How can I prevent mold and condensation inside my wine refrigerator?

A wine refrigerator is designed to create the perfect environment for the proper storage of your favorites wines. Unfortunately, this also happens to be a great environment in which mold or mildew can grow and if not properly controlled, can become a pesky problem.  Many factors contribute to mold growth, however by far the biggest contributor is moisture in the form of humidity.  As such, wine refrigerators that are operated in more humid climates often need to be tended to more closely and properly maintained to prevent a mold problem from occurring.  One of the easiest steps that can be taken to control humidity levels inside your wine refrigerator is to minimize the number of times the door is opened and closed in order to prevent warmer, moist air from entering the unit.  Additionally, periodic cleaning of the interior walls, shelving and door seal can kills or remove any mold spores from growing.  This should be considered as a basic, recurring maintenance task to keep your wine refrigerator working properly.

Mold prevention and/or elimination is a two-prong approach and includes proper cleaning of surfaces areas and by way of moisture absorption products to avoid condensation buildup.

Cleaning solution options:

Prior to cleaning, remove all wine and other stored contents from the wine refrigerator and temporarily store in a cool dark place.  It is recommended that you unplug the unit prior to cleaning.  

Bleach / Water Solution: Mix 1 parts bleach with 10 parts water.  Using the solution, wipe down interior surfaces including the door seal.  If your wine refrigerator contains wood shelves or wood trimmed shelves, please spot check for color fastness prior to cleaning.  After using the bleach / water solution, use a clean, dry towel to wipe down all surfaces until dry.  WARNING: When using bleach, please ensure there is adequate ventilation to avoid exposure to toxic fumes. 

Vinegar / Water Solution: Mix 1 part white distilled vinegar with 1 part water (50/50 mix). Wipe down interior surfaces including the door seal.  Once done, use a clean, dry towel to wipe down all surfaces until dry.  PLEASE NOTE: Porous surfaces such as wooden shelves or wood trimmed shelves may absorb a small amount of the vinegar solution and leave behind a non-desirable odor.  Over time the odor should dissipate.  

Baking Soda: Mix 1 parts baking soda with 2 parts water.  Mix until baking soda is thoroughly dissolved into the water.  Wipe down interior surfaces including the door seal. Once done, use a clean, dry towel to wipe down all surfaces until dry.  Please pay close attention to porous surfaces such as wooden shelves or wood trimmed shelves.  These surfaces may absorb trace amounts of the dissolved baking sods solution and when dry, may leave a white haze.  If needed, wipe down with a clean, slightly damp towel to remove.

Borax: Mix 1 parts Borax powder, with 16 parts water (1 tablespoon per 1 cup of water).  Mix until borax is thoroughly dissolved into the water.  Wipe down interior surfaces including the door seal.  Using a clean, dry towel, wipe down all surfaces until dry.  Please pay close attention to porous surfaces such as wooden shelves or wood trimmed shelves.  These surfaces may absorb trace amounts of the dissolved baking soda solution and when dry, may leave a white haze. If needed, wipe down with a clean, slightly damp towel to remove.

Moisture absorption options: 

Baking Soda: Baking soda is naturally moisture absorbent.  Placing an appropriately sized container of baking soda inside the wine refrigerator will work to absorb moisture that remains inside the unit when the door is closed. The baking soda should be changed periodically.

Silica Gel Desiccant: Silica gel, most commonly found in its hardened 'bead' form, is an effective method to control humidity in closed environments.  Silica gel is a synthetically manufactured form of silicon dioxide.  Silica gel desiccant packets are readily available for purchase online and in stores.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use.

Clay Desiccant: Made from highly absorbent natural material, clay desiccant works in the same manner as silica gel and is available for purchase online and in stores. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use.

 

 

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