How do I clean a refrigerator that has mold and mildew?

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

Before you begin to clean a refrigerator with mold and mildew you will need to 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 any food that has expired. Remove drawers, bins, trays and shelf inserts, so you can clean underneath them. In addition to this, you should defrost your refrigerator and freezer if you don not have a frost free model. Once you are done emptying it you should unplug your appliance.

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. ??If any removable parts of your refrigerator have mold or mildew on them soak them in a bathtub of warm water along with 2 cups vinegar before soaking them in the baking soda. This will help kill the mold and mildew.

To clean the interior of your refrigerator you will need to use something that kills mold and mildew. Distilled white vinegar works well for this purpose and it is both safe and environmentally friendly. Pour undiluted vinegar into a bowl. Submerge a rag in the vinegar and gently wring it out over the bowl.

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. If necessary you can use a soft bristle toothbrush dipped in the bowl of vinegar. This will enable you to get small corners and crevices.

After you have wiped the entire refrigerator down with vinegar you will need to rinse it. 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.

To get rid of odors from the mold and mildew you can mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 qt. warm water. Submerge a clean rag into the mixture and wring it out. Wipe the entire refrigerator and freezer out with the baking soda cleanser. Re-wet and wring out the rag as needed.

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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