Mold can be seen almost everywhere. They can be various species and pink mold is one of them. Though they are not life-threatening, getting in contact with them can cause skin irritation, watery eyes, breathing issues etc.
They are mostly attracted to damp, dirty places where they get their basic needs to grow. In fact, they can grow inside the house.
Reasons of pink mold in the refrigerator:
Pink mold can grow anywhere they get moisture, dirt and food. As refrigerators contain food, most of the time it remains dirty and greasy, has damp and wet areas which ensures them a suitable environment. Moreover, the moisture that a refrigerator holds is perfect for the growth of pink mold.
Pink mold, primarily caused by the residue of the bacterium Serratia marcescens mostly grows in a colony and has a clear sign of pink slime. They are mostly attracted to the clogged, oily food particles and a cozy atmosphere.
The environment which remains humid, damp air continuously circulates is optimistic for their growth. Additionally, waterlines, water dispensers or the ice maker that remain dirty and unclean for too long are initially their most favorite.
The moisture the refrigerator holds is their basic need. That’s why pink mold can easily get access and build up inside it. Here are the reasons briefly discussing below:
Refrigerator that is dirty and unclean:
If the refrigerator has remained uncleaned for a long time, it will be dusty inside and the debris, presence of food particles will attract the pink mold.
Dusty, oily places are their favorable places to build up and so they typically flourish in places where there is a lot of oily and dirty materials.
The suitable environment:
The environment of the refrigerator meets proper needs of pink molds. As the refrigerator contains food, it mostly remains unclean, oily, which is their favorite place.
The environment of the refrigerator is damp, the humid air circulates well inside, has darkness inside it and thus meets every need that pink mold requires to build up.
Lack of sunlight and air circulation:
The sun exposure and air circulation is fatal for the pink mold and so they take shelter in the dark areas where the sunlight and air can’t reach.
As the refrigerator has to be kept shut, sunlight and air can’t circulate inside it, the place is attractive to them.
Doors are opened for long:
If doors are opened for a long time or too often doors are opened, mold may get access easily into it.
As mold finds the environment ideal, the temperature humid, and finds food sources into it, they easily get attracted and start to build up in it.
Is pink mold in the refrigerator dangerous?
Pink molds are not thought to be dangerous, but they may be if left untreated, which may result in health risks such as puneomia or skin disease or vomiting and diarrhea-like symptoms.
Depending on the position of the infectious disease-producing limit variations, these molds may be found inside the water line or dispenser.
Its fatality also relies on an individual’s immunity, however the elderly and young children are typically regarded as risk groups due to the potential for serious illness.
Pink molds like damp, unclean areas, so if these conditions exist in a refrigerator, they will most likely grow there if there is any clogged ice in the water dispenser or filters, there is an abundance of moist food, or if the water line or dispenser areas are stuck with food.
Pink molds can also spread to other areas if these conditions are not addressed, so if left untreated, they could become harmful.
Mold in the refrigerator’s water line:
Mold infected in waterlines are frequent.
And pink molds, which are harmful if they can grow there, there’ a high risk of getting contact with the water and pose serious health risks of water consumers’ lives in jeopardy.
Mold in the water dispenser of a refrigerator or in the ice maker:
When pink molds start to grow in dispensers or in the ice maker, they can grow very rapidly as they get their highest optimum environment in them. Spores can spread to the surrounding area and if anyone takes ice from the ice maker, this will have harmful effects.
Mold in the refrigerator seal:
Pink molds are less likely to infect humans if they grow in this location because they do not enter the body directly, unlike if they grow in a water dispenser, but they can still be hazardous and should be avoided. However, it’s the initial step to grow mold inside the refrigerator.
How to properly clean it?
It is essential to remove any pink mold that has developed in the refrigerator before it poses a risk to people’s health, even though they are less harmful than other varieties of mold.
The water dispenser or the areas where moist air flows most frequently, such as the sides of filters and condensers, should be sprayed with chlorine, phenol, or glutaraldehyde solution to halt the growth.
Additionally, it is best to apply this disinfectant once a week. It is important to get rid of the pink mold in addition to cleaning the clogged water from the refrigerator.
To avoid it, you must first locate the key areas where the mold has appeared. Then, you can proceed with a preventative strategy that is both efficient and based on those locations.
As food and water are the main sources of the pink molds’ survival in the refrigerator, it is vital to ensure it is clean and check for any food particles that may be lodged inside.
Outside the filter, where filtration occurs constantly, the interior of the refrigerator needs to be cleaned frequently to stop the growth of pink mold.
Removing obstructions from the refrigerator’s water line:
Since pink mold can quickly grow in still water, getting rid of it is the first step. Pour hot water into a sink, add phenol into it to make a powerful disinfectant, and then run the water under the faucet to accomplish this.
Emptying the standing water reduces the possibility of mold growth. Check to see if the refrigerator is already molded or not.
If it is, use this strong chemical mixture with water to spray all the corners to prevent further growth as molds can create spores and remain dormant for much longer.
Use the normal washing detergent:
The laundry detergents are capable of cleaning moldy areas. Though the spot is quite stubborn, it may take a longer period to clean it.
Keep it for a minimum 20 minutes and then scrub it well with a brush or scrubber so that it penetrates well into the affected area. Then again keep it for 5 minutes and wash it off thoroughly.
Use distilled vinegar and baking soda:
You can make a great solution to clean the infected area well and absorb all the distinct and musty smell from the refrigerator. Mix distilled vinegar and baking soda in 1:1 ratio into a gallon of water and sprinkle it inside the infected areas.
Keep it for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with hot water.
Solutions of pink mold in the refrigerator:
As mold mostly thrives in damp areas, oily and clogged leftover food areas you’ve to make sure to clean the areas carefully in order to get rid of them. The thermostat temperature has to be set cautiously. Doors should not open often. Proper air circulation is a must.
Avoid food accumulation inside:
Since food is the source of mold growth, it is important to keep the interior of the refrigerator clean at all times.
Additionally, store less food at a time that contains moisture because this will lead to temperature fluctuations in the refrigerator, which will aid mold’s survival and persistence there.
Adjusting the thermostat temperature to the proper level:
Temperature is important in preventing the growth of pink mold because while certain molds can survive at low temperatures, others cannot since their growth is inhibited by drastically low temperatures.
Therefore, any fluctuating temperature in the freezer might encourage the growth of pink mold, thus if the refrigerator’s thermostat is malfunctioning or the temperature is not set properly, rectify it by lowering the temperature.
Avoid opening doors too often:
Mold gets access easily if the doors remain open for too long or too often. Moreover, air can get stuck into it and attract mold. So, you have to consciously reduce opening it too often.
The refrigerator serves mold with every basic need like moisture, dirt and humidity which initially helps them to grow and build up their colony. But growing mold inside the refrigerator can be harmful for health if it gets in contact with food. So, preventing steps should be taken immediately.