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Resolved Question

Strong Smell in French Door Refigerator

Jul 7, 2012 10:17PM PDT

Some weeks ago, we noticed a strong smell in the refrigerator section of the Samsung French Door we bought in Jan '10. We checked all the food, threw out anything that looked even remotely funny, washed the interior and did a general cleaning. The smell abated a bit but has come back.

The smell is somewhat close to alcohol and has permeated everything in the box. A service tech was here last week to work on the cooling system, the cooling fan froze and the drain was clogged somewhat but he was unable to give us a clue as to what the smell is.

When he was finished we again cleaned everything in the box since it was cleaned out, washing with a dishwasing detergent until our arms were sore. Again the smell returned. The tech said to wad up a piece of newspaper and leave it in the box which would absorb the odor. DOESN'T WORK!

Now we are waiting for parts to arrive and for the tech to again to return to install them. But the smell still lingers. Do anyone have any kind of a remedy.

BTW Samsung service is pitiful! They do answer the phone, they are apologetic and they are able to set up a service call. But the nearest repair person is 90 miles away. Then we found out they assigned to repair to two different companies. The service call was set for Wed, then went to Thur, and then to Fri. Since we were going to be out on Friday, I called to schedule. The repair tech showed up on Friday. The repair tech finally showed up on Tue.

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TME4TLS has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
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Clarification Request
Samsung Chef Collection
Aug 12, 2018 12:51PM PDT

I am having the same problem. The inside of the fridge smells horrible with a chemical smell. The Ice cubes smell the same and I am resorting to buying instead of using the ice dispenser. Is there anything I can do to resolve this problem?

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Check the cover for the water dispenser.
Aug 27, 2018 12:15PM PDT

This was the source of our smell. I ordered a new cover and now no more smell.
If you don't have an interior dispenser check the gasket for your ice maker.
There is a post here about it.

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Yep it's the ice maker gasket it stinks!
Sep 3, 2018 9:33AM PDT

Thank you for your post, I removed the ice maker gasket in the door, that is the smell, it stinks-bleccch!!
Thank you so much for your post. I was happy w/my new fridge before it started stinking-I thought it was freon. My husband could not smell it ( he cannot smell) I also tasted it in the ice. Now we have removed the gasket cleaned it all out (there was nothing spoiled in the fridge) and...No more stink!!! We are going to try the icemaker w/ no gasket but if you are experiencing this off odor, be sure to remove the gasket, guaranteed that is the issue!

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Water dispenser
Dec 6, 2018 5:33PM PST

We do not even have the water dispenser hooked up. Never have.

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Odour in Samsung double door fridge
Dec 6, 2018 5:31PM PST

I have the same problem with my fridge, also Samsung with french doors. Had a repair man come out and he suggested newspaper under neath the freezer door because he said that is where it would be coming from. It didn't help. We don't even have the ice dispenser on. I'm very frustrated.

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Problem solved
Dec 23, 2018 5:40PM PST

I solved the problem which is identical to all the complaints below. Our first issue was at six months. We had our first chemical smell that ruined almost everything. So we cleaned everything, threw away almost everything but the problem remained. I identified the source shortly thereafter:

Step 1 Remove and replace the plastic water supply line at the back of your fridge and replace it with a copper line

Almost a year later it’s back:

step 2. Remove and replace the soft plastic seal between the door dispenser and the ice maker. Simple tug on it and it will come out along with the hard plastic frame. Throw alway all the ice and wash the ice maker and the door dispenser black plastic flapper. make certain all white residue is removed. Add the new seal and you’re done. Order two because it will happen again

Why does this happen? Improper Samsung testing. European and Asian water is mostly cleaned by very fine filtration and they use very few chemicals. American water is purified by coarse filtration and tons of chemicals. I believe the chlorine and other garbage attacks the synthetic materials and nearly dissolves them over time

Samsung - step up your game and test properly. If you had done it correctly the first time we wouldn’t be so disappointed in your product

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Samsung is the worst when it comes to refrigerators
Jan 15, 2019 1:50PM PST

