Mom, How Do I Clean a Moldy Fridge?

Woman with cleaning products

“Mom? I have a weird question.” So began the phone call from my daughter who is away at college.

Someone left queso in the refrigerator in a community fridge for a program she’s involved in. It not only made the entire room smell,but she was worried the mold was inside the fridge, and right so.

Left unfettered, mold can cause all kinds of health problems. Sure, they make penicillin from this stuff, but it also creates a host of health problems, especially if it is black mold.

Don’t Eat It

You may have heard that it’s okay to just scrape off mold and eat the remaining cheese when it is a hard cheese. Please don’t do this. Mold has threads that can stretch pretty far into the cheese. It is just better to go ahead and toss it. Better? If you have more cheese than you can eat before it molds (and it takes cheese a LONG time to mold), then freeze it and unthaw when you’re ready to use it.

Kill It

I told my daughter to buy bleach and lots of it. Remove everything from the fridge and wipe it down with bleach diluted with water. The instructions are usually on the bottle.

If there was a spot where mold was growing on the fridge to pour straight bleach on but be VERY careful. Bleach will discolor anything it touches and can burn eyes and skin. Also, she would need to clean the seal around the outside with diluted bleach.

Unfortunately, if the issue is too far gone, the fridge may have to be pitched. She can give it a good try though, because it will save a lot of money if it can just be cleaned.

I read over on Thrifty Fun that a gentleman used cinnamon oil to kill the smell. He had done some research into it and I find the process he used interesting. It was fairly simple, so one you might want to try. Go to the article on Thrifty Fun and then scroll down to the comments.

The best way to avoid a moldy fridge is to never leave expired food for extended lengths of time and to prop the door open when the fridge is not turned on. Sometimes the unexpected happens, though.

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Crabby Housewife

Crabby Housewife

Lori is a full-time housewife and writer, living in the Midwest with her husband of 27 years - they have two daughters. They have a house full of pets and her house is never quite perfect.