage the ice maker.

Recently-installed plumbing lines may affect the smell. And if the water filter is old, the ice maker and ice will also smell. If you suspect the plumbing lines, you need to give it some time for the smell to dissipate. Make and discard the first three ice batches and ensure you flush a few gallons of water from the dispenser.

Replace the old water filter with a compatible one for the Maytag refrigerator. Ensure you purchase a new one using the specific model number for your refrigerator. It is best to use the recommended brands; contact Maytag for the filters or find authorized dealers near you.

Finally, clean the ice maker. It is one part of a refrigerator many people neglect to clean. You do not have to remove the machine before cleaning it. Turn the refrigerator off and get warm soapy water. Remove the ice bucket and put it in the sink. Then, clean the sides and inside of the ice maker with warm water. Allow the machine to dry before turning the refrigerator on again. And wash the ice bucket, dry it, and properly insert it under the ice maker.

Maytag Refrigerator Has a Chemical Smell – How to Fix

If a refrigerator leaks refrigerant, it creates a chemical smell. The first sign it is losing refrigerant is the acrid or acetone smell, and you should open doors and windows to create better ventilation. Contact Maytag to report the issue and request immediate service. 

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Another way to tell is if there is a pool of oil under the unit or if it runs without shutting off. You may use a detection leak kit to find the leaking points on the evaporator or cooling pipes, but it is always best to leave the job to a professional appliance technician.


A smelling refrigerator is not only a nuisance but also a health risk. Typically, food makes a refrigerator smell, but a lack of cleaning leads to a dirty refrigerator and eventually, bad smells. This article explains why a Maytag refrigerator smells and how to clean it. It also shows ways to prevent bad smells in the future.

If your refrigerator smells like it is burning, it probably is. Turn it off immediately and get a technician to find the source of the smell. It most likely is from bad electrical connections or overheating from internal lights. Also, turn the unit off if there is a chemical smell and get a technician to find and fix the leak in the closed system.

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