Mould in fridges is a pretty common problem nowadays. It appears in hard-to-reach places such as corners, crevices, joints, sealing rubber, drain channel, and the like. If you noticed mould in the fridge, you must act immediately as it is very harmful to your health.
How do you clean mould out of a refrigerator? To clean mould out of a refrigerator, you need to disconnect the fridge from the power supply and wash shelves, containers, drawers with a vinegar solution (1:1 9% vinegar and water), then rinse them in clean water and dry. Vinegar disinfects surfaces and removes mould from the fridge. The vinegar smell completely disappears after an hour of ventilating.
There are some other questions you may ask before cleaning the mould out of your fridge, so here is your ultimate guide on how to completely get rid of the mould in your fridge and freezer.
How Do You Get Mould Out of a Fridge?
- Before you start removing mould from the refrigerator, remove all food from the shelves and freezer. This is a good opportunity to check and repair any leaks from packaging, leftover food and expired food.
- Remove all drawers, containers and shelves.
- Defrost the refrigerator: first, adjust the temperature to 0 degrees, then disconnect the appliance from the power supply.
- Place all removable parts of the refrigerator in a tub filled with a solution of warm water and 2 cups of 9% vinegar. Leave them to soak while you wash the fridge compartment.
- To clean the inside of the refrigerator, you need to use something that can kill mould and mildew. For this purpose, the following remedies are suitable:
5-9% table vinegar (safe and affordable, but removing dark spots is somewhat more difficult);
Any chlorine bleach (easily removes stains, but dries the sealing gum and leaves a pungent smell);
Hydrogen peroxide (leaves a smell).
- Protect your hands with rubber gloves and start wiping down the refrigerator with a cloth. You can also pour the product into a spray bottle and spray every corner with it. The best way to spray the cleaning agent onto the walls of the chamber is from a spray bottle.
- Use a toothbrush to remove bad stains and to clean hard-to-reach areas such as grooves in a rubber gasket. It is also very convenient to use cotton swabs to clean the grooves of the seal. Pay particular attention to cleaning the drain hole, as mould can also lodge in it.
Moreover, a blockage in the drain of the refrigerator can cause excess moisture in the compartment. The hole must first be cleaned with a wooden skewer, and then your solution is poured into it using an enema or funnel. Since chlorine-containing products can dry out the sealing gum of the refrigerator, it is advisable to lubricate it with petroleum jelly or oil after sanitizing.
Remember that you need to clean absolutely all surfaces — from doors to lamps in the fridge, in order to exclude the reappearance of mould in the refrigerator.
- Once you’re done, wipe the refrigerator again with a damp, clean cloth to remove odour and residue, then dry the surfaces with a dry towel.
- Wash the shelves and drawers and then rinse them clean.
- Put all removable parts back in place, plug in the refrigerator and set the desired temperature. After half an hour, you can put the food in the fridge again.
- To prevent mould from ever appearing in your refrigerator, try to observe the following recommendations:
Before each departure, turn off the refrigerator after emptying it and opening the doors wide open.
Do not store supplies beyond their expiration date.
If you notice leaks from food packages, fix them immediately.
To solve the problem of high humidity in the refrigerator, silica gel bags, which are usually placed in shoe boxes, will help. Place a bag on each shelf and try to change them periodically.
How to Clean a Moldy Refrigerator
How Do I Get Rid of Black Mould in My Refrigerator?
Hydrogen peroxide has antifungal, disinfectant and whitening properties, so it effectively removes even black mould.
If you want to get rid of black mould in your refrigerator, you need to do the following:
- Prepare 3% hydrogen peroxide.
- Take a sponge and wipe the entire surface of the refrigerator. You need to wipe every centimetre of your fridge and not only in those places where there are signs of mould, since sometimes the fungus does not have time to visually manifest itself, but this does not mean that it is not there.
- Wipe the household appliance again with a sponge soaked in normal warm water.
- Hydrogen peroxide should not be used if the fridge is painted dark, as this can discolour the appliance and leave light spots.
How to Clean Mold From a Refrigerator Seal?
To clean mould from a refrigerator seal you need to use
- Baking soda (1 tablespoon per 1 litre of water);
- Vinegar solution from 5 to 9% (no more);
- Gel for washing dishes;
- Laundry soap (tar is better).
If the refrigerator has been in a room with high humidity for a long time, it is possible that mould has penetrated deep into the seal. In this case, remove the seal. Soak it in water with a washing powder containing enzymes that decompose protein and carbohydrate structures. And then rinse, dry in the sun. Only then insert into the door.
Be sure that there will be no mould on it for a long time.
4 Things You Should Know About Mold & Mildew
How Do You Get Old Mould Out of a Fridge?
It is possible to get old mould out of a fridge using home remedies:
An aqueous solution of peroxide has fungicidal and disinfecting properties:
- Pour peroxide (3%) from a glass bottle into a container with a spray bottle and spray the solution over the entire surface of the chamber, paying particular attention to the areas affected by the fungus. You can also apply the preparation with a regular soft sponge.
- After 3 minutes, wipe the treated area with a clean cloth dampened with water.
- Dry the refrigerator well after the procedure. Use a conventional hair dryer or fan to speed up the process.
Hydrogen peroxide should not be used to clean dark-coloured surfaces as it has a whitening effect and stains may remain on the refrigerator.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
There are several ways to get rid of the fungus with baking soda and vinegar:
- Pour 100 ml of vinegar (9%) into a container with a spray bottle and apply the liquid to the areas affected by mould, leave the refrigerator in this form for an hour.
