Mold is present everywhere, and it can grow anywhere. No single house can be found without a mold. Household items are the first choice for mold to grow, and refrigerators stay in the front line. It’s because fridges contain a sugar-filled environment, moisture, and dark places.
To clean mold from refrigerator nobody has to be an expert, because it is as easy as ABC. Furthermore, keeping the refrigerator mold-free is good for health as molds are a source for bacteria and health hazard conditions.
Throughout this article, you will know about mold detection in the refrigerator and how to remove those.
Table of Contents
Top causes to grow mold in the refrigerator
Mold may develop for many reasons; most of them are known while some of the reasons are unknown. Let’s dive into the most common and known causes. Three factors that support mold harvest is-
- Dark environment: Refrigerators remain dark always, which is a big YES for mold to grow. Technically you cannot avoid the dark and keep it lightens always. So, you have to remain alert all the time.
- Moister: Air circulation in the fridge is minimal with a lot more humid, which works as a critical factor in mold growth. A dark and wet environment is idle for mold growth on plastic or leftover food.
- Sugar-filled area: Besides other food items, the refrigerator is a storage hub for sugary things too. Leftovers and liquid spills get lost in the back of the fridge, which works as a catalyst for mold. Those stay out of sight and boost the mold production.
3 familiar places for mold growth in the refrigerator
Initially, molds are not visible and come to the sight when it gets bigger. It can grow anywhere inside the fridge. However, there are 3 familiar places; you should always check.
- Interior walls and shelves: As mentioned earlier, a dark environment is a perfect place for mold. As a result, shelves and interior walls are the first targets. If there is any pooling water that is not cleaned up right away, you might see mold in a few days or even a week.
- On the gasket: You must be familiar with the rubber door seal, which helps the door to keep remains on the body. It is known as a gasket, which is the most common hiding place for mold.
- On the food: This is the most common place which will catch your eyes easily. It happened when you left something in the refrigerator for far too long.
How To Clean Mold from Refrigerator?
Cleaning mold from the refrigerator is not a complicated task. Instead, it is effortless, which can be done by your six-year-old kid. However, we don’t suggest cleaning by the kids. Before starting the process, you will need some stuff.
Things you will need
- Dish Soap
- Baking soda
- All-purpose cleaner
- Used/unused toothbrush
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Microfiber cloths/ cotton towels
The following steps will help you kill mold from the refrigerator, and it will take 15-20 minutes.
Step 1- Safety Measures
The very first step should be unplugging the refrigerator from the electrical out. However, it is unnecessary, but if you feel this precaution is essential, don’t hesitate to disconnect. Besides, also check the owner’s manual for any additional safety requirements. Also, wearing gloves will keep your hand clean and protect from any unwanted scratch.
Steps 2- Empty Your Refrigerator
After cutting off the power, remove all the foods and throw away any foods that contain mold on it As well as any uncovered food that was near to that mold grown food. Unopened food should be okay, therefore keep those aside for future use.
Step 3- Prepare The Cleaning Solution
First, fill the kitchen sink with warm water and pour the dish soap. It will help to clean the removable parts of the refrigerators. Now make the solution for the interior. Take a bucket, then put some warm water in it and put one tablespoon of baking soda. Then mix it properly.
Step 4- Take The Shelves And Drawers Out
Remove all the detachable drawers, racks, and shelves from the fridge and put them in the sink filled with soap. Keep them for a while when you clean the interior.
Step 5- Clean The Interior
Soak a cloth on the baking soda solution we prepared in step 3. After that, wipe all the interior parts of the fridge, including walls, ceiling, door, frame, floor, and shelves. It is advisable to wipe more than once.
WARNING: do not clean gaskets with baking soda solution. Follow step 7 to clean the gaskets.After that, empty the bucket and take freshwater. Take a new cloth and soak it with water and clean all the interior parts again. This will remove the baking soda mixture from the fridge.
Step 6- Dry The Interior
Take a microfiber cloth or dry cloth and wipe down all the parts of the interior you just rinsed with water. You can also use the sponge if there is any water left on the floor.
