No one wants to open their refrigerator to the sight of mold and mildew,
but sometimes we just overestimate how long our refrigerators can keep
our food fresh, and other times we simply forget that the food was in
there in the first place. No matter what chain of events led up to your
refrigerator becoming the breeding ground for unpleasant forms of fungus,
it’s time to break out the cleaning supplies and start scrubbing away.
Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary cleaning supplies:
- Two empty spray bottles
- Cleaning rags and / or paper towels
- Cotton swabs
- Old toothbrush
- Dish soap
- White vinegar
Once you’ve gathered up your tools, empty your refrigerator of all
items. Keep a cooler filled with ice ready if you have any perishables
like milk and eggs, or time your clean for when all of those items are
ready to expire.
Not that your fridge is empty, use dish soap and a damp rag to wipe down
every surface to remove any excess food residue and pull out any drawers
for a better clean. Next, fill your first spray bottle with a thoroughly
mixed solution of equal parts water and bleach. Spray the surfaces you
just wiped down with the bleach solution, and let it sit for about 10
to 15 minutes before using a damp towel or rag to wipe the areas clean.
Make sure to pay extra attention to the guide rails and drawer tracks
when cleaning – any leftover mold spores could spread and create
new problems in the near future. The best way to clean out every nook
and cranny is to use a cotton swab soaked in your bleach solution.
Next up, spray your bleach solution on the interior walls of your fridge,
and let it sit for another 10 to 15 minutes before taking a damp towel
or rag and wiping it down. It’s best to start your clean on the
back of the fridge before moving to the sides, and finally to the drawer basin.
Remember those drawers you pulled out two steps ago? Now it’s time
to spray them down with your bleach solution and let them sit for 10 to
15 minutes. After you’ve wiped them down with a damp rag or towel,
make sure to dry them completely – if you put them back in your
fridge while still damp, you’ve left the door open for mold to make
its triumphant return.
The last part you need to clean are the gaskets. Bleach won’t work
this time because it will damage the rubber seal, so fill the other spray
bottle with a thoroughly mixed solution of equal parts water and white
vinegar and spray all around the gaskets. This time you only need to let
it sit for about five minutes before wiping them down with a damp rag
or towel. Once you’ve done that, soak a cotton swab in your vinegar
solution and run it along all of the edges, and use the toothbrush to
scrub down any potentially problematic areas. Wipe the gaskets down a
second time, and make sure to dry them thoroughly before replacing any
drawers or food.
How Often Should You Clean Your Refrigerator?
It’s always best to clean your fridge every couple of months before
mold has a chance to grow to disgusting levels. It's also important
to clean your refrigerator thoroughly if you're
moving out and leaving your fridge for the next occupant. As ideal as that may be,
we understand just how difficult it can be to set aside enough time during
your busy schedule, which is what we’re here for.