How to Remove Mildew from Refrigerator Gaskets

fridge-gaskets

Question: “How to get rid of old mildew stains on refrigerator gaskets

With warmth from the outside air and moisture from the interior of the fridge, gaskets around your refrigerator/freezer doors can quickly become the home to mold and mildew. The first step is to kill the source and then prevent it from returning. There are several ways to approach this black monster.

Hydrogen Peroxide Method

You Will Need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft cloths
  • Cotton swabs (optional)

The Removal Process:

  1. Begin by cleaning the area as normal to remove as much dirt as possible.
  2. Fill the spray bottle with undiluted hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Spray the affect areas.
  4. Allow the spray to sit on the stain for several minutes.
  5. Wipe away with a clean cloth. Cotton swabs can be used to clean out crevices and other nooks.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
  7. When all of the black stains are removed, clean the area as normal to remove any hydrogen peroxide residue.

Bleach Method

Bleach is a killer of all germs including mold and mildew, but it can also dry your gaskets out. In extreme cases, it may be a necessity, but approach this method with caution so that your gaskets do not become dry and crack.

You Will Need:

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft cloths
  • Cotton swabs (optional)
  • Lubricant (ex: Vaseline)

The Removal Process:

  1. Wipe the area down to remove as much dirt as possible.
  2. Combine one part bleach with two parts water in the spray bottle and mix well.
  3. Apply the solution to the stained areas and allow it to soak for several minutes.
  4. Wipe away excess bleach solution using the soft cloth. Cotton swabs or old toothbrushes can be used to remove growth in tighter areas.
  5. Repeat only until the stain is gone. Be cautious not to dry out or damage the gaskets with excessive bleach usage.
  6. After the stain is removed, clean the area thoroughly to remove any excess bleach.
  7. If the gaskets appear to be drying out, apply a lubricant as necessary.

WD-40 Method

A lesser known method, WD-40 has been effective for removing many types of stains, including mildew.

You Will Need:

  • WD-40
  • Soft cloth
  • Cotton swabs (optional)
  • Mild cleaner

The Removal Process:

  1. Clean as much of the dirt and mildew away with normal cleaning methods.
  2. Spray WD-40 on the stain and let it set for a few minutes.
  3. Wipe away using the soft cloth and cotton swabs for tighter areas.
  4. Repeat as necessary until the stains are gone.
  5. After the stains are gone, clean using normal cleaners to remove all traces of the WD-40.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Vinegar makes a great protective barrier against future mold growth. Rub white vinegar on the walls and gaskets of your fridge to ward off future attacks of mildew.
  • Vinegar can also be used to clean mildew stains, but may not be as effective as the methods above.

Comments

  1. Julia says:

    Thanks for this great article. I found out just what I needed to know. Your formatting was really easy to read also, which I appreciate!

  2. Margaret says:

    What great advice. I knew of some but the methods, but the WD-40… whoa, that’s a new one to me.

    I love the way you guys put each step separately. It’s so easily to understand.

  3. Jacqueline says:

    I will definitely try the hydrogen peroxide, but I was told if you use vinegar on anything rubber you’ll have to do a rinse because the acidity eventually damages rubber and plastics?

  4. Bonnie T. says:

    We bought an older home with a sub-zero refrigerator that’s over 20 years old. The stains on the gasket from mildew are pretty permanent. The hydrogen peroxide worked on most of them. Do you recommend replacing the gasket? And in this easily done?

  5. Derek L says:

    I’ve used bleach and toothbrushes before on the mold that’s impregnated the bottom interior rubber seals on our windows. Nothing so far removes the black that has badly discolored the bottom seals on all of our main floor windows.

    Sadly…I’m about to give up on seeing the white rubber seals getting their natural white color back. Any added tricks would be greatly appreciated.

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