How To Remove And Prevent Refrigerator Mold Inside Your RV

Mold inside an RV refrigerator is a common problem. photo by MinivanNinja on FlickrIf it’s been a month or so since your last RV trip, you may notice when you open the RV refrigerator that you’ve got a nasty, moldy mess to deal with.

That’s likely to be the case if you forgot to clean the fridge properly after the last outing!

Here’s why, and what you can do to prevent mold from growing inside your refrigerator…

 

Why So Much Mold?

When you shut down a refrigerator and remove the food, it’s still loaded with 2 things:

  • Moisture — because any frost or ice left inside will melt and leave everything inside the refrigerator wet.
  • Bacteria — a warm, moist environment and residual bacteria becomes the perfect environment for mold to grow… everywhere.

By closing up the refrigerator, the dampness remains and the bacteria grows.

Odds are that along with mold you’ve created a rather unpleasant odor as well.

And to top it all off, if you forgot and left food inside the refrigerator, then you will definitely be greeted by a very nasty sight and smell the minute you open the fridge door!

 

How To Remove Mold From An RV Refrigerator

Cleaning the RV refrigerator and removing the mold will require some elbow grease.

You will quickly notice that the mold has gotten into every crease and crevice inside the fridge.

If you simply do a quick wipe of the largest surfaces within the refrigerator, rather than cleaning it properly, the mold will quickly reappear.

Instead, you should do 2 thorough cleanings of every nook and cranny found inside your RV refrigerator including the door gaskets and drawer guides:

  • The first scrubbing should be with warm, soapy water to remove most of the mold itself.
  • The second (and final) washing should be done with a bleach/water solution (¼ cup bleach to 1 gallon water) to disinfect and sanitize the surfaces and prevent the mold from reappearing.

IMPORTANT: Never mix a chlorine bleach product with a cleaning product that contains ammonia!  Combining the 2 will create chlorine gas — a deadly gas that will kill you very quickly and very painfully.

After you have the refrigerator nice and fresh-smelling again (and completely dry), you can load it up with food again for your next trip.

Here’s a bonus tip: If you place an open container of baking soda in the back of the refrigerator — out of the way — it will help keep that nice, fresh smell while you’re traveling.

 

How To Prevent Mold From Growing Again

When you return home from each RV trip, be sure to empty out the refrigerator and prop open the doors to both the refrigerator and the freezer before locking up your RV until the next trip.

No matter how dry and clean you think it is inside there, there is always enough moisture and bacteria to start the whole problem over again!

I use a couple bungee cords loosely hooked on the refrigerator doors over to a cabinet knob close by. The doors are propped open just enough so that as I move my trailer back to its storage spot I’m assured that the doors won’t swing closed on me. You could also try something like this No Mold Refrigerator Door Holder.

TIP: If your refrigerator has an interior light, you need to turn it off or the RV battery will drain while the refrigerator doors are propped open.

 

 

More About RV Refrigerator Mold

Curtis Carper

I’ve been involved in RVing for over 40 yrs -- including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking at home, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you've got a good idea of who I am.

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