How Often Should You Change the Baking Soda in Your Fridge?

How Often Should You Change the Baking Soda in Your Fridge?

how often should you change the baking soda in your fridge

Most people don’t think about changing the baking soda in their fridge until they notice a smell. The general rule of thumb is to change the baking soda every three months.

However, if you have an especially smelly fridge, you may need to change it more often. If you have a lot of food, the fridge odor will be stronger, so you may need to change the baking soda every month.

But if you rarely cook and don’t have a lot of food or odors in your fridge, you may get away with six months or even a year without replacing the baking soda box.

Does Baking Soda in the Fridge Actually Work?

does baking soda in the fridge actually work

The short answer is yes, baking soda in the fridge actually works to control odors and keep a refrigerator fresh inside. Baking soda is a natural absorbent and refrigerator deodorizer that does an excellent job at absorbing unpleasant odor from your fridge.

Just be sure to change it regularly so that it can continue to do its job. Much like other odor absorption products such as activated carbon charcoal it has a limit to how much it can absorb before replacement is necessary.

How Long Does It Take for Baking Soda to Absorb Odors in Refrigerator?

Baking soda will absorb bad odors as soon as it’s placed in the fridge. Depending on how foul the odor is, the baking soda may take a few days or even a week to completely absorb the fridge smell.

Once the fridge odor is gone, the baking soda will continue to work for months, slowly absorbing any food odor that may develop and keeping your fridge smelling fresh.

If you’re looking for an instant fix, some people also like to make a baking soda paste for cleaning. You can apply it directly to the shelves of your fridge then wipe it down with a damp cloth for improved odor elimination.

Is Refrigerator Baking Soda the Same as Regular Baking Soda?

Refrigerator baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which is the same ingredient that’s in regular baking soda. However, refrigerator baking soda is often finer granulated to absorb odors more quickly.

You can use regular baking soda in your fridge if you don’t have refrigerator baking soda on hand. It will still absorb odors but may take longer.

It’s important to note that baking powder is not the same as baking soda. Baking powder combines baking soda and an acid such as cream of tartar.

Because baking powder is diluted baking soda it’s not an effective deodorizer.

Does Baking Soda Keep Food Fresh?

does baking soda keep food fresh

Baking soda does not keep food fresh but it definitely helps to absorb odors that can make food taste sour or stale.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your food fresh, use airtight containers or wrap food in plastic wrap. As a bonus, these storage methods will also help keep your fridge organized and minimize food odor.

To prolong the life of food your best options is to use a freezer if you’re not planning on eating it right away.

Does Baking Soda Expire?

does baking soda expire

Baking soda has a long shelf life and will not expire in the traditional sense, but it may lose its potency over time. This means that it may not be as effective at cleaning and neutralizing odors.

Baking soda should remain effective for 2-3 years when stored properly.

How Can You Tell If Baking Soda Is Good?

If you have old baking soda and are not sure if it’s still good, there’s a simple test you can do.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a splash of white vinegar.
  • If the mixture fizzes, the baking soda is still good.
  • Baking soda that doesn’t fizz should be replaced as it is no longer effective.

What Can I Use Instead of Baking Soda?

what can i use instead of baking soda

A few other household items can be used as a natural refrigerator deodorizer. Here are a few options:

Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds can absorb unpleasant odors, just like baking soda. For best results, allow the coffee grounds to dry out before placing them in the fridge.


Cut a lemon in half and place lemon halves in the fridge door or on shelves. The citrus smell will help to neutralize bad odors and keep your fridge smelling fresh.

Be sure to replace the lemons every few days.


Activated charcoal can absorb unpleasant smells, making it an ideal refrigerator deodorizer. However, it can be a little messy to use, so use a small container of charcoal or get a charcoal deodorizer made specifically for the fridge.

White Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can also help to neutralize bad smells. Mix equal parts of water and vinegar for best results, then place in a spray bottle.

Spritz the inside of your fridge with the mixture, then wipe clean. For extra deodorizing, mix in a few drops of lemon juice.

James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »