How to get an onion smell out of a refrigerator

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to get an onion smell out of a refrigerator
The strong scent of onions is released when the onion is cut. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Onions are a member of the lily family, growing from bulbs just as lilies do. While onions are still in their peeling the odour is almost nonexistent, but from the time you cut into an onion until the time you finish consuming it or dispose of it, the strong, overpowering scent lingers. Even a well-sealed plastic bag may not be enough to prevent onion smells from permeating your refrigerator. Once they do, removing the onion smell is important before it affects the other food in your refrigerator.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • White vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Clean cloths
  • Bowls
  • Baking soda
  • Cotton ball
  • Vanilla extract

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  1. 1

    Fill your bucket with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Remove the offensive onion and any other food near it from the refrigerator. Wash the inside of your refrigerator with the vinegar solution to begin the cleaning and deodorising process.

    How to get an onion smell out of a refrigerator
    Washing the inside of your refrigerator can help remove onion smell. (bucket image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from
  2. 2

    Prop open your refrigerator door for 15 minutes. Allow the inside to dry and air out.

  3. 3

    Fill two bowls with baking soda. Place one bowl at the site of the onion smell in your refrigerator. Set the other bowl on the bottom shelf.

  4. 4

    Leave the bowls of baking soda in your refrigerator for two to three days to absorb the smelly onion odour.

  5. 5

    Throw away the baking soda. Place a few drops of vanilla extract on a cotton ball. Leave the cotton ball in your refrigerator to get rid of any remaining onion smell.

    How to get an onion smell out of a refrigerator
    Vanilla is one of nature's odour absorbers. (vanilla beans image by joanna wnuk from

Tips and warnings

  • Use coffee grounds or activated charcoal in place of the baking soda to absorb odours from your refrigerator.
  • Store leftover onions in airtight plastic containers.

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