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How to Make Your Refrigerator Smell Better with Vanilla Extract

Ever walk into your kitchen and see a foul stench wafting through the air? That’s not just your imagination – your fridge might actually be smelling like grandma’s basement. Try this easy trick to make it smell better: Add some vanilla extract!

In fact, the fridge you have at home probably has a small container of vanilla extract in it already! The extract is usually in a sealed blue or clear bottle with about an inch of open space at the top. Even if it’s been there for months, giving your fridge that pleasant vanilla scent is easy. You can even leave a bottle of it on your refrigerator door if you like the smell.

This popular household ingredient is actually a close relative of the more well-known vanilla “bean,” which comes from plants in Mexico and Central America. The beans are harvested when they ripen and then dried for sale. But the process for making vanilla extract starts with whole, unopened pods that have been fermented over a period of several months.

These pods themselves aren’t actually made from vanilla, but from an orchid that’s native to Madagascar. During their time in the sun over several months, each pod will only ripen once – and it’s around this time that it produces its heady scent. But once the pod is harvested and opened, it begins to go stale, so most companies will use their vanilla extract within a year and then start over with a new batch.

Although vanilla extract is commercially made, you can always make your own at home. Before you take out that bottle of extract, though, give your refrigerator a good cleaning first. It’s probably covered in sticky fingerprints and who knows what else! So take out your cans and bottles, clean behind them and give it a good wipe down all around the sides. Once everything’s gleaming inside your fridge again, place the bottle of vanilla extract on a shelf or at the very front if possible.

If you have a plastic container with a lid, it doesn’t matter if the lid is on. Just place the container in your fridge and open the lid when you want to get rid of any lingering bad smells. The vanilla extract will counteract foul odors for as long as it has contact with the air inside your fridge. And if you’ve actually run out of vanilla extract, no worries. There are many commercial products that work just as well!

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You can even use a small bowl of sugar sprinkled with a few drops of water to get rid of those foul smells. But if you’ve tried this and the smell hasn’t cleared up, don’t give up. Rather, change your cleaning habits for a day or two to see if it brings about a change in the nasal stench in your fridge. If it does, that means you’ve got some bad odors coming from behind the door – where your ice cubes are usually kept!

You can banish that funky refrigerator aroma. Here’s how.

We all encounter a little stink in our refrigerators from time to time. Whether you forgot those peppers in the back of the drawer (it happens), or your leftovers may be a little too left over … we get it. Baking soda is a standard refrigerator deodorizer, but it doesn’t make it smell good.

To freshen your fridge, try this simple trick I found on the internet. All you need are cotton balls and vanilla extract. Yeah, it’s that easy!

How to Make Your Fridge Smell Better

First, grab a few cotton balls, your loyal bottle of vanilla extract and a small dish. Moisten the cotton balls with a few drops of vanilla, set them in the dish, then place on a shelf in your fridge.

Vanilla works wonders in getting rid of unwanted and musty smells. Use it in your fridge, drawers, cupboards and even your car. Here’s an an old real estate trick: Pour a few drops of vanilla extract on a light bulb before turning it on! While highly aromatic itself, it’s never too overpowering.

Does Vanilla Extract Work?

I’m an avid baking soda-user, but I’m always open to trying new things. Anything that includes a little bit of vanilla is right up my alley.

So, drumroll, please.

The results are in, and … it worked! Really well, actually. I used a single cotton ball with about four or five drops of my vanilla extract and set it in the fridge for about three hours. I came back and there was not a stench to be smelled. Honestly, I’m impressed! Highly recommend.

Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn’t have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she’s not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.

Can you get sick from expired vanilla extract?

Yes. That’s the risk you take when you eat foods or drink beverages that have spoiled. Be sure to check expiration dates on the products you use most often so you can avoid problems down the road.

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If a product smells sour or has foul odors, discard it immediately and do not consume it. When left to sit in warm temperatures, some of these products become dangerous because bacteria and harmful fungus grow inside them, resulting in illness and possibly death.

If a product is out of date, remember that fresh food and frozen foods may spoil during their shelf life span, but their quality does not deteriorate. On the other hand, canned foods and foods that have been packaged in glass do not last forever. Be on the lookout for signs of spoilage including bulging cans and discoloration of plastic containers.

The smell test is a good one to practice. When you open a bottle of vanilla extract, it should smell pleasant and sweet, not musty or sour. If you notice the scent changing in any way, discard the product right away. It’s best to play it safe when it comes to food safety.

How to store vanilla extract after opening?

Vanilla extract can be stored after opening for up to a year, sealed in a glass bottle on a cool shelf. The longer it sits in your fridge, the stronger its flavor will become, so leave it out at room temperature to give flavors time to develop before putting it away.

What is the shelf life of vanilla extract?

The Food and Drug Administration requires that vanilla extract have an expiration date printed on its label. Most bottles or cans of vanilla extract have an expiration date of one year from the date it was packaged. This is the case for most manufactured products. However, not all manufacturers follow this rule. Vanillin is unstable and may lose its aroma after years past the production date printed on labels.

When is the best time to add vanilla extract?

Adding vanilla extract to beverages like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate during or after brewing makes it taste richer. Adding it right before pouring hot chocolate over ice cream can create a smooth fresh flavor. Vanilla extract also complements chocolate, strawberry, cherry and strawberry flavors well in fruit drinks. Add a drop into yogurt or sprinkle on plain old ice cream and you’ll see how good it tastes!

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What is the difference between vanilla beans and vanilla extract?

Vanilla beans have a spicy aroma that’s hard to duplicate with artificial ingredients. These are whole beans that are steeped in alcohol for three months or more for the liquor to absorb flavors from the bean’s pulp. Extract, on the other hand, is made from whole vanilla beans processed with alcohol.

What are some common mistakes when opening vanilla extract?

Keeping aside your original bottle and mixing a bottle of extracted liquid equal to its volume is a good way to avoid bad surprises. Extra care should be taken when handling the bottle because it’s easy to spill or damage by dropping or jarring it, which may change its aroma.

What to do with expired vanilla extract?

Get rid of it. In most cases, regular vanilla extract will keep for more than a year in your kitchen cabinet. However, once it is opened, the shelf life of the vanilla extract significantly decreases. The flavor may be less intense and the color may change. If you are not sure if the vanilla extract is still usable, follow a few simple tests to see if it is still good to use.

How to know if vanilla extract is bad?

Vanilla extract that has been diluted with water has a cloudy color for the most part. Sometimes vanilla extract loses its flavor or aroma and appears flat. Compared to the original vanilla extract, there is no shine to it. When this happens, it’s time to discard it and replace it with a fresh bottle of vanilla extract.

The extract is an essential component in many pastry, cake and candy recipes. In fact, it has been used since ancient times in these recipes as a flavoring ingredient. However, the use of extract goes further than that. It is also usually combined with other ingredients like nuts, chocolate and whipped cream to add a rich taste to the product. One of the main products made from vanilla beans are vanilla extract and flavored vodka. The fact that the extract is made from vanilla beans makes it an expensive product. This article evaluates different brands of vanilla extract, its flavor and aroma. It also compares it with other types of vanilla products like extract and pure vanilla powder. The best type of vanilla to use depends on where you are using it, how much you are using and how fresh it is.

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