Hi there, my fridge model is RF28HFEDBSR
It is a French door Fridge, I bought it Sept 2016 so it's just over 2 years old.
I have noticed the chemical / foul odor about 3 months ago. I have done all of the above steps, including down right removing the plastic gasket that seperates the icemaker from the fridge door, to no avail. I have the ice maker turned off and washed and cleaned the ice maker. I still note this odor- is there anything else that I can try? I have called Samsung but as it is over 1 year old it is not under warranty. My $450 warranty with Sears Canada is now null and void as well as they went under in Canada. Service techs in my area can not advise me to what to do over the phone. I'm about to get a home depot credit card and buy a new fridge of a different make. Before I do that I will threaten Samsung with going to the media if they do not help me any further. Any suggestions??

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buy magnet refigerator
Nov 10, 2019 7:57AM PST

i buy my refigerator magnet from Chapsell.
it was good

Link removed by moderator.

Post was last edited on November 10, 2019 8:21 AM PST

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Did Samsung help you
May 13, 2020 5:29AM PDT

You mentioned that you planned to go to the press if Samsung didn’t fix your fridge. Did it work? I’m thinking of going to the press as well because my 3 year old Samsung fridge broke down all together and is unrepairable. I had to spend $4,000 to get a new one.

Best Answer

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Re: Strong Smell in French Door Refigerator
Jul 9, 2012 4:18AM PDT


Allow me to also apologize. If you could tell me what model number is, I may have a more specific suggestion. But here's a general one: have you tried baking soda?

-- HD Tech

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Strong Smell Inside Refrigerator
Jul 9, 2012 11:42AM PDT

The unit is a RF268AB purchased at Lowes in March 2010, serial number 43FB4GBSB00360D

We have tried baking soda, vinegar, washing with a dishwashing detergent and crumpled newspaper as the technician from A&E suggested. Nothing works. The smell is as strong as ever with an alcohol smell which has permeated all the food inside. If I could afford to do so, I would roll it out to the street and buy something American made.

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Re: Strong Smell Inside Refrigerator
Jul 10, 2012 12:53AM PDT


I took a look at your model, and there are bunch of places for a spill to have gone down into. So perhaps when you have the tech come out to fix the other things, you can ask him to disassemble some of shelving so that you can clean all of that and get into some of the nooks and crannies of the fridge.

-- HD Tech

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Stinky Refrigerator
Jul 10, 2012 4:58AM PDT

We have:
1. Removed all the shelves in the doors and washed them with hot water and dishwashing detergent.
2. Removed all the shelves, drawers and drawer slides from inside the refrigerator including the long drawer at the bottom and its slide and washed everything with hot water and dishwashing detergent.
3. Washed down the inside of the box with hot water and dishwashing detergent.
All this has been done twice and it is cleaner today than it was when it was built. Quite frankly, I am tired of washing the box out only to have the smell return.

I am ready to remove the drain tube and replace it with something else if flushing it with Clorox doesn't work. The box stinks and the alcohol smell is getting the best of me. If you can suggest a real fix instead of just telling me there are a lot of places for spills to hide, I would appreciate the help.

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Re: Strong Smell Inside Refrigerator -
Jul 10, 2012 6:04AM PDT


Just thought I'd clarify this, but you only smell this when you open the fridge, right?

-- HD Tech

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Stinky Refrigerator
Jul 12, 2012 4:44AM PDT

Yes, we only smell the strong odor when the upper doors are opened. No smell in the freezer.

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Re: Stinky Refrigerator
Jul 13, 2012 6:46AM PDT
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Stinky Refrigerator
Jul 13, 2012 9:49AM PDT

The links provided were absolutely no help whatsoever. All I got was three ads for Google Drive, whatever that is supposed to be.

As for the cracks and nooks, we have cleaned this box until we are blue in the face. The smell persists despite all the cleaning efforts we can muster. Maybe you can do better. Let me know and I will provide my address so you can come clean the box.

