How to Prevent and Clean Mold out of Your Dishwasher?

The dishwasher relieves the stress by washing a large number of dirty dishes within a few minutes. But if it caught the mold, it could be more frustrating than relieving. According to a study, 62% of dishwashers worldwide showed fungal growth. You shouldn’t be surprised if your dishwasher caught mold because it is becoming a common problem.

Mold can cause serious health issues and ruins your kitchen utensils. Thus, it’s mandatory to keep your dishwasher mold-free for your safety. But before going to the mold cleaning and its prevention, you must know what your dishwasher looks like after mold growth.

Signs of mold appearance on the dishwasher

Mold is a type of fungi having a filamentous structure. Molds prefer dark, warm and damp places for their survival. Their spores are found everywhere in the air and are invisible. So, it’s hard to predict when the mold will attack your dishwasher. You will only know when you will see visible moldy growth in your dishwasher.

Before cleaning your dishwasher, you should be sure of moldy growth. Following signs will help you recognize mold growth in the dishwasher.

  • Often black and grey
  • Velvety and fluffy in texture
  • A strong and musty odor

One type of mold can invite other mold types to grow, so the color of the moldy appearance in the dishwasher could be changed with time.

Also see:

Aluminum changed color in Dishwasher – Reasons and Precautions

How to clean mold out of the dishwasher?

The dishwasher is supposed to clean your dirty dishes and help in their cleaning. Mold growth can badly affect your dishwasher’s functionality. Thus, you must clean the mold growth out of your dishwasher to keep it safe and sanitized to perform its function well. You can get rid of molds from your dishwasher by following easy steps.

1. Use soapy water for racks and trays

Start cleaning a dishwasher having mold growth by removing all racks and baskets out of the dishwasher. Take a good dishwashing soap and mix it into warm water. Then use this warm soapy water to clean racks, baskets, and silver-wear trays. After washing and cleaning, set them aside to dry.

2. Thorough cleaning with vinegar

Take a spray bottle and add two cups of warm water to it. Also, add half a cup of white vinegar into the spray bottle. Apply this mixture through a spray bottle to all the moldy growth areas of your dishwasher. Also, spray at the cervices and seals where you doubt mold can grow.

Take a brush or sponge to scrub the moldy growth from the inner side of the dishwasher. Scrub gently but never forget to clean the spinning arms and openings. Then rinse the dishwasher with warm water.

Vinegar cleaning

3. Wash cycle with high temperature

Place the trays, racks, and baskets in the dishwasher again after their drying up. Take two cups of vinegar into a container or bowl. Your vinegar container should be dishwasher-safe. Place it onto the top rack of the dishwasher.

After placing the vinegar container, set the dishwasher to the full wash cycle. And, also turn on the highest heating temperature. Turn on the dishwasher to start the wash cycle.

4. Use baking soda

Baking soda is equally effective in removing mold growth, just like vinegar. It is also great in tackling foul odors. After the first full wash cycle, it’s time for further cleaning. Take one cup of baking soda and sprinkle it into the base and walls of the dishwasher. Again turn on the wash cycle with maximum heating temperature.

Baking soda will kill mold spores if left any after vinegar application. Let the dishwasher dry thoroughly before making it functional again.

Sprinkle baking soda

Prevent mold buildup on the dishwasher

It’s a wise saying that prevention is always better than cure. That’s why; preventive measures for building up mold in the dishwasher are always useful. Follow the given useful tips to prevent mold growth in your dishwashers.

Keep the gasket sanitized

Molds prefer dark and damp places for their survival and growth. The gasket is made up of rubber and is found in the inner door of the dishwasher. It is the perfect place for mold to hide and grow. After a few weeks, you should sanitize the gasket of your dishwasher. Scrubbing with warm soapy water would be helpful. You can also use a water and vinegar mixture for more effective cleaning.

After cleaning, always dry it up with a clean towel. Dampness will invite molds and mildews to grow.

Clear your dishwasher filter

Food particles and debris collect over into the dishwasher over time. The stuck food particles start rotting and provide mold a place to live. So the water coming out of this filter will cause moldy growth all over your dishwasher. Thus, proper filter cleaning is necessary to avoid fungal growth.

Clean out your filter after at least one week. Besides this, perform a thorough cleaning of dishwasher filer with warm soapy water once a month.

Baking soda and vinegar cleaning

Baking soda and vinegar have exceptional anti-fungal properties. These home ingredients are safe to use in the dishwasher and readily available. At least once a month, spray the mixture of baking soda, water, and vinegar to the dishwasher. After that, run a full wash cycle at the highest possible temperature.

You can also perform this cleaning by keeping a bowl of vinegar in the dishwasher rack and running the wash cycle. After that, sprinkle baking soda into the dishwasher and rerun the wash cycle. This step would eliminate mold spores if hiding anywhere in your dishwasher.

before and after cleaning

Keep your dishwasher dry

Fungus always grows in damp and moist places. A dishwasher remains in use daily, so you should air-dry your dishwasher after every wash cycle. For this purpose, the dishwasher door should be open while drying up the dishes. You have to keep your dishwasher completely air dry between each wash cycle.

Final Words

A dishwasher is always dark and damp, inviting mold growth more frequently. But, with good cleaning practices, you can remove the mold growth from your dishwasher. Preventive measures would be beneficial in keeping your dishwasher mold-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can my dishwasher kill mold on dishes?

The answer is no. Molds survive at temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The general wash cycle has a minimum of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. So, to kill molds, you will have to run the wash cycle with the highest possible temperature, more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. How to kill mold spores from a stainless steel dishwasher?

To kill mold spores from stainless steel dishwashers, you need to take a paper towel soak with vinegar. Put this paper towel on moldy spores and let it leave for 10 minutes. After that, rinse the dishwasher with warm water.

3. Can black mold grow in a dishwasher?

Yes, black mold can grow in your dishwasher. It is a thermophilic or heat-loving mold. The rubber seals of gaskets are the perfect places for a black mold to grow and thrive.

4. Is it safe to use a dishwasher with mold?

No. A mold can live up to dishwasher temperatures, detergents, and everything. If you do not remove the mold from your dishwasher, it will also spoil your dishes and create serious health problems.


  • Stephen Powers

    Appliance repair guy from Washington. I am majorly experienced in dishwashers, water filters and refrigerators, AMA on my twitter account.

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