I am using a mini fridge to keep waters in my garage/workshop handy. After a few weeks of doing this, I'm noticing a raunchy smell coming from the fridge and it's on the water bottles as well. Could freon be leaking and causing this or is it something else? Is like to keep using it for this so please provide a solution if you have one. Thanks.


2 Answers 2


If I took a guess, my guess is that the fridge has mold inside an area you cannot see. Some people definitely describe mold as smelling "raunchy", but I've never heard anyone use the word "raunchy" to describe Freon.

If it's mold, your best bet may be to give the fridge to a certified recycling center so the Freon can (hopefully) be safely evacuated and the parts can be recycled. It's unlikely that you will ever be able to clean it effectively to remove the odor or the possible danger.

If the fridge is too old for recycling centers (I'm not sure if any of them will evacuate the old CFC Freon), your only solution for legal (and ethical) disposal will likely be a hazardous materials disposal center. The nice part of that is that in many municipalities around the world, they will come to you for free!

A bonus of a new fridge is that it will likely use much less electricity and generate less heat.


The question doesn't say, but is the fridge plugged in and running in order to keep the water cool, or is it simply used as a room temperature storage cupboard to keep out bugs and dirt?

If the latter, it's quite common for an unpowered fridge with a closed door to develop an unpleasant odor (ditto for washing machines).
Thoroughly wash the inside (perhaps with chlorine bleach), leave the door wide open for a day or two to let it dry and lose the chemical smell, and then plug it in.

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