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Stinky Samsung
Jul 13, 2012 9:52AM PDT

BTW Heard from another Samsung refrigerator user about 90 miles away who has the same strong smell intheir box. Surprise, Surprise! I'll bet Samsung knows exactly what causes this stink.

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You will not like this
Mar 2, 2014 4:04AM PST

The oder you are refering to is most likely caused by decayed broccoli,coliflower,or lettece. As they let off a gas that reacts with the poly liner . The smell & taste in other foods & ice cubes is discusting. I have ran into this in all brands of refrigerators. There is no for sure fix. I am a appliance tech with 30 years experance. You can try a mixture of warm water & vinalla extract wipe out whole ref. Also can put a few pieces of charcol (do not use the type that has lighter fluid in it) The charcol will absorb oders.In most cases I have encountered The smell lingers for years.
At one time the company I worked for sent the fridge back to manufacture. There response was as stated above Spoiled Food. Once this smell starts it most likely will not go away.

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Count Me In
Oct 16, 2019 10:53AM PDT


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Count Me In
Oct 16, 2019 11:01AM PDT


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Pictures worked here.
Jul 13, 2012 9:56AM PDT

However I'm in the USA without any odd PC issues. Try PhotoBucket next time if they can't see these.

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Not biological decay
Jul 10, 2013 2:53PM PDT

The smell we are all referring to is petro-CHEMICAL, not biological.

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Chemical Smell, Samsung French door, Twin Cool Refrigerator
Jan 8, 2013 1:39PM PST

Same. Strong chemical smell that gets into food, especially butter, eggs, cheese, anything high in fat. Four boxes of baking soda and thorough washing didn't help. I finally turned the unit down to below 38 degrees and the smell went away. That was a year ago. Now it's back, stronger than before. It fills the room with the odor of... solvent or a plastics plant. I turned the unit down again, to no avail. I'm sure Samsung would just stall; they're not going to replace a $2400 fridge, and they're not going to re-manufacture all of plastic components.

No food spill causes a plastic smell. We didn't spill benzine or paint thinner in our refrigerator!

So, technology that pollutes what it is supposed to preserve. Why am I surprised?

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Re: Chemical Smell, Samsung French door, Twin Cool Refrigera
Jan 9, 2013 12:57AM PST
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Jan 9, 2013 5:01AM PST

Of all the times I called Samsung for help, I received little if any direction. KenDay0407 posts once and Samsung is more than helpful with a reply. In the future, I will choose where my dollars go for appliances a lot more closely.

BTW If anyone wonders why A&E is so slow to set up a service call, it isn't that they are busy. When I went by the Sears service center this afternoon, I counted 7 idle A&E trucks on the lot.

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Jan 10, 2013 12:37AM PST


I'm sorry that you felt as if I was inattentive. Your description seemed different from the Ken Day's. If your still having problems, you can complete a service request here for you refrigerator:

HD Tech

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We have the same issue
Dec 7, 2014 8:15AM PST

This odor penetrates into the butter, veggies, everything. I have emptied the ice trays several times. I have cleaned out the unit from top to bottom. I just makes the baking soda smell after a week.

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Fishy/chemical smell in frig
Aug 21, 2018 10:25AM PDT

We are having the same issue. I bleached my refrigerator, baking soda + soap & water!! Smell is still lingering..and I see there’s a water drip inside the frig under the tray!!

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Smelly Samsung
May 5, 2013 2:55PM PDT

We purchased a Samsung RF263BEAESR from Sears four months ago...Initially we were very happy with the product, raved about it, recommended it to friends.....Than the mystery smell hit about a month ago...As many of you had done, we'd taken everything out of the fridge, cleaned the the interior with bleach and vinegar water, placed baking soda inside, all to no avail. At least now I know that we're not responsible for the smell. I will contact Sears and Samsung tomorrow...I'm very disappointed with Samsung...I have several Samsung TVs, and a tablet, and I've been very happy with the brand...The way they chose to respond to the issue will determine my future appliance/electronics purchases.