How to Get Refrigerator Taste Out of Food?

Last Updated on May 8, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As someone who’s spent a lot of time in the kitchen, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to encounter “refrigerator flavor” in your food. 

This off-taste and odor can develop when your food is stored in the fridge, and it’s not always easy to get rid of. 

In this article, we’ll share some effective methods for removing the unpleasant flavor and some tips on how to deodorize your fridge and prevent this problem from happening in the first place. Let’s get started! 

Ways to Get Refrigerator Taste Out of Food

There are several ways to get rid of refrigerator flavor and salvage your food:

  • Remove the food from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before eating.
  • Reheat the food in the oven or on the stove to help dissipate any off-flavors.
  • Add flavorful ingredients to the dish, such as herbs, spices, or vinegar, to mask the off-flavors.
  • Store the food in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from absorbing odors and flavors from other foods in the fridge.

What is Refrigerator Flavor?

Refrigerator flavor is a term used to describe the off-flavors and odors that can develop in food when stored in the fridge. 

These flavors and odors can be caused by a variety of factors, such as the breakdown of fats, the absorption of flavors from other foods in the fridge, or exposure to air and moisture.

Different Causes of “Refrigerator Taste”

There are several different causes of refrigerator flavor:

  • Chemical reactions between the food and the materials used to package it, such as plastic or aluminum foil.
  • Exposure to air and moisture, which can cause oxidation and the breakdown of fats and other compounds in the food.
  • Absorption of flavors from other foods in the fridge, especially strong-smelling foods like onions or garlic.
  • The breakdown of enzymes in the food can produce off-flavors and odors.

Why Does the Food in My Fridge Taste Like Chemicals?

food on a refrigerator

If your food tastes like chemicals after being stored in the fridge, it may be due to a reaction between the food and the packaging materials. 

Plastic containers and aluminum foil can sometimes react with acidic or fatty foods, producing a chemical taste or odor. 

To avoid this, try storing acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus fruits in glass or ceramic containers, and wrap fatty foods like cheese in wax paper before storing them.

Should You Call Professionals to Fix the Chemical Taste of the Food in Fridge?

In most cases, you can get rid of refrigerator flavor on your own using simple methods like reheating or adding flavorful ingredients. 

However, suppose you suspect that the chemical taste in your food is due to a malfunctioning fridge or contamination. 

In that case, it’s best to call in professionals to assess the situation and make any necessary repairs.

Can Too Much Moisture Produce Chemical Taste?

Excess moisture in the fridge can lead to the growth of bacteria and mold, producing off-flavors and odors in your food.

To avoid this, ensure your fridge is set to the proper temperature and humidity levels, and avoid storing wet or damp foods uncovered.

Can a Smelly Fridge Contaminate Food?

Yes, a smelly fridge can contaminate your food with off-flavors and odors. To prevent this, be sure to regularly clean your fridge, dispose of any spoiled or expired food, and store strong-smelling foods in airtight containers.

How Can I Deodorize My Refrigerator Fast?

There are several ways to deodorize your fridge quickly:

  • Place an open box of baking soda on one of the shelves to absorb odors. – Wipe down the inside of the fridge with a mixture of water and vinegar to remove any lingering smells.
  • Place a bowl of activated charcoal or coffee grounds in the fridge to absorb odors. – Cut a lemon in half and place it on a small plate in the fridge to help freshen the air.

Does a Lemon Get Rid of a Smelly Fridge?

Yes, placing a cut lemon in the fridge can help to deodorize it and eliminate any lingering odors [1]. 

The citric acid in the lemon helps to neutralize odors, while the fresh scent of the lemon can help to freshen the air. 

Simply cut a lemon in half and place it on a small plate in the fridge, or add a few drops of lemon juice to a bowl of baking soda for an extra boost.

How Long Does It Take To Deodorize a Fridge?

The length of time it takes to deodorize a fridge can vary depending on the severity of the odors and the method used. 

Generally, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to completely eliminate odors from the fridge. 

To speed up the process, try using multiple deodorizing methods at once, such as placing an open box of baking soda on one of the shelves and wiping down the inside of the fridge with vinegar.


In conclusion, refrigerator flavor is a common problem in many kitchens, but with the right strategies, it’s a solvable one. From reheating food to adding flavorful ingredients, there are many ways to remove the off-taste and odor from your dishes. 

Additionally, properly storing your food in airtight containers and regularly cleaning your fridge can go a long way towards preventing refrigerator flavor from occurring in the first place.

And if you’re dealing with a smelly fridge, natural deodorizing methods like baking soda, activated charcoal, or lemon can help freshen the air. 

By following these tips, you can ensure that your food tastes fresh and delicious every time.


Lauren Beck
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