Step 7- Cleaning The Refrigerator Door Gaskets
It cannot be cleaned with baking soda or any chemical solution because the rubber seal is very sensitive and might get damaged. Instead, take some water in a spray bottle and put a little amount of white vinegar; you may put 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar. Shake it well to mix properly.
After you are done preparing the vinegar-water solution, spray on gaskets, and wait five minutes before cleaning. It is best to use a toothbrush to scrub the gaskets. After that, rinse with cold water and wipe with dry clothes. As you already know that moisture creates mold, so be sure to dry thoroughly before starting using the refrigerator again.
While cleaning the gaskets, you should look for black mold on the refrigerator seal, as black mold quickly grows on seals. You can do this gasket process to remove mold from the refrigerator seal.
Step 8- Clean Racks, Shelves And Relevant Things
Let’s go back to step 4. You have to complete some unfinished work from that step. By this time, the items sunken in the sink are ready to clean. Take out the stuff from the sink one by one and scrub with a sponge. After you are done scrubbing rinse with freshwater and leaving them out to air dry, you can also put it under the sun.
Step 9- Reload
After drying, put everything in their places and turn on. It is better to put the foods back after the refrigerator becomes a bit colder.
Does this cleaning kill mold completely?
The intention of this cleaning process is to remove mold from the refrigerator. Though, mold cannot be killed ultimately. It may come back anytime if you do not intend to prevent it. Follow the prevention guides to stop growing mold.
How to kill the mold smell in your refrigerator?
Even though mold is removed, you may notice that the smell is still lingering. It is entirely okay, and it is natural. However, it doesn’t mean there is still some mold left behind. You can get rid of the odor in several ways.
You can buy a refrigerator deodorizer and place it in the fridge. Although, if you don’t want to buy anything, you can make the fridge odor free using baking soda. Placing a small dipping bowl or cup with baking soda in the back of the fridge will absorb odors. But, you have to replace the baking soda dipping every month and place a new dipping solution.
Spreading a layer of freshly ground coffee beans on a plate is another hack to remove mold odors. You have to leave the coffee bins onto the plate for at least 24 hours. This will surely help to get rid of all the bad smells caused by the mold.
Can you use bleach to remove mold from the refrigerator?
For a few decades, government agencies recommended using bleach to clean mold, but according to the new recommendation, they advised to use baking soda and vinegar instead of bleach. However, bleach does clean mold, but it may damage the parts of the refrigerators. Besides, bleach will usually roughen the surface and make it easier for mold to grow again.
How to prevent mold growth in the refrigerator?
You can skip the whole mold cleaning process by preventing them. If you can make a habit of following some simple steps, mold prevention becomes easier. Therefore, the following are some tasks you can do to prevent the growth of the mold.
Clean The Fridge Regularly
Many people clean the refrigerator once in a year, sometimes never until it gets dirty and full of mold. Experts advise cleaning the fridge at least once in a year with soapy water or baking soda. Additionally, it also suggests cleaning seals and gaskets.
Keep The Interior Dry
The dry place is an enemy for mold as they require a moist place to grow. However, refrigerators are remaining cool naturally and keeping them dries almost impossible. Though, you should use a towel or cloths to wipe down shelves and compartments regularly.
Store the foods properly
Fruits and vegetables should be a concern to prevent mold from growing. Because vegetables and fruits are considered as a hidden carrier of mold. Storing them open can attack fungus, especially when kept in the packages that were purchased because the packages already contain moisture.
Use airtight container
The airtight container helps to keep the food safe and prevent mold growth. Even if mold grew in the box, that would not attack other food items.
Maintenance and repairs
Most people always ignore that mold can grow faster if there are any issues with the refrigerator itself. Performing a regular maintenance check will be able to prevent the mold in the first place.
Finding mold anywhere is annoying and seeing it growing in the fridge is terrifying. However, the temperate and situation provides the perfect conditions for mold to grow more quickly than you might think.
You already know how to clean mold from refrigerator, but experts suggest preventing it before it starts growing. Keeping it clean and dry will save your fridge from the mold. Always perform maintenance and fix immediately if any issues are found.
If prevention doesn’t work and find a mold that has begun to grow, you can perform deep clean, which is mentioned earlier using baking soda, vinegar, etc.