Why You Should Keep A Roll Of Toilet Paper In Your Fridge

After a long day at work, the last thing you're in the mood for is to open the fridge and be greeted with a wave of musty, sour smells. There's nothing more unappetizing than a stinky fridge, but it can be surprisingly hard to keep this kitchen appliance fresh and odor-free. Have you ever cleaned your drip pan and wiped down all the shelves but still weren't able to get rid of that awful odor? Try placing a fresh roll of toilet paper at the back of your refrigerator shelves. It might sound crazy, but the absorbent properties of toilet paper will help to soak up odors.

Most often, the stinky culprit is just a small fruit, spilled juice, or an old bag of deli meat, forgotten and shoved to the back of the fridge. Of course, odors can also be caused by too much humidity and Freon or ammonia leaks. Before trying any hack, make sure that you've cleaned out your appliance and addressed any potential leaks or problems with the machinery. Once you have, here's how placing toilet paper in the refrigerator can eliminate odors.

Toilet paper is an odor-trapping necessity

To understand how toilet paper can absorb smells, it's important to first understand why odors often linger in the fridge. When something has a smell, it's because it's releasing tiny molecules. These molecules travel through the air before they hit your nose, stimulating the scent receptors there. In air that is warm or humid, your nose is even more sensitive and smells can travel even faster. The fridge may not be warm, but it is certainly very humid. The damp and dark environment, along with any old foods, sugars, and bacteria, make it the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of icky scent particles, which bond with water molecules and float around in your fridge until you open the door.   

For obvious reasons, toilet paper is designed to be extremely absorbent. However, it doesn't just absorb liquids on contact; it can also pull them from the surrounding air. If you've ever touched your bathroom's toilet paper roll after a steamy shower, you might notice that it feels a bit damp. Placing a clean toilet paper roll in your fridge will absorb some of the internal humidity, and with it those stinky particles.

Tips for using toilet paper in your fridge

If you plan to give this hack a try, make sure you use a clean and fresh toilet paper roll. Don't take an old roll from your bathroom as it probably contains some fecal particles from toilet flushing spray, known as the aerosol effect, and you don't want those particles to be near your food. Unscented toilet paper is also best to avoid making your fridge smell like "lavender fields" or "fresh linen." After you've let the toilet paper soak up odors for a few days, you may want to replace the roll. If the roll isn't too damp or stinky after sitting in the fridge, there's no reason why you can't transfer it over to use in the bathroom.   

Compared to a store-bought fridge deodorizer, which can cost upwards of $10 each, toilet paper generally costs less than $1 per roll. To give the toilet paper even more odor-fighting power, you can pair it with a box of baking soda or even apply a baking soda paste directly to the roll. As the toilet paper attracts moisture, the alkaline baking soda will neutralize acidic odors. If you love the results in your fridge, try placing a toilet paper roll in other odor-prone areas too, like closets and basements.