When it’s time to do a regular fridge clean out, you might be hit with the unpleasant aroma of food that is past its prime. Or perhaps that is what inspired you to get cleaning in the first place? But even after getting rid of the stinky culprit, those smells can linger. This time, instead of letting a box of baking soda hang out on one of the shelves to absorb the smell, try using activated charcoal to get rid of any fridge odors. We bet it will work a whole lot better.
If you’re not familiar with activated charcoal, it’s a type of charcoal that’s made from materials such as char, coal, and sawdust. It’s different than the briquettes you might use for the grill because it goes through a heat and chemical process (literally activating it!) that creates tiny pores on the surface. This is what makes it the best option for nixing smells according to the cleaning gurus at Rainbow International Restoration, who say that it can absorb all kinds of odors.
The experts at Cook’s Illustrated also tested how activated charcoal stands up against fridge odors and claim it could be even more effective than baking soda. They explain, “Because it is pure carbon, which absorbs almost all organic molecules, activated charcoal should potentially absorb — and thus remove from the air — almost all smelly molecules that it encounters.”
You can buy a bag of it in bulk online (Buy on Amazon, $25.11) or at any pet supplies store as it’s most often used to clean the water inside of aquariums. When you’re ready to deodorize your fridge, Cook’s Illustrated recommends filling an open Tupperware container with two cups of the charcoal pellets and keeping it stored toward the back of the fridge near the air vent.
Based on their testing, this should tame any unpleasant smells for up to a month, after which you can discard the used charcoal and replace it with the same amount of fresh pellets. You can also put a small bowl of charcoal near a litter box, trash can, and in the laundry room to keep those other areas of your home smelling fresh.
So if baking soda just isn’t cutting it to keep your home smelling clean, you should definitely try activated charcoal!
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