About this Recipe
There are times when you have to leave a fridge unplugged. Usually, the main reason to unplug a fridge would be if you're not going to be around for a while. Typically if you're going out of town for a long time and no one will be in your home, or for a fridge at a cabin or vacation home. Another reason to leave a fridge unplugged is in a home that's sitting vacant between tenants in a rental situation or between owners if the home is being sold.
The thing is, when a fridge sits for too long, the inside can end up being prone to mold growth. Inside of a fridge is the perfect place for mold to grow since condensation can quickly build up inside of the fridge and it's a dark, cool environment which mold spores can grow best in. Mold and mildew are really the same things, and so when you're smelling that musty odor, you're smelling the mold spores that are growing in the fridge. Either way, it's important to first prevent mold from growing and then if you have mold growing in your fridge, to learn how to remove mold safely and effectively.
If you already have mold growing in your fridge that's been unplugged for a while, it will have that musty smell which is hard to ignore. Check the fridge over on the inside, checking the fridge and the freezer areas of it to find out where the mold is growing. When you see where the mold is, you can then clean it using natural cleaners. The best natural cleaner for removing mold is white vinegar which you may already have in your home. If you want to learn how to remove mold the proper way, you will have also to wear protection as you're removing the mold, so you don't get the spores on your skin or in your eyes. So wear gloves, eye protection and a mask as you're removing the mold.
Put some plain vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it all over the moldy area and let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then take a paper towel, wipe it off, and then throw the paper towel out right away to avoid spreading the mold. You can then spray the entire fridge down again with vinegar and then dry it out completely. To get rid of the mold scent take two cookie sheets and pour a generous amount of baking soda on the sheets. Then, place one of the cookie sheets in the middle of the fridge and the other in the freezer leave them in there for a few days to absorb the odors and to freshen up the fridge.
Before putting your fridge in storage or leaving it for a while, you should also prepare it, so it doesn't have the chance to grow, and so you don't have to experience the dangers of mold in your home. First of all, clean out the entire fridge and freezer by removing the shelves, drawers and covers and clean them all in warm water and vinegar. Let everything air dry and as they dry you can clean out the fridge completely with warm water and vinegar.
Make sure you get all of the door seals and the vents as well as the nooks and crannies inside the fridge. Also dust the back, top and bottom of the fridge too. You can then also put the shelves and drawers back in the fridge too once they're dried off completely too. Before you leave it alone, unplug the fridge and make sure that you leave it open at least a 3 inches or so to keep the air circulating while you're away.