After an hour, wipe the treated walls with a sponge moistened with clean water and let the surface dry.
- Make a soda solution by mixing 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate with 200 ml of water. Treat the walls of the electrical device with the resulting product, after a few minutes, re-wipe the surfaces with a rag soaked in vinegar, rinse with clean water.
- Pour 100 ml of water into a container with a spray bottle, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of vinegar there. Apply the mixture quickly to the affected areas. After half an hour, wipe the surfaces with a damp sponge and dry the refrigerator.
To get rid of the pungent vinegar smell in the refrigerator, add 15 ml of lemon juice to 200 ml of water and treat the walls of the appliance with the resulting product. Use baking soda and vinegar to clean your entire refrigerator.
Mould spores are destroyed by ultraviolet light. First, clean the inside of the refrigerator with a sponge and soapy water. Wipe dry and put an ultraviolet lamp inside. If you don’t have a UV lamp, expose the inner walls to direct sunlight. Keep it on for a couple of hours.
Laundry Soap and Bleach
Alkali prevents the growth of the fungus and the formation of its spores. This substance is contained in laundry soap, so you can also use this product of the chemical industry in the fight against mould:
Lather a damp sponge and treat the inner surfaces of the refrigerator with it. Rinse off the soap with water and wipe again with a clean, dry cloth.
You can prepare a solution by grating half a bar of soap and mixing it with a little water. Process the refrigerator with it. After a few minutes rinse with water and dry.
Chlorine bleach also kills the fungus and its spores. The drug has a pungent odour that is toxic to humans and animals, can cause burns if it comes into contact with the skin, therefore, when working with it, wear gloves and protect the respiratory system. Be sure to check if the room is well ventilated.
- Pour water into a small container and add bleach to it (in a ratio of 10: 1, respectively);
- Use a brush to apply the drug to the walls of the refrigerator. After 1-2 minutes wipe all surfaces several times with clean water, let the electrical appliance dry.
- To remove the strong smell of the mould, leave the door of the fridge open while drying.
The solution can also be applied using a spray, but you must act with extreme caution: the smallest particles, scattering, can get into the eyes or on the skin.
As with hydrogen peroxide, bleach is not suitable for dark-coloured surfaces: caustic components in the product can discolour the coating, leaving unsightly stains.
Ammonia, boric or salicylic alcohol is suitable as an antifungal agent.
When using an ammonia solution, dilute it with water in equal proportions.
Moisten a piece of cloth or a sponge in alcohol and wipe all internal surfaces of the electrical device; if a significant area of the chamber is affected by mould, repeat the treatment several more times.
After disinfection, there is no need to rinse the product with water, but be sure to ventilate and dry the household appliance to eliminate the pungent odour.
Is vinegar or bleach better for killing mould? Bleach is better for killing mould because vinegar is a weak acid and can kill about 80% of moulds. Vinegar is natural, non-toxic and does not emit hazardous fumes like bleach. While bleach can kill almost all types of mould in your home.
The active ingredient in it, like the base of many mould removers, is sodium hypochlorite. The bleach comes in contact with mould and mould spores, leaving the surface clean and resistant to re-appearing.
Is vinegar or hydrogen peroxide better for mould? Hydrogen peroxide is better for mould than vinegar since hydrogen peroxide has excellent antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Since hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, it can help remove mould stains.
Hydrogen peroxide is a good alternative to vinegar because it is safe to use and does not harm the environment, and does not leave toxic residues or gases.
What Naturally Kills Black Mould?
Tea tree oil is the most effective of all-natural solutions for removing black mould. Although expensive, very little is required to clean mould. Tea tree oil is essential and therefore harmless to humans and pets. It is also an antifungal and antibacterial agent that helps to get rid of black mould.
To remove the mold using tea tree oil, add a glass of water and one teaspoon of oil to a spray bottle. Apply the solution to mouldy surface and leave.
There is no need to rinse the surface after treatment with this solution as the oil will remove the mould and prevent its reappearance. You can also apply the resulting solution with a cloth.
Tea tree oil has a strong smell, but it will disappear after a while. You can store and use the prepared product for a long time, as the tea tree oil does not lose its strength quickly.
The grapefruit seed extract is also expensive, but it is a very effective natural black mould cleaner. The advantage of this extract over tea tree oil is its almost complete absence of smell. Grapefruit seed extract destroys mould naturally and also disinfects and deodorizes the infected area.
To kill grapefruit seed extract mould, create a solution by mixing 10 drops of the extract in a glass of water. Shake the spray bottle to mix the solution thoroughly, then spray it on the mouldy surface.
You do not need to rinse off the solution — the longer the extract is in contact with the mould, the more it will destroy the mould colony and prevent its reoccurrence.
Repeat the procedure if you need more thorough removal of mould from the surface. This spray solution will remain potent for a long time and can be used over and over again, as the grapefruit seed extract has a long shelf life.
Is It Safe to Use a Mouldy Fridge?
It is extremely dangerous to use a mouldy fridge. Mould is actually very dangerous for our health because it can cause allergic diseases, asthma, bronchitis and the like. Initially, it appears in a small area, but very quickly begins to spread throughout the refrigerator. And this is not the kind of mould that is grown for expensive elite cheeses and for the manufacture of antibiotics. That mould is grown in special conditions and it is not harmful to our body. But the mould in the refrigerator will gradually start to infect the food stored in it, and so get into our body.