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What will keep mold out of my cooler while in storage?
By Chris from Williamstown, NJ
Wipe out cooler with bleach water, and store open. After you are sure it's dry, cover open area with old sheet, that sort of breathable cloth to keep out dust.
I have never had mold in a stored cooler. I just make sure it is completely dry after washing it out, and then shut the lid and put it away. I have never had any place that I could store a cooler with the lid open, I usually end up having to set something on top of it.
I have not had a problem with mold in our cooler before. I would clean it thoroughly before putting it away and make sure it is totally dry inside. Store it without the lid or the lid slightly ajar if you can.
I have also heard on other things to wipe it down with a vinegar/water solution and then let that dry without rinsing off. But you want to make sure it is totally dry inside afterward.
I would think if you are storing it with the lid on the seal should be pretty tight but maybe consider storing the cooler in another location if you are keeping it in damp or humid area possibly.
I have heard of putting either chalk or those little dessicant packets that come in vitamin bottles that say "do not eat" inside of toolboxes to keep moisture out but not sure if it is applicable to a cooler or not.
And all of these solutions mentioned may or may not be suitable depending on what your cooler is made of...styrofoam? metal? plastic??
- high humidity (70%)
- high temps (mid 70s)
- stagnant, non-moving air (no circulation)
- particles of food, paper, dust,
I have never had mold in a cooler, but I put a couple of tablespoons of dry coffee in a brown paper bag, tape the bag closed and leave it in the cooler. This keeps it from smelling musty. This is also a good tip for refrigerators you are moving or leaving unplugged for any length of time. A moving van driver gave me this tip years ago.
It is likely damp or food particles that are encouraging mold growth. Make sure it is dry and clean; I leave it sit open a couple of days before I put it away in storage for a long time. You can use those packs of desiccant or charcoal to absorb moisture when it is packed away with the lid on, or leave the lid propped open.
Pull the plug out so air can get into the cooler when you put it away.
Dry it very well and store it with newspaper in it. The more black ink on the newspaper, the better. Also crumple the newspaper rather than just sticking it in flat-folded. This will keep it smelling 'fresh' for the next use.
Do all the above- drying completely and storing with lip proped open. you can also put a container of dry charcoal bricketts with some epson salt in there.
Ditto with storing with lid off.
Thanks Everyone! I'm going to try some of your suggestions. This was one of those plug in coolers that we bought when my hubby was driving over the road. It has come in handy now that he is off the road at several parties to hold extra salads and such that need to be kept cold. I'm guessing that someone left it damp and put it away without cleaning and drying first. I used some bleach/water and then some vinegar/water, let dry and now to storage until the next party. Thanks again!