The Natural Fix for a Smelly Refrigerator

Here’s an easy trick to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh from Gardenista contributor Erin Boyle.

Above: To start, an affordable aluminum Dredger, made for sprinkling flour or powdered sugar, is the perfect vessel for this project.

Above: When it comes to natural cleaning products, baking soda is King and sweetly scented lavender is Queen. These two simple ingredients are all you need to make a 100-percent natural odor absorber.

Above: Scour your local farmers’ market for dried lavender. Or, you can buy some online for $14.24 per pound. (A few drops of lavender essential oil also works.)

Above: To make your odor absorber, fill the dredger about three quarters of the way with baking soda. (Baking soda all by itself will work wonders to absorb unpleasant odors.)

Above: The addition of a lavender flowers helps mask any particularly unpleasant odors. To remove lavender buds from their stems, gently rub the blossoms between your thumb and forefinger. Erin uses a small spoon to mix the lavender buds into the baking soda. It takes about ten stems worth of lavender for her odor absorber. The perforated top of the dredger allows the baking soda to absorb unpleasant smells, while also helping to mitigate any spills. As an added bonus, if there’s a day when your trash can is particularly offensive, you can easily sprinkle a dash or two of the baking soda mixture directly on top of the garbage.

Above: Tucked into the back of the refrigerator, the dredger fits right in without drawing attention to itself. Replace your baking soda and lavender every few months to keep a perfectly odor-free refrigerator.

For more of Erin’s spring cleaning secrets, see The Secret Ingredient to Make Windows Shine Bright Like a Diamond.


Spirit Spider
Spirit Spider4 years ago

Sounds great thanks! :-)

Siti R.
Siti R4 years ago

lavender is hard to find and very expensive in Singapore! i guess peppermint or lemon peels are okay!

Helen Wu
Helen Wu4 years ago

woah thanks

Ann Razumovskaya
Ann Razumovskaya4 years ago

Thanks, worth try.

Despina Vekris
Despina Vekris4 years ago


Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga4 years ago


Patt Tashjian
Patt Tashjian4 years ago

This works great. I put a small box of Arm and Hammer baking soda into the refrigerator and it lasts for months! Other uses when you are done is flushing it a little at a time down the toilet or down your garbage disposal. The food scents leave immediately. Thanks Ms. Boyle.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

good idea

Angela J.
Angela B4 years ago

thanks for the idea!!

Yvette Fouche
Yvette Fouche4 years ago

Yes I have done it for ages. But never added scent to it