Cleaning a Drip Pan on a Maytag Refrigerator


It can be off-putting to have a bad smell coming from your refrigerator.

If you are having odor problems with your Maytag refrigerator, this guide will help you figure out what could be causing the problem and what you can do to fix it.

The following models of Maytag refrigerator are covered by this guide:






















Clean Your Refrigerator

Giving your refrigerator a good clean is the first thing to try. However, you need to make sure you use the correct method to avoid causing harm to your refrigerator.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Check the food inside your refrigerator for any expired food, leaks, or spills or food that is not correctly stored in a container. Throw out old food.
  2. Unplug the refrigerator or switch it off at the wall.
  3. Remove the food and take out all of the removable refrigerator parts, including crisper drawers, shelves, and bins. Wash these by hand with dish soap and water; then dry.
  4. Use a soft cloth or sponge to clean the inside of the refrigerator with dish soap and warm water; then dry thoroughly. Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals such as bleach, scouring cleansers, and concentrated detergents.
  5. Replace your food and turn your refrigerator back on.

Check and Replace the Air Filter

Each Maytag refrigerator contains an air filter that keeps the air smelling fresh. The filter needs to be replaced every six months. You can easily check to see if the filter needs replacing.

  • If your refrigerator has an air filter status light, check this.
  • If it doesn’t, lift open the vented door in the back of your refrigerator. Check the removable air filter status indicator.

If the light or indicator is blue, the filter should be fine. If it is orange or red or the text “replace filter” appears on your screen, you should order a replacement. The correct filter has the model number W10311524 and is available from major retailers.

Here’s how to replace the air filter:

  1. Open the vented door.
  2. Remove the old air filter by squeezing the side tabs and pulling it toward you.
  3. If your model has an air filter status indicator, remove this.
  4. Put the new air filter in place.
  5. If your model has an air filter status light, press and hold the “air filter” button for three seconds to reset it. The light should turn blue.
  6. If your model has an air filter status indicator, activate the new indicator by popping the bubble on the back of it. Then, slot it into place.

Empty the Drip Pan

If you can smell a nasty odor even when the refrigerator door is closed, it may be caused by a buildup of bacteria or mold in the drip pan under the back of the refrigerator. 

This can happen if food waste gets in the drain tube and builds up in the drip pan.

Here’s how to access the drip pan and clean it out:

  1. Turn off your refrigerator and unplug it at the wall.
  2. Take the refrigerator out from the wall so you can access the back of it.
  3. Take a ¼-inch nut driver and loosen the nuts on the large access panel at the bottom of the refrigerator.
  4. Remove the panel.
  5. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the spark plugs from the water inlet valve. These are the two rubber sleeves plugged into the metal box on the back of the panel. They should come off easily, but double check that the power is not connected before you start.
  6. Place the panel away to the side.
  7. You should be able to see the drip pan. It is the white, plastic tray underneath the condenser. If there is any gunk or water in here, use a sponge or dry cloth to remove it.
  8. Replace the panel, put the refrigerator back into place, and turn the power back on.

Unblock the Drain Tube

If your refrigerator model has a freezer, the smell could be caused by food waste blocking the drain tube. When the freezer defrosts, the water runs down the drain tube into the drip tray.

Sometimes, food waste can block the tube and cause a blockage that can begin to smell. If this is the problem, you may notice water or ice building up in your freezer.

Here’s how to unblock it:

  1. Turn off your refrigerator at the wall or unplug it.
  2. Remove the freezer drawers.
  3. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw in the plastic panel in the back of the freezer. Remove the panel.
  4. Use a cotton swab to remove the buildup of gunk around the hole. For deeper blockages, you can use something flexible like a straw cleaning brush to clean down into the tube.
  5. Run some warm water through the tube to flush out any dislodged material.
  6. Replace the panel and freezer drawers and switch your refrigerator back on.

Absorb Lingering Smells

When the source of the odor is left for a long time, the odor can become hard to remove even after you clean your refrigerator.

Use this deep cleaning method to absorb and remove any lingering smells:

  1. Switch off your refrigerator at the wall or unplug it.
  2. Remove all food items from your refrigerator, including the freezer if your model has one.
  3. Take out all removable items, including crisper drawers, shelves, and bins.
  4. Wash these items by hand in a solution of one part vinegar and one part warm water; then rinse them in a solution of one part lemon juice and one part water.
  5. Dry removable parts thoroughly and replace them.
  6. Open two boxes of baking soda. Place one in the refrigerator and one in the freezer. If your model doesn’t have a freezer, just use one.
  7. Replace your food and turn your refrigerator back on.

These are some of the most common causes of a bad smell coming from your Maytag refrigerator. Using the methods described above should solve your problem. If the unpleasant odor persists, contact a professional refrigerator repair technician to diagnose the cause of the problem and fix it.

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