Cleaning tips: Don't forget the seal of the fridge door!

(Design: JQ Ong/ The Association)

It's no surprise if you left this spot out of your cleaning routine, because you don't even notice it that much on a daily basis!

I have been cleaning my refrigerator every week, but never bothered to look at the seal around the door.

One day, I happened to look and was horrified to find black mould lurking within the folds of the seal. I checked the top of the door and it was black with mould too.


But it is easy to clean off that gunk if you do it regularly, every week, during fridge-cleaning time.

All you need is baking soda, vinegar, a toothbrush and a piece of cloth.

So I bought myself a supply of baking soda, which I now use not for baking but for cleaning purposes.

It is great for cleaning, especially when you do not want harmful chemicals contaminating the areas being cleaned, such as kitchen surfaces.

For the fridge seal, I used two parts of baking soda to one part of coarse salt, added about a tablespoon of white vinegar and then mixed everything into a paste.

This paste is effective and harmless, unlike those creamy bleach cleansers, which will eat into the rubber seal over time.

Then I used an old toothbrush to apply this paste along the seal, scrubbing well into the folds.

You have to pull the folds open to get into them. Then wipe them well with a damp cloth.

I cut small pieces of rags to use for this purpose and discard them after use because that is more hygienic than trying to wash them.

By the way, do not forget to clean the bottom and top edges of the fridge. You may need a stool to reach the top.

Also, do not forget the outside of the fridge door and the handle - germs can multiply here if left unchecked.

When you are cleaning the seal for the first time, the process may take some effort, depending on the amount of mould found in its folds. As long as you clean it regularly after that, your future attempts will be easier.

While you are at it, make a more dilute solution - two teaspoons of baking of soda for every litre of warm water.

Use this to wipe the inside of the fridge. Now you have a spanking clean fridge.

(First published in Mind Your Body, The Straits Times)