If there's a rancid smell from a refrigerator in your house, it could be mold. Refrigerators are havens for mold because of spills.
Government agencies used to recommend bleach for killing mold, but now they recommend other methods. Bleach only kills surface mold on certain surfaces. You should be able to handle moderate mold yourself by following these tips.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- plastic gloves
- wash cloths
- cotton swabs
- measuring cups
- old toothbrush
- two boxes of baking soda
- liquid dish soap
- distilled white vinegar
- cooler (optional)
If there is food in the unit, remove good food , and store it in a cooler. Toss food and liquid with visible mold growth, and remove foods or liquid near the molded area. Air tight containers and unopened packages should be fine. Mold is commonly black, green, orange, or pink patches.
Clean the Interior
Remove shelves and drawers. Soak them in a sink of soapy water. Disinfect the sink basin.
If you have glass shelves, use liquid dish soap. Baking soda can scratch glass.
Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with warm water, and fill another bucket with clear water for rinsing the cloth. Test the solution on a hidden area.
Soak a cloth in the mixture, and wipe down shelves, walls, doors, tubes, ceiling, and drawer guide tracks. Rinse the cloth as needed in the clear water. You may prefer to clean guide tracks with a cotton swab or old toothbrush.
Toss the baking soda solution in the toilet, and launder the cloth. Refill the bucket with fresh water, and wash the baking soda off everything that came in contact with it.
Spray vinegar on the walls and ceilings to disinfect. Let the vinegar stand ten minutes, then rinse.
Unplug the unit, and open the door to let it dry naturally. To get rid of the vinegar smell, set a bowl of fresh cut lemons inside the refrigerator, or set an box of baking soda inside the door
Don't use caustic substances on gaskets, since they get damaged easily. Mix vinegar with water in a clean spray bottle.
Spray the solution on the gaskets let it sit several minutes, and use an old toothbrush to scrub them. Dab a cotton ball in the solution, and wipe the folds; ensuring you get the inner creases. Rinse with cool water, and dry thoroughly with a towel, or leave the door open.
Set a deodorizer made for refrigerators on a shelf to help kill mold odors long-term. Repair any leaks immediately to prevent mold growth. If you don't trust your skill, or the mold keeps coming back, contact a mold removal service, like Authorized Services.