How to clean black mould from a refrigerator

Updated February 21, 2017

Mould does not usually grow inside a refrigerator unless there is a moisture problem or it has been closed for a long period of time. In these cases, the mould appears as black spots. Remove black mould as soon as it occurs, as it will spread rapidly and make cleanup more difficult later. In addition, black mould is a health hazard; it can contaminate food and cause breathing problems if inhaled.

Open the door to the refrigerator and locate the temperature dial. Turn it to the "Off" position. Remove all food from the refrigerator.

Remove the refrigerator shelves by lifting them up slightly and pulling them straight out. Remove the drawers by pulling them straight out from the refrigerator. You may need to lift the drawers up slightly before they will detach completely.

Fill a sink full of hot water and add 1 to 2 tsp of washing-up liquid. Wash the shelves and drawers in the sink using a non-abrasive sponge. Scrub all surfaces of the shelves and drawers to remove the mould.

Rinse the shelves and drawers in clean, hot water to remove the soap residue.

Rinse the sponge in the soapy water and squeeze it to remove most of the water. Wipe down the entire interior of the refrigerator with the sponge to remove the mould. Rinse the sponge frequently in the soapy water. If additional scrubbing powder is needed, apply 1 tsp of baking soda to the sponge.

Wash the inside racks on the refrigerator door using the same method you used to clean the inside of the refrigerator.

Find the dripping pan located at the bottom interior of the refrigerator. It usually sits just above the crisper drawer, or at the bottom of the refrigerator if there is no drawer. Sprinkle 1 tsp of baking soda over the dripping pan and wipe it down with the sponge to remove all traces of mould.

Rinse the sponge and use it to wipe down the entire exterior of the refrigerator to remove mould from it. Pay special attention to the rubber gaskets, as this is where mould usually grows. If necessary, prepare a solution of one part bleach to one part water and apply it to these areas using the sponge.

Wipe down the entire interior and exterior of the refrigerator with a dry towel to remove all traces of moisture. If moisture remains on the refrigerator it can cause the black mould to regrow.

Place all food items back into the refrigerator and turn the temperature dial back to the proper internal temperature.


Wear rubber gloves when cleaning so that you do not touch the mould.


If there is mould on the inside of the refrigerator, throw out the food as it may be contaminated.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing-up liquid
  • Sink
  • Scrubber sponge
  • Baking soda
  • Bleach
  • Towel
  • Rubber gloves
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.