The 5 Steps Guide to Clean A Moldy Fridge – Quick & Easy

Last Updated on January 30, 2022 by CHANDRAMANI

Molds are spread in a fridge through rotting food. They pass from one shelf to another through air circulation and are a source of fungal infections in humans and develop a stuffy nose, wheezing, red or itchy eyes, or skin.

To clean the mold in the fridge clean it with a microfiber cloth by using soapy water, spray white vinegar and wipe with a cloth, scrub using baking soda, and water with a sponge. Wash properly with water and dry quickly with a fan or dehumidifier.

CDC(Centre for disease control and prevention) recommends soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup (8 ounces) of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces.

Supplies Required to clean the Fridge Mold

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  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.

How to clean a Moldy Fridge?

Step 1: Wear personal protective equipment

Before you start cleaning the moldy fridge it is important to cover your nose, eyes, and hands as it can make you sick and can result in a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash.

Step 2: Empty the Fridge & Take out all Removable parts

Take the stored food out of the fridge. If you have a portable cooler or mini-fridge, then use it to store the food in it temporarily till cleaning.

Discard the food that has expired or has changed color or smell. Pack all discarded food in a bag and throw it.

Take out all removable parts from the fridge such as shelves and drawers.

Step 3: Clean Removed Parts with Detergent & Water

Take detergent liquid in a bowl and mix some water. Dip the microfiber cloth in this solution and spray baking soda on it to clean the removed parts properly. Use the brush to clean those parts where you cannot clean with the cloth.

If the grease is not getting removed, then use baking soda to scrub it well. Wash the removable with water and dry with a cloth.

Pro Tip: Don’t Mix Vinegar and Baking Soda. Baking Soda is a base and vinegar being acidic cancels each other cleaning properties. Baking Soda is best for cleaning dirt stains, greases, oils, and other organics such as molds.

Vinegar is also good for killing mold and for removing hard water stains but not great for cleaning dirt. So, you should use baking soda and vinegar separately.

While many people mix vinegar and baking soda to clean surfaces, it is advised that if you want to do so then use the vinegar-baking soda for cleaning directly on the surface while it’s still bubbling and still slightly basic. The moment it stops bubbling, then you are left with only water.

Step 4: Clean the Interior

Spray the vinegar on the interior of the fridge properly and wipe it with a dry cloth. Then use the water and baking soda solution to scrub and clean with a microfiber cloth.

You can mask the smell by adding a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon oil, lavender oil, or peppermint oil, to a spray bottle containing a vinegar-water solution.

Finally clean with sprinkling water and dry using cloth. Use a fan or dehumidifier to dry properly the fridge.

Step 5: Insert the Removables and Keep the Food

After the interior and the removals are completely dry, you should keep the food back into the fridge quickly. Most food items start getting spoiled if they have been kept at room temperatures for too long.

Can Mold Grow in the Refrigerator?

Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter. They grow in warmer temperatures but can also grow at refrigerator temperatures and tolerate salt and sugar.

Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year-round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions.

Why you should pay immediate attention to a Moldy Fridge?

Molds cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, apart from this some molds can produce poisonous chemicals that can make you sick and can result in a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash. People with asthma or who are allergic to mold may have severe reactions.

How to Identify Molds?

You should clean your fridge immediately when you notice a musty smell or fluffy, fuzzy, or dusty texture on food. Molds produce spores that give it its color, which is typically green, white, black, or grey. According to CDC large mold infestations can usually be seen or smelled.

Mold needs moist, warm organic matter to grow, so food is often the perfect environment. It changes the appearance, taste, and texture of the food it grows on, causing it to decay.

How to Prevent Mold Growth?

  • Clean your refrigerator regularly. FSIS suggests cleaning with with 1 tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water. Rinse with clear water and dry. Scrub visible mold (usually black) on rubber casings using 3 teaspoons of bleach in a quart of water.
  • Keep the humidity level low in the fridge. This can be acheived by not opening the fridge too frequently.
  • If you have a manual defrost fridge, then defrost the fridge every few months.
  • Don’t leave any perishable food out of the refrigerator more than 2 hours.
  • Refrigerate unused open food in clean containers.
  • Wrap fresh fruits and vegetables in plastic wrap to keep them fresh.
  • Store a small amount of food that you can consume before their expiry.
  • Check out the Ideal Refrigerator Temperature to Refrigerate Food and how long it is safe to consume.


The moldy fridge should be cleaned with baking soda and soapy water to clean and remove the mold. You should wear protective equipment before cleaning the mold.

Clean the fridge regularly, keep the moisture level low and discard the expired food to avoid mold buildup.

Also Read: How to Clean Refrigerator using Vinegar

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