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How to clean a moldy refrigerator & freezer

Cleaning a refrigerator with mould and mildew is never pleasant, but for your own safety it is essential. Not only can mould cause an allergic reaction in some individuals, but it can also cause illness. Fortunately, it is not difficult to get rid of mould and mildew in your refrigerator. All you need to get started are a couple of ingredients from your pantry and a few cleaning items.

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  1. Empty all the contents from your refrigerator and freezer. This is a good opportunity to check if any food packages are leaking, and to throw away expired food. Remove drawers, bins, trays and shelf inserts, so you can clean underneath them. In addition to this, defrost your refrigerator and freezer if they are not frost free. When you are done emptying it unplug your appliance.

  2. Place all the removable parts of the refrigerator, such as drawers and trays, in your bath tub. Allow them to soak in a mixture of warm water and baking soda. One cup of baking soda should do for an average size bathtub. Let them soak while you clean the interior of the refrigerator and freezer. When you are ready, rinse them with clean water, and dry them with paper towels.

  3. If any removable parts have mould or mildew on them soak them in a bathtub of warm water and 2 cups vinegar before soaking them in the baking soda.

  4. Pour undiluted vinegar into a bowl. Submerge a rag in the vinegar and gently wring it out over the bowl.

  5. Wipe all the surfaces of the refrigerator down with the vinegar soaked rag. Reapply the vinegar to the rag as needed. You may need to to scrub with the vinegar soaked rag in some areas of the appliance.

  6. Wet a clean rag with water and wring it out. Re-wipe the entire refrigerator and freezer with the wet rag. Re-wet and wring out the rag as needed.

  7. Mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 qt. warm water. Submerge a clean rag into the mixture and wring it out.

  8. Wipe the entire refrigerator and freezer out with the baking soda cleanser. This will help remove the mould smell and may even fade the stains. Re-wet and wring out the rag as needed.

  9. Dry the refrigerator and freezer with clean paper towels. If residue from the baking soda is present, wipe with a clean, wet, rag before drying.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Bowl
  • Rags
  • Baking soda

About the Author

Hillary Marshall has been writing professionally since 2006. Before writing instructional articles online, she worked as a copywriter and has been published in "Ideal Living" "Sass" "Science Edge" and "Shopping Cents" magazines along with countless websites including Gadling a blog by the Huffington post. Marshall studied early childhood education at the Stratford Career Institute.

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