Fridge can unfortunately become a perfect home for mold due to the damp and dark environments they provide. It’s common to discover food that’s gone bad sitting on your fridge shelves.
If not dealt with promptly, mold and other bacteria will grow and multiply. What’s worse, mold spores from moldy food could spread through the air inside the fridge, contaminating other areas.
If you ignore it, this mold can even escape out the fridge when you open the door, and into other parts of our kitchen.
So, it’s a must to clean up any mold as soon as possible once you spot it, and take measures to prevent it from coming back. Be aware, coming into contact with mold, whether by touch or inhalation, can lead to serious health issues.
What Causes Mold in Fridges?
Understanding the causes of mold in fridges is the first step towards preventing its recurrence.
The Perils of Spoiled Food
Spoiled food is a primary culprit for mold growth. When food spoils, it becomes a fertile breeding ground for mold spores. These spores can easily spread to other areas of the fridge, including shelves, door seals, and even the fridge’s interior walls.
The Power Off Problem
When your fridge is powered off for an extended period, it creates an ideal environment for mold growth. The lack of cold air allows the temperature inside the fridge to rise, creating a warm, damp environment that mold thrives in.
Mechanical problems with your fridge can also lead to mold growth. For instance, a faulty seal can allow warm air to enter the fridge, disrupting the cold environment and promoting mold growth.
How To Clean Mold Out Of Your Fridge
Now that we’ve identified the causes, let’s dive into the steps to eradicate mold from your fridge.
1. Wear a Mask and Gloves
The first step is to protect yourself. Wear a mask to avoid inhaling mold spores and gloves to prevent direct contact with mold. This is crucial as exposure to mold can lead to health issues.
2. Clean All Food from Your Fridge
Next, clear out all the food from your fridge. As you do this, keep an eye out for any signs of spoilage, leaks, or mold. These could be the very culprits that started your mold issue in the first place.
You need to discard all food, even those that may look good but could be contaminated. Seal the package of your disposed food to prevent further contamination.
3. Remove the Drawers, Trays, and Other Removable Components
After emptying your fridge, remove the drawers, trays, and other removable components. These parts often harbor hidden mold and need to be cleaned separately.
4. Tackle the Mold
Spray distilled white vinegar inside of the fridge and on all removable components. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the vinegar do its magic.
You can also use bleach in this step, but vinegar is less toxic than bleach, so we suggest use vinegar here.
Grab a toothbrush and scrub all the nooks and crannies, paying special attention to areas like drawer tracks and the fridge seal. Afterward, use a damp cloth to wipe down the surfaces.
Once you’ve gotten rid of all visible mold, you can use the mixture of baking soda and warm water to scrub away any remaining mold traces inside your fridge and on all removable components. Make sure everything is dry before you put it back in the fridge.
You also need to repeat these cleaning tips to the rubber seal around the door because mold often hides there.
5. Dispose of the Mold Safely
After cleaning, dispose of the gloves, mask, and cleaning materials safely to prevent the spread of mold spores.
How to Keep Mold in Future
Preventing mold from returning is justas crucial as cleaning it. Here are some strategies to keep your fridge mold-free:
Regularly cleaning your fridge is the most effective way to prevent mold growth. Make it a habit to clean your fridge every month. This will not only keep your fridge clean but also help you spot any potential problems early.
Proper Food Storage
Always check your food for spoilage before storing it in the fridge. Use airtight containers to prevent moisture from escaping, which can promote mold growth. Toss any leftovers or food out dated.
Maintain Your Fridge
Regular maintenance of your fridge can also prevent mold growth. Ensure the temperature is set correctly, the seals are intact, and the fridge is functioning properly. If you notice any issues, address them immediately to prevent creating an environment conducive to mold growth.
Mind the Humidity
High humidity levels can promote mold growth. Consider using a dehumidifier in your kitchen, especially during warmer months, to keep humidity levels in check.
Mold in your fridge is a serious issue that needs immediate attention. By understanding the causes of mold and following the steps to clean and prevent it, you can maintain a healthy, mold-free fridge.
A clean fridge is not just about aesthetics, it’s about your health and safety. So, don’t overlook it. Keep your fridge clean, and enjoy fresh, safe food every day.