Question about Kenmore 18.3 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator w/Through-the-Door Water Dispenser

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Odor from outside of Refrigerator

Refrigerator is emitting a fishy or antifreeze kind of smell. The insides have been completely cleaned with bleach yesterday so the odor has to be coming from the back of the unit. What could be the problem? Thanks

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  • mclean79873 Feb 13, 2009

    The inside of the refrigerator and top freezer did have the odor before we cleaned it out entirely with bleach. We had tried 409 etc but the odor returned. No, there was not any spoiled food or cheese, and has not been turned off. The food still seems to be cold enough and ice is frozen. This has been going on for about a week. Thanks

  • Mark Egan May 11, 2010

    Put a new, opened box of baking soda in the refrigerator for a week. Try not to be too "nosey" to see if you can smell odors.
    Smell again after a week has passed to see if the odor has reduced any.

    There is not a path between the inside and outside of the refrigerator or freezer sections, other than to allow refrigerant and water lines to pass through. Odors are pretty confined to what has been in the freezer or refrigerator, unless a critter has crawled in there (but critter normally get in the food, not the freezer or behind the freezer panel/plate.).You can try and remove the back plate in the freezer section to check for mold growth, but normally that is not a problem in freezers. You can also check the drain tray which drains the accumulated water that is the result of melted frost from the defrost cycle.


  • Mark Egan May 11, 2010

    Always clean a refrigerator or freezer with warm water and baking soda.

    Is the odor coming from inside or outside of the refrigerator? Do you smell it on the freezer side?

    Has any food spoiled or soured in the refrigerator or freezer sections while the unit was turned off and the doors closed?

    Reply back and we can help you further.


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Pull out the fridge and remove the back panel, and clean that area. Make sure no food is stuck under the fridge also. A rotten piece of fruit or other food, once under there, will smell until it totally decomposes. We have seen this before. Hope this helps!

Posted on Feb 16, 2009

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