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Eliminate Bad Fridge Smells With a Toilet Paper Hack

A cleaning expert breaks down the trend and why it actually works.

Let's face it: Our refrigerators aren't always the cleanest. We may leave old leftovers in there a little too long, or let produce go bad before we've had time to use it. But even after you finally get around to cleaning your fridge out, you could find that the lingering odors of not-so-fresh food are still there. To help fix this, some people are now using a surprising toilet paper hack. Read on to discover how this trend can eliminate unpleasant fridge smells.

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Some people are putting toilet paper in their refrigerators.

Putting toilet paper in your fridge may not sound like a sensible thing to do, but the trend has taken over TikTok in the last few months.

One video posted by user @eze_nwanyi on Nov. 12 has been viewed over 85,000 times. "Put a toilet paper roll in your refrigerator, and you'll be surprised with the result," the user wrote in the caption of the TikTok.

Another TikTok from @smartfoxlifehacks, which has been viewed over 61,800 times times, indicates that this idea comes from the hotel industry. "Put it in the fridge straight from the packaging," this TikToker advises.

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They claim it eliminates unpleasant fridge smells.

woman opening door and feeling a bad smell from the refrigerator in kitchen.

In their TikTok video, @smartfoxlifehacks claims that this hack has "ingenious advantages." Namely, that the toilet paper "absorbs odors."

"So if you have various foods in your fridge that cause an unpleasant smell, the toilet paper roll can absorb these odors and it will no longer smell," @smartfoxlifehacks explains in their video. "That's why this trick is used in many hotels."

RELATED: 5 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Kitchen Smells Before Guests Come Over.

We spoke to an expert to find out if this is true.

Female hand takes roll of toilet paper from refrigerator door. Panic buying toilet paper in all countries during spread of COVID-19 coronavirus and quarantine. Covidiot concept

The internet is full of fake "hacks" that don't actually work, so to find out the truth behind the toilet paper trend, we consulted Muffetta Krueger, a longtime cleaning expert and the founder of Muffetta's Domestic Assistants, a house cleaning, housekeeping, and household staffing company.

Here's the good news: According to Krueger, the science is there to back it up.

"Moisture in the fridge can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria, contributing to foul smells and potentially affecting the freshness of stored food," she explains. "But toilet paper can absorb this excess moisture in the fridge, which again, is often the breeding ground for bacteria that produce unpleasant odors."

Since toilet paper is absorbent by nature, Krueger says it can also help to reduce humidity levels overall, which then creates a "less favorable environment" for any odor-causing microbes.

"Eliminating moisture helps maintain a hygienic environment and preserves the quality of perishables," she tells Best Life.

But she warns this might only be a "quick fix."

Housewife trying to get the rotten spoiled odor out of the freezer

Despite being a "creative approach" to eliminating odors, Krueger acknowledges that this toilet paper hack may not be a useful solution for everyone.

"Its efficacy may vary based on factors like fridge size and humidity levels," she explains.

It's also not something you should consider as a long-term solution either.

"It's crucial to address the root cause of fridge odors. Regular cleaning, checking for expired items, and proper storage practices contribute significantly to a fresh-smelling refrigerator," Krueger recommends. "The toilet paper hack is a quick fix, but long-term odor control involves adopting good hygiene habits."

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You may want to consider alternative methods to eliminating fridge smells.

Baking soda placed in refrigerator to deodorize bad odor

And if you don't want to waste toilet paper by putting it in the fridge, you've got other options. Krueger tells Best Life that she isn't sure this is a hack she would try herself, as there are "many alternatives to using toilet paper" when it comes to eliminating fridge smells.

"Baking soda is a popular choice, as it neutralizes odors effectively. Activated charcoal, coffee grounds, or even citrus peels can also absorb and mask unwanted smells," she says. "But like toilet paper, the effectiveness of alternatives also depend on the specific situation. Baking soda, for example, is known for its odor-neutralizing properties, while activated charcoal excels in absorbing a wide range of odors."

Other alternatives to consider include using silica gel packets, chalk, uncooked rice, newspaper, salt bowls, diatomaceous earth, and cedar blocks, according to Krueger.

"Always monitor and replace these moisture-absorbing materials as needed," she adds.

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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