Why Does My Sub Zero Refrigerator Smell Bad?

None of us are prepared when a bad smell greets us after opening the refrigerator. We hope that removing spoiled food or wiping down the fridge will banish the odor. But what happens when Sub Zero refrigerator odor persists? We’ll help answer, “Why does my Sub Zero refrigerator smell bad?” from spills and mildew to outside influences.

Why Does My Sub-Zero Refrigerator Smell Bad and How Do I Eliminate Odor?

Pinpointing Sub-Zero refrigerator smells can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. We’ll list the most common causes as well as how to remove odors from a Sub Zero refrigerator and prevent their return.

New Sub Zero Refrigerator

If you’re asking, “Why does my Sub Zero refrigerator smell when it’s brand new?” it’s not uncommon. New units can have an odor to them if stale air gets trapped inside during shipment. We suggest cleaning the refrigerator’s interior with a mild detergent, water, and soft cloth. Remove drawers and shelving and clean with the same method to dispel odor.

Odors from Spoiled Food

Odors from spoiled food are a common answer to why does my Sub Zero refrigerator smell. Here are some common causes of spoiled food and how to fix them.

why does my sub zero refrigerator smell

What Can Cause Spoiled Food Odor:

  • Improperly sealed food left for too long
  • An extended power loss
  • Damaged door seals that allow cool air to escape
  • Refrigerator temperature setting is too high

How to fix odor:

  • Dispose of spoiled food and make sure other items are properly sealed. Check all sealed items regularly for signs of spoilage.
  • In the event of an extended power outage place all dairy, meats, and leftover items in a cooler with ice. When power is restored, allow the refrigerator time to return to its temperature setting before returning food
  • Replace damaged door seal
  • Consult your owner’s manual to confirm the best cooling temperature for your model refrigerator
  • Clean refrigerator interior, drawers, and shelves with a solution of warm water, detergent, and bleach
  • Place a small container of charcoal briquettes or crumpled newspaper in the refrigerator to absorb odor, replacing daily

Food Spills and Mildew

Food spills in the refrigerator can happen if food is improperly sealed or jostling causes accidental spills. But if spills go undetected they can be quick to develop mildew. Even pooling water in the refrigerator can create mildew and odor when left too long. Here’s how to clean a Sub Zero refrigerator to eliminate odor from spills and mildew:

  1. Turn the refrigerator off at the control panel
  2. Wipe down refrigerator interior, drawers, and shelves with mild detergent, water, and a soft cloth
  3. Use a paste of baking soda and water to remove stubborn stains
  4. Rinse with water and dry components completely
  5. Refrain from using vinegar or alcohol to avoid damage to plastic components

how to clean a sub zero refrigerator

Bad Smells Outside Refrigerator

Sometimes bad refrigerator odor originates outside the refrigerator. These common causes can create outside odor and require specific fixes:

Common causes for exterior odor:

  • Standing water in drain pan under the refrigerator
  • Dirty condenser coils
  • Pest or rodent problems under or behind refrigerator

How to fix exterior odor:

  • Consult the manual to locate drain pain. Remove and pour standing water down the sink. Wipe the drain pan with a 1:2 solution of bleach and water before replacing it.
  • Clean refrigerator condenser coils with a soft bristle vacuum brush attachment and these Sub Zero refrigerator coil cleaning tips.
  • Pull refrigerator away from the wall and look for signs of pest problems. Contact a pest control professional if needed.

Are you still wondering why does my Sub-Zero refrigerator smell bad even after these interventions? It may be time to consult your local factory authorized Sub Zero service. The experts at Ortega’s Appliance Service specialize in Sub Zero repair and can help with any concern.

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