How to Safely Clean a Fridge with Mold and Make it Suitable for Food Storage

How to Clean Mold off Your Outdoor Refrigerator

How to Clean Mold off Your Outdoor Refrigerator


Discovering mold in a fridge that has been sitting outside can be concerning, but with the right precautions and cleaning methods, it is possible to make the fridge safe for food storage. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to effectively clean extreme mold from a fridge, as well as address common concerns related to mold and food safety.

1. Removing Contaminated Items:

  • Start by discarding any food items that may have been contaminated by the mold.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect any containers or shelves that held the moldy items.

2. Cleaning the Fridge:

  • Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing hot water and a mild detergent.
  • Use a sponge or cloth soaked in the cleaning solution to scrub the interior surfaces of the fridge, including walls, shelves, and drawers.
  • Pay extra attention to areas with visible mold growth, ensuring thorough removal.
  • Rinse the fridge with a mixture of water and baking soda to eliminate remaining odors.

3. Inspecting Seals and Gaskets:

  • Check the seals and gaskets of the fridge to ensure they are intact and properly functioning.
  • If there is any damage or mold growth on the seals, replace them to prevent future contamination.

4. Dealing with Mold in Freezer Section:

  • In frost-free freezers, it may be necessary to dismantle the freezer section to clean mold within and behind the panels.
  • Look for any stray food particles and thoroughly clean the area.
  • Clean the tube leading to the defrost pan by allowing a disinfectant cleaner to sit in it overnight, followed by vacuuming with a wet-dry vacuum.
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5. Eliminating Lingering Odors:

  • After cleaning, air out the fridge by leaving the door open for several hours.
  • Place an open box of baking soda on a shelf to absorb any remaining odors.
  • Replace the box every six months for ongoing odor control.


  1. Can vinegar or lemon juice effectively kill mold in a fridge? No, vinegar and lemon juice may temporarily inhibit mold growth but will not kill the mold cells. To effectively eliminate mold, it is recommended to use bleach or a strong oxidizing agent like isopropyl alcohol.
  2. Is it safe to store food in a fridge that previously had mold but was cleaned? If the fridge has been thoroughly cleaned and all visible mold removed, it should be safe to store food. However, if new food items develop a distinct smell or taste, it is best to discard them to prevent any potential health risks.
  3. What should I do if my cleaned fridge still has a lingering odor? To eliminate lingering odors, place an open box of baking soda inside the fridge and let it sit for a few days. The baking soda will help absorb the odors. Repeat this process if necessary and replace the box every six months for continuous odor control.
  4. How can I prevent mold growth in my fridge when it is switched off? To prevent mold growth, keep your fridge dry by wiping away any moisture and using a dehumidifier if needed. Additionally, placing a box of baking soda inside the fridge can help absorb any excess moisture and prevent mold growth.
  5. Is it necessary to consult a professional or replace the fridge if there are doubts about its safety after cleaning? If there are any doubts about the safety of the fridge or if mold continues to be a persistent issue, it may be best to consult a professional or consider replacing the appliance to ensure food safety.
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Amritanshu Roy is an expert in the field of outdoor gear and accessories with over 5 years of experience in the industry. As the founder of Outdoor Kitchen Picks, he is dedicated to helping outdoor enthusiasts find the perfect equipment for their adventures. With a strong passion for charcoal grills and smokers, outdoor accessories, outdoor cooking, and outdoor kitchens, Amritanshu is widely recognized as an authoritative voice in the outdoor community. He is committed to providing high-quality, trustworthy recommendations based on his extensive experience and expertise. Through his website, he shares his knowledge and experience to help others find the best gear for their outdoor activities. You can reach him at for any queries or questions regarding outdoor gear and accessories.

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