Why put toilet paper in the fridge?
Social media is an amazing thing. It lets us communicate with people all over the globe, spreading idealistic goals, offering support and encouraging each other to put toilet paper in our refrigerators. That’s right. Recently, people on social media are advising you to replace that box of baking soda in the back of your fridge with a roll of toilet paper. Does this weird trick work?
Ruiz Asri, editor of Honest Food Talks, says toilet paper’s absorbency is behind this hack. “Moisture in the refrigerator often contributes to mildew and unpleasant odour,” Asri says. The toilet paper absorbs excess moisture, along with foul smells, Asri says.
References to toilet paper in the fridge can be found as far back as 2015. But the dedicated use of it as an odour absorber seems to be more recent, primarily in the last year or so, with videos appearing on TikTok and Facebook.
Does it work?
Yes – to a point. While TP will absorb odours, other options are more efficient, take up less space and generate fewer odd looks from houseguests.
We spoke to one person who’s tried the TP technique. Amy, from the eponymously named parenting blog Amy & Rose, had some fishy smells in the fridge, and her daughter suggested that she try the toilet paper hack. So did it work?
“In my experience, somewhat,” she says. But here’s the catch: It’s just a temporary fix.
There are, of course, alternative fridge odour busters. So if you want something longer lasting that takes up less space, here are some alternate odour-fighting strategies.
Baking soda is the go-to solution that caught on in the 1970s, when manufacturer Arm & Hammer promoted it as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical cleaning.
Baking soda is a base material, which means it neutralises acids. Because most odours are acidic, it can cut off the smell at the source. (Side note: After deodorising a fridge with baking soda, don’t use the contents of that box for baking. Cooking can reactivate those acids and contaminate your cake.)
As the baking soda interacts with more acids, it becomes less effective. Most people will need to replace it every three months.