The refrigerator is not a magical appliance where every product will not get spoiled. Mold in fridge is quite common, attacking bread, fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. Mold does not give heed to things like cold temperature or cured meat. When the fungi find an ideal place to grow, they will form mold there.
Mold in a fridge is a health hazard, especially if it is black mold. The spores can induce allergic reactions to sensitive people. The mycotoxin is dangerous if ingested, especially for people with immunodeficiency. Now we will talk about how to clean mold from fridge seal and about the normal cleaning methods.
A. Why Mold Grows in Fridge
Mold inside refrigerator can grow because of several factors, and premature freezing of hot foods is one of them. If you place warm foods inside the fridge, they can create an ideal temperature for mold and bacteria. They also force the fridge to work harder than usual, spending more energy.
Some foods such as blue cheese, cured meat, and tempeh get their unique flavor and texture from the mold. You may expect to see extra growth on their surfaces, which you can just scrape. However, bread, fruits, and vegetables are also prone to mold. The mold damage extends to the inside of the foods, which can be dangerous if eaten even after you scrape them.
Black mold in refrigerator can grow if you never maintain the fridge (especially the old one). Spillage, dirt, residue, or mold spores that spread from moldy foods can cause other foods to get infested.
Finally, mold can also grow on the fridge’s rubber gasket. It is a seal that helps the door for closing tightly. The gasket is often exposed to airflow and moisture, making it an ideal place for mold.
B. How to Clean Mold from Fridge seal
When you find mold in refrigerators, make sure to conduct thorough cleaning to prevent it from spreading. Here is how to do it:
1. Prep the fridge
Unplug the fridge before cleaning. If you have meat and other frozen foods, you can keep the freezer on if possible (or place them in a cooler with ice cubes). Take out all the products inside the fridge.
2. Take out the moldy foods
When you see moldy foods, trust your eyes and don’t smell them, since the spores can fly into your nostrils. Take them out immediately, along with other foods that are stored next to them.
3. Make a cleaning solution
Baking soda is considered a natural fungicide. Add a tablespoon of this powder into a bucket of water.
4. Clean removable parts
Take out all the shelves and basins from the fridge, and wipe everything down with a clean cloth. After cleaning everything, discard the cloth and throw away the dirty water.
5. Clean the fridge walls
Make a new baking soda solution in a clean bucket. Use a new cloth to wipe all fridge walls.
6. Clean containers
If there are containers in the fridge, such as Tupperware jars or plastic food boxes, take them out and clean them with baking soda.
Wait until the entire fridge is dry before putting back the shelves and containers. Don’t return foods that have been in the fridge for too long.
C. How to Clean Mold on Fridge Gasket
Fridge gasket is made of rubber, so you must use a cleaning solution that will not dry it up. WD-40 is a popular product that works quite well against mold on the rubber gasket. You can also make a white vinegar solution, using one part of vinegar and two parts of water. Clean the gasket from dirt first before rubbing the liquid on its surface.
To make sure that there is no mold between cracks, use cotton buds to reach small spots. Repeat the rubbing until all the mold is scraped off. Finish by rubbing the gasket with mild soap and a clean cloth. Add lubricant like Vaseline to smoothen the rubber’s surface after cleaning.
D. Tips to Keep Foods Safely in Fridge
After knowing what causes mold in fridge, you must fix the way you store foods there. Here are several tips for storing foods without inviting mold:
1. Store foods after they reach room temperature
If you have an uneaten hot meal, wait until it reaches room temperature before keeping it in the fridge. This is to prevent warm temperature that will encourage mold.
2. Check foods before putting them in the fridge
If you want to keep perishable foods in the fridge, fridge door, check their conditions before actually putting them in. See if there are dark spots or unpleasant odor that indicate mold.
3. Store foods properly
There are reasons why containers and shelves in the fridge are made to store specific foods. Keep vegetables and fruits in the bottom crisper, separated from other foods. Keep meat and fish in the fridge, stored in a plastic bag or container.
4. Don’t hoard leftovers
Hoarding leftovers increase the risk of mold, especially if you forget when you keep them. Make sure to keep the newest leftovers in the back, so you eat the oldest ones first.
Don’t keep bread in the fridge. Prepare a special airtight container to store it, and keep it on a bright place in the kitchen. If you have to store bread in the fridge, keep it in the container.
E. Tips to Maintain the Fridge
Good maintenance can prevent mold in fridge. The most obvious method is to keep the fridge clean from spillage and food particles. Make sure to wipe any spillage after it happens. The cold temperature will make any stain harder to clean.
If possible, use an antibacterial wipe to clean spillage and the exterior of the fridge. Also, avoid opening the fridge too often if you don’t have anything to take out or store. This allows air and moisture to seep into a rubber gasket, creating an ideal place for mold.
Finally, make sure you select and throw away old, expired foods once a month. Clean the fridge every two or three months, using a thorough cleaning method.
