Here we’ll be teaching you how to clean a moldy fridge and prevent freezer mold from coming back.
You may be shocked to find mold growing in your refrigerator or air conditioner since you normally expect them to thrive in areas like the basement, kitchen, and bathroom.
Dealing With Black Mold In Fridge
Mold spores are everywhere and can settle in any area where they find conducive. As long as there is moisture, darkness, and food, then there’s most likely going to be mold growth there.
If you have problems with mold in your “ice-box”, then you’re reading the right article.
What Causes Mold In Fridge?
Can mold grow in a freezer or fridge? Yes.
The primary cause of mold growth in any refrigerator is rotting food. Once the food in question has outlived its time, it begins to rot. It is at this point that mold will begin to grow on it.
Unplugged Fridge Mold
Food can also rot if the fridge is unplugged or turned off for long periods. Unplugged fridge mold is more common since there isn’t any coolness to preserve the food stored in it, which will cause it to rot faster.
Remember that mold needs to feed, and the organic matter from the rotting food is nothing but a delicacy!
You can get rid of the rotting food, but the mold spores would have begun to spread to the other parts of the fridge. This is hardly a crisis, as it is fairly easy to clean off.
Follow the steps below to begin.
How To Clean Moldy Fridge
Cleaning a moldy fridge isn’t a hard task, anyone with the right cleaning materials and the time can do it.
Keep in mind that you need to ensure your safety as you clean, and that means putting on the right gear.
Black mold is known to cause allergic reactions, it also spikes respiratory illnesses and can complicate lung diseases. To add to that, the rotten food in the fridge is filled with all sorts of harmful bacteria and fungi, and you wouldn’t want your bare hands making contact with them.
Last but not least, the awful smell from the rotten food will do your nose no good, so you need to be wary of that as well.
All that being said, you would want to put on a pair of rubber gloves to keep your hands from touching all that irritating stuff (mold, bacteria, and rotten food). You should also put on a facemask to spare yourself the torture of inhaling the mold’s musty smell, as well as the smell of rot.
If you have one, then put on a pair of eye goggles to protect your eyes from splashing cleaning solution and flying mold particles.
So, you’re all geared up and ready to clean. Follow the steps below to
Step 1: Switch off the fridge
It would be unwise to Begin cleaning a mold-infested fridge while it’s turned on. To avoid the risk of an electric shock, it would be in your best interest to switch off the fridge before you begin cleaning.
To be sure you won’t deal with any electric current, you can unplug the fridge altogether!
With your cleaning gear on and the refrigerator off, your safety is now fully guaranteed.
Proceed to step 2!
Step 2: Empty the fridge
The next thing to do is empty the fridge so there’d be adequate space for you to see all the mold in all the corners. After taking out all the contents, separate the rotten food from the ones that are still fresh.
Throw the rotten ones away and store the fresh ones in a clean bowl or container. You can also place them on the kitchen counter if you wish (depending on what type of food it is).
Be warned though, make sure you inspect the food properly before storing them. Even the smallest trace of mold on a piece of fruit can spread out again and infest your fridge once more.
Step 3: Make a cleaning solution or use a commercial cleaner
Now that your fridge is empty, you can have a clear view of all the corners and trays. You can also see which areas are covered in mold and the areas that aren’t.
With all insight, it’s time to bring out the cleaning fluid or make your own cleaning solution.
Fridge Mold Cleaner
If you’re using cleaning fluid, then all you need to do is mix it with some water in a bowl and stir until it foams. Now take a clean piece of cloth and dip it into the liquid soap solution and wipe all over the refrigerator walls and trays.
If there are stubborn stains left behind, you can use a soft sponge to scrub them off. Do not use a hard sponge or brush on the interior of your fridge. If you do, it will scratch the paint off and damage its looks.
After scrubbing and wiping the mold off, get another piece of clean cloth and dip it into clean water. Use the soaked cloth to wipe across the entire interior of the fridge.
Doing this will pick up any leftover mold and clean off the liquid soap solution at the same time.
Do this a few more times until you’re sure all the mold and liquid soap have been cleaned off. If you want to be sure, take the trays outside and give them a thorough rinse with clean water then bring them back inside.
This process also explains how to clean mold from a freezer seal.
Step 4: Inspect the items before returning them to the fridge
So, you’re done cleaning mold off your fridge, it’s time to return the items you took out. Make sure you take a close look at all the foodstuff before you bring them back inside.
Anyone that has even the slightest trace of mold should be thrown away. It is better to lose some foodstuff than to lose all through a reoccurring mold infestation!
How To Get Rid Of Mold Smell In Fridge
Besides its horrible looks, mold also smells bad, thanks to the odor molecules it produces.
The smell gets worse as the mold colony grows, but thankfully, there are products you can use and steps you can take to get rid of that musty mold smell in your fridge.
Follow these tips!
Tip 1: Clean with a vinegar solution
Vinegar is great for killing and cleaning mold, but there’s a bonus – It can get rid of the mold smell too!
It’s true white vinegar has a strong odor (even though it’s not particularly offensive), but its ability to absorb odor molecules is what makes it a stand-out product for mold smell removal.
If you want to remove mold from your fridge, as well as the odor, cleaning with vinegar is a great idea!
Tip 2: Clean with lemon juice
How many smells do you know can overshadow the smell of citrus fruit? Not too many I guess.
For a non-toxic, pleasant-smelling experience, you can wipe the interior of your fridge using lemon juice. Besides providing a pleasant smell, lemon juice can also kill mold. So it can serve as both a cleaner and a deodorizer.
You can actually use the lemon juice after you have used your preferred commercial cleaner to wipe the mold from your fridge.
All you have to do is squeeze some lemon into a plastic container, dip a clean piece of cloth into it, then wipe across the mold-free surfaces to absorb any odors left behind.
Other substances that can remove mold odor include –
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Tea tree oil
- Peppermint oil
- Other citruses like lime and orange juice
Tip 4: Leave the refrigerator doors open
Even without the application of any odor removal substance, a bad smell will always disappear when there is enough ventilation. This is why leaving your refrigerator doors open for a few hours after cleaning is a good idea.
If during this time, you feel the musty smell would be too much to bear, then you can take the fridge outside and let the natural air do the rest.
As long as the mold has been completely wiped off, and all the rotten food has been taken out, it will only be a matter of hours before the mold smell disappears.
Tip 5: Never use a commercial air freshener!
It is very common for us to think of air fresheners the moment we have an odor problem to deal with. And while air fresheners are great for rooms, they must never be used in your fridge to get rid of mold odors.
These products contain toxic chemicals that can poison the food in your fridge.
Preventing Mold From Growing In Your Fridge
To keep mold from growing in your fridge, all you have to do is maintain a regular cleaning and inspection habit. As long as you do this regularly, there’d be no chance of rotting food or mold build-up in your fridge.
Conclusion On Freezer Mold
So, guys, that’s how you clean a moldy fridge. Remember to clean and inspect your refrigerator regularly to prevent a reoccurrence.