How To Clean a Moldy Dishwasher

Mold is one of the most frequent issues in dishwashers. Here’s how to detect mold growth, remove it safely, and prevent mold from returning.

Fortunately, the invention of the dishwasher has saved us all a lot of time and effort! I enjoy spending time in the kitchen, except for when it comes to cleaning up.

It’s easy to take a dishwasher for granted, but they need care and attention as well. In particular, your dishwasher is most likely warm and full of wet dishes or dampness from a previous cycle.

A breeding ground for germs, fungus, mildew, and other unpleasant problems. Here’s how to tell if your dishwasher is moldy and what to do about it.

How to Recognize Mold in Your Dishwasher

There is almost certainly mold in your dishwasher. According to Medical Mycology Research, 62 percent of dishwashers on six continents contained fungus; some were dangerous while others were harmless.

The strong, often musty scent and visible mold indicators are signs that your dishwasher requires immediate cleaning.

What Is the Mold’s Source?

The dishwasher is a dark, hot, humid environment that’s ideal for fungus development. Furthermore, many kinds of fungus can survive going through the wash cycle on high heat.

Mold thrives in damp places, such as cracks and rubber components, including door seals and drain covers.

How to Clean an Infested Dishwasher

What is the best way to clean up mold? A light scrubbing with soapy water is all it takes. Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the racks, rotor, and drain strainer (if they come out) and clean them in the sink.
  • Use a toothbrush or a bottle brush to clean the dishwasher thoroughly, paying particular attention to rubber and plastic components.
  • Scrub the drain opening and the seal around the door, making sure to lift it back to clean beneath it.
  • Finally, use a damp sponge to clean up any issues on the sides.

After the mold has been removed, the dishwasher should be disinfected. Bleach is a powerful disinfectant, but its aggressiveness isn’t great for dishwashers.

Instead, choose vinegar, which will destroy the majority of germs and mold spores. (Vinegar is one of our favorite home cleaning products because it’s so versatile.) Fill a cup with distilled white vinegar and set it on the top rack of the dishwasher.

How to Prevent Mold in Your Dishwasher

It might be useful to leave your dishwasher door a crack open to discourage mold formation; keeping it open rather than shut completely eliminated the odor when my dishwasher had an everyday funk smell.

If you don’t shut the dishwasher drawer properly, it might fall open if not latched. This can be dangerous for children or pets around it.

If that’s the case, leave the dishwasher open for an hour or so after emptying a clean cycle of plates. This helps to dry out the dishwasher completely, making it more difficult for mold to form.

How do you clean a dishwasher out that has black stuff in it?

A simple DIY approach is to run the dishwasher regularly with a little bit of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar for a fast yet thorough clean. The vinegar will aid in the removal of any noxious odors and blockages in the drains caused by the black residue.

Is a moldy dishwasher safe?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Mold can survive all of the dishwasher’s cycles – detergents, high temperatures, and everything else. Furthermore, most dishwashing detergents include salt, which encourages yeasts and black mold to grow.

Why is my dishwasher growing mold?

Moisture accumulates in the door gasket during a regular wash cycle, but it isn’t removed. Food particles, dirt, and other debris become moist, then mold develops. After each use, clean the gasket out. If mold is a persistent problem, you may need to dry the gasket after each usage.

What causes black gunk in a dishwasher?

Food waste inside the machine is at the core of the slime and stench in the dishwasher. Food particles attract mold and germs, which combine to produce a foul odor.

Decaying food and slimy mold may have a black appearance, although it can also be dark green or brown in color.

How do you clean the inside of a dirty dishwasher?

Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with 1 cup vinegar and place it on the bottom of the empty dishwasher. Set the machine to perform a hot water wash. The vinegar will dissolve any remaining food particles, grease, soap scum, residue, and other leftover dirt.

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