Mold can grow in the fridge if the condition is ideal. Keeping the fridge clean and cool is important to prevent mold. Old foods can also spread mold in fridge, especially things like bread, fruits, and vegetables. Use this guide to prevent mold from growing in your refrigerator.
Not only fridge can growth mold but also everything in it. Fof example spray bottles.
Spray bottles can be prone to mold growth, particularly if they are not cleaned and dried thoroughly after each use. Mold can grow in the moist environment of a spray bottle, which can potentially contaminate the contents of the bottle and be released into the air when the bottle is used.
To prevent mold growth in spray bottles, it is important to clean them regularly and thoroughly. Here are some steps to clean a spray bottle:
- Empty the contents of the spray bottle and rinse it with hot water.
- Fill the bottle about one-third of the way with hot water.
- Add a few drops of dish soap and shake the bottle to distribute the soap.
- Use a bottle brush to scrub the inside of the bottle and the spray nozzle.
- Rinse the bottle with hot water and then fill it with hot water and a tablespoon of white vinegar.
- Let the solution sit in the bottle for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse the bottle thoroughly with hot water and let it air dry completely.
It’s also important to store the spray bottle in a cool, dry place and to avoid leaving it in a damp or humid environment. If mold does appear in a spray bottle, it may be best to dispose of the bottle and replace it with a new one to prevent potential health risks.
F. Hydrogen peroxide can kill mold
If you have mold in your fridge, hydrogen peroxide can be an effective solution to help clean and remove the mold. Here are some steps to follow:
- Empty the contents of your fridge and unplug it.
- Mix a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution onto the moldy areas of the fridge, making sure to cover all affected surfaces.
- Allow the solution to sit on the mold for 10-15 minutes.
- Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe away the mold, rinsing the sponge or cloth frequently.
- Once you have removed all visible mold, rinse the fridge with clean water and dry it thoroughly.
- Plug the fridge back in and restock it with your food.
It’s important to wear gloves and a mask when cleaning mold, as it can be a health hazard when inhaled or touched. Also, make sure to properly dispose of any contaminated sponges, cloths, or cleaning materials to prevent spreading the mold to other areas.
To prevent mold from growing in your fridge in the future, keep it clean and dry, and regularly check and discard any expired or spoiled food. Additionally, consider using a dehumidifier or moisture absorber to keep the air inside your fridge dry and prevent growth of mold. So hydrogen peroxide is number 1 against mold.
The seal or gasket of a fridge can be a common location for mold to grow. To clean mold from a fridge, follow these steps:
- Create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water or hydrogen peroxide.
- Dip a clean cloth in the solution and wring it out well, so it’s damp but not soaking wet.
- Wipe the seal or gasket with the damp cloth, making sure to clean all the crevices and corners, fridge door.
- If the mold is stubborn or has been there for a while, you can try using a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the affected areas.
- Once you’ve removed all the mold, wipe the seal or gasket with a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess moisture.
- If you want to prevent further mold growth, you can apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or silicone lubricant to the seal or gasket.
- Finally, dispose of the cleaning cloth and wash your hands thoroughly. Always use this normal cleaning methods.
It’s important to clean the seal or gasket of your fridge regularly to prevent mold growth. If the mold has spread beyond the seal or gasket, you may need to clean the interior of the fridge as well. Make sure to wear gloves and a mask when cleaning mold and to properly dispose of any contaminated materials.
How do you remove mold from refrigerator seals?
-Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
-Spray the solution onto the affected areas of the refrigerator seals.
-Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub away the mold.
-Wipe the seals with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining vinegar solution.
-Dry the seals thoroughly with a clean towel or allow them to air dry.
How do you clean the rubber seal on a refrigerator door?
-Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
-Spray the solution onto the rubber seal, making sure to saturate any areas with visible dirt or mold.
-Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes to loosen the dirt and grime.
-Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub the seal, paying extra attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas.
-Rinse the seal with clean water.
-Dry the seal thoroughly with a clean towel or allow it to air dry.
How do you remove mold from silicone rubber?
To clean the rubber seal on a refrigerator door, mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spray the solution onto the seal, allow it to sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Rinse the seal with clean water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel or let it air dry. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers.
Is vinegar or bleach better for killing mold?
White vinegar is a natural acid that can help dissolve and remove mold. It is a safer alternative to bleach and is less harsh on surfaces. However, it may not be as effective as bleach in killing all types of mold.
Why is my refrigerator door seal not sealing?
-Dirt and debris buildup: Dirt and debris can accumulate on the seal over time, preventing it from making a tight seal with the fridge.
-Damaged seal: The seal itself may be damaged or worn, preventing it from making a tight seal with the fridge.
-Misaligned door: If the refrigerator door is not properly aligned, it may not make a tight seal with the fridge.
-Temperature fluctuations: Rapid changes in temperature or humidity can cause the seal to warp or shrink, preventing it from making a tight seal with the fridge.