What Causes Mold On Refrigerator Door Seals?

Mold on refrigerator door seals is more common than you would expect, but what causes mold on refrigerator door seals in the first place and what can you do about it?

Mold in the door seal is usually due to condensing water as cold air escapes the fridge and warm air enters. This exchange of air occurs when the door is open, but can also be caused by a damaged seal in some cases. Mold can also form simply due to unclean seals that haven’t been cleaned in a long time.

In the rest of this article, we will explore the reasons for mold growth in refrigerator door seals, how you can prevent it, and some tips for cleaning mold before it spreads around other areas of your fridge.

Let’s get straight into it.

Top Reasons For Mold Growth In Refrigerator Door Seals

Mold growth can happen just about anywhere in a refrigerator, even in unsuspected areas such as the door seals or the water dispensers.

Understanding the reasons for mold growth in the first place can help you understand how to prevent it in the future, so let’s look at the most common reasons for it.

Condensing Air

The point of a refrigerator door seal, or gasket, is to prevent warm air outside from entering the fridge.

If warm air does enter, either through opening the door or if there is a small leak in the seal, it will condense as it cools down during contact with the seal and cold air inside.

Refrigerator seals are not cleaned very often, and so a small amount of water can quickly lead to mold growth if left unchecked for a period of time. Combine this with the fact that the seal receives very little light when the door is shut and you have a recipe for mold growth.


The other more obvious reason for mold growth is simply that the seal is unclean.

It is almost guaranteed that small particles of food will end up on the seal over time as food is passed in and out of the fridge, and this can provide key nutrition for mold growth.

Cleaning the seal is not a priority for most people, and so if it is left unclean then mold will eventually grow without you even realising.

Can The Mold Spread From The Door Seals?

Mold within the seals can spread rapidly to other areas of the fridge, due to the airborne spores that are circulated inside.

In practical terms, if you have noticed a considerable amount of mold on your fridge seal it’s almost guaranteed to be in other areas of your fridge as well.

How Can You Spot The Mold?

Mold is pretty tricky to spot in its early stages, but it can usually be seen as tiny black spots.

How To Prevent Mold Growth In Refrigerator Door Seals

Luckily, preventing mold growth in refrigerator seals is super easy, it just requires a bit of effort.

Wipe Down Condensation

If you notice condensation on your door seal, wipe it down with a cloth as soon as you can.

The less moisture there is, the lower the chances that mold will begin to grow on the surface.

Clean Regularly

A regular cleaning schedule for a ridge should involve cleaning the seal, but it is often left out as people don’t realise that it also needs to be cleaned regularly.

It is understandable – the seal is barely noticeable anyway – but you need to prioritise cleaning it if you haven’t before. We’ll get into the exact cleaning steps a little later in this article to figure out how to remove the mold entirely and safely.

Replace The Seal If It Is Damaged

If your seal becomes damaged it can cause problems not only for the seal itself but the rest of the fridge.

A damaged seal will cause the fridge to leak cold air, which can increase the workload on the compressor. This means your fridge will use more power and likely have a shorter life expectancy.

How To Clean Mold In Refrigerator Door Seals

We’ve listed 2 options below that both use common household cleaning agents.

You will have to clean your seal by hand as they cannot be put into a dishwasher, so make sure to wear a mask, gloves and goggles to reduce the exposure to the mold.

Dish Soap

Dish soap is effective at removing mold – and to create the solution you simply need to mix warm water with a few drops of the soap as required.

Take a dish cloth and wipe down the seal using the soap solution, rinsing regularly until all of the mold is gone. Afterwards, use an old toothbrush to clean between the gap of the seal and fridge door, again rinsing in the dish soap solution.

Wipe the seal dry with an old rag or towel and you’re good to go.

Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is another cleaning agent that is effective at killing mold.

For better effectiveness, do not dilute the vinegar with water and apply it directly using a dishcloth to the mold. Wipe the surface, rinsing regularly as before and then use an old toothbrush to clean any gaps.

Wipe dry, again, and you are done.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have a good understanding of what causes mold on refrigerator door seals from reading this article.

Remember to check your seals regularly for any signs of mold growth, and clean them properly every so often to prevent any mold growth in the future. Mold can quickly spread from the seal to the rest of your refrigerator, so checking for mold should be something that you do regularly.