toilet paper
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
November 16, 2023 ·  4 min read

Why Are People Putting Toilet Paper in the Fridge?

Every household has encountered that persistent, unpleasant smell lingering in the refrigerator. Despite numerous attempts to banish it, the hallmark scent of spoilage seems unbeatable. Enter an unexpected solution gaining momentum across social media platforms: toilet paper in the fridge.1 Yes, you read that correctly—this peculiar hack has garnered attention, particularly on TikTok, where enthusiasts swear by its effectiveness.

While the concept isn’t entirely novel, this trend, originating as early as 2015, has resurfaced and caught the attention of curious minds once again. TikTok influencers have propelled the idea of placing a roll of toilet paper strategically in the refrigerator to absorb unwanted odors. The approach seems simple: the toilet paper supposedly absorbs excess moisture, primarily contributing to mold and unpleasant smells.2 However, how well it works is debatable.

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Assessing Toilet Paper in The Fridge Efficacy

Does the toilet paper method truly work? It may offer a temporary solution, albeit not as effective or long-lasting as the conventional approach—baking soda. While toilet paper might absorb excess moisture and temporarily mitigate odors, baking soda continues to be the go-to deodorizer for most households. It excels at neutralizing odors caused by moisture and acids and is a cost-effective and reliable solution.

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Deodorizing Without Putting Toilet Paper in The Fridge

Despite the popularity of the toilet paper hack, several alternatives effectively combat refrigerator odors. Several reliable and practical methods ensure a consistently clean and pleasant-smelling refrigerator. Here are some tried-and-tested approaches:

Baking Soda: A Time-Tested Favorite

Undoubtedly, baking soda remains the top choice for banishing refrigerator odors. Placing an open box of baking soda in the fridge effectively absorbs unwanted smells by neutralizing acids and excess moisture. It’s both cost-effective and efficient, requiring replacement only every three months. Additionally, some brands offer specialized odor-absorbing baking soda specifically designed for refrigerators.

Charcoal Filters and Natural Odor Absorbers

Activated charcoal, known for its remarkable odor-absorbing properties, serves as an excellent alternative to baking soda. Charcoal filters can effectively trap and eliminate unpleasant smells. Other natural odor absorbers like vanilla-soaked cotton balls, coffee grounds, lemon, and oats also prove surprisingly efficient at neutralizing fridge odors.

Routine Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly cleaning your refrigerator is paramount in preventing unpleasant odors. Wipe down spills immediately, discard expired items, and deep clean your fridge periodically. Focus on often-neglected areas such as the drip tray and compartments, as these areas tend to accumulate debris and liquid residue, contributing significantly to foul odors.

Organize and Store Strategically

Proper organization can play a significant role in keeping your fridge fresh. Store food in airtight containers to contain odors and prevent cross-contamination. Place an open box of baking soda at the back, away from leaking items, for optimal odor absorption.

Temperature Control

Maintaining the right temperature in your refrigerator prevents the rapid growth of bacteria that causes unpleasant odors. Keep your fridge at a temperature between 35°F and 38°F (1.6°C to 3.3°C) to inhibit bacterial growth and preserve food freshness.

By implementing these practical tips and employing reliable methods like baking soda, charcoal filters, and routine cleaning, you can ensure a consistently fresh-smelling refrigerator. Experimenting with unconventional hacks like toilet paper may be intriguing, but these time-tested approaches offer reliable and lasting solutions for maintaining a pleasant-smelling fridge.

Other Culprits of Fridge Odors

Persistent refrigerator odors might not solely result from spoiled food. Often, the tray at the back, accumulating drained liquids, contributes significantly to the stench. Thoroughly cleaning it and reaching the nooks beneath the fridge can eliminate unexplained odors.

Moreover, some individuals recommend storing toilet paper in the freezer, claiming its potential as an effective ice pack, retaining its chill for up to eight hours.

The Verdict

While the toilet paper hack might offer a quick fix for refrigerator odors, it’s no match for the long-term effectiveness and convenience of baking soda. Consider it an interesting experiment rather than a permanent solution. Exploring other proven deodorizing methods ensures a consistently fresh-smelling fridge.

In a world brimming with unique life hacks, the trend of using toilet paper in the fridge stands as one of the most unexpected. Yet, when addressing odors, sticking to the tried-and-true methods might ultimately yield the best results.

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  1. Why are people putting toilet paper in the fridge?Fox59.  Jim Loboy and Russell Falcon. November 10, 2023.
  2. Why are people putting toilet paper in the fridge? Surprising ‘hack’ goes viral online.” NY Post.
    Brooke Kato. November 8, 2023.