How to Clean Mold out of a Refrigerator

Cleaning a glass refrigerator shelf with an abrasive pad.
What You'll Need
Dish soap
Two spray bottles
Cotton swabs or Q-tips
Cleaning cloths or paper towels
Distilled white vinegar
Old toothbrush

When it comes to mold, refrigerators are magnets due to the dark, moist, sugar-filled environment. Foods and liquids spill, leftovers get lost in the back, and condiments seem to expire much faster than expected, leaving prime breeding grounds for mold. Black mold is normally first noticed around the gaskets in the doors or on the drawer pull guides and can breed extremely quickly. Luckily, cleaning mold is an easy task, especially on the plastics of newer refrigerators.

Step 1 – Locate All the Mold

Often, the visible mold is only the tip of the iceberg. Completely remove all contents from the fridge including all drawers and shelves. It can be surprising just how much debris or spills can linger underneath the drawers or on the back wall behind the shelves.

Step 2 – Clean the Shelves and Drawers

Fridge drawers for meat and vegetables

Shelves and drawers should be cleaned with standard dish soap to get any food or sticky residue off. Once the shelves are clean, spray them down with a solution of one part household bleach to one part water. Allow the bleach spray to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping clean. Pay special attention to the drawer tracks which sit on the guide rails. Invert the drawers and be sure the tracks are soaked in bleach. Cotton swabs can help to clean the bleach out. The bleach kills mold and any spores which could still linger. This will prevent future spreading. When you're finished, rinse with cold water and set to dry.

Step 3 – Wipe out the Inside

Working from back to the front, spray the bleach solution onto the interior walls of the fridge, allowing it to sit for 10 minutes before you rinse it with cold water and thoroughly dry it. Begin at the back wall and once it's dry, move to the walls, and lastly, focus on the drawer basin.

Step 4 – Clean the Drawer Guides and Rails

Spray the guide tracks for the drawers with the bleach solution and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Wipe them out with the cotton swabs to remove all mold. Be sure to allow complete drying before replacing them, as mold thrives on moisture.

Step 5 – Clean the Gaskets

a fridge door gasket

Gaskets cannot be cleaned with bleach because it damages the rubber seal. Instead, combine one part white vinegar with one part water inside the other spray bottle. Spray the gaskets on the fridge door and allow them to sit for five minutes before wiping clean. Scrub them with an old toothbrush to remove grime in any hard-to-reach places. Saturate a cotton swab with vinegar and press it into the gasket folds as well. Run the cotton swab along the inner creases to be sure the interior gaskets are clean. Rinse with cold water. Remember, mold breeds from moisture, so be sure to dry thoroughly in order to prevent more spores from growing.