Mold in a dishwasher? No one really expects that. If you are like most people out there, you probably assume that whenever your dishwasher runs a cycle, it naturally cleans itself too. However, as tempting, t is to believe that, it is not really true. In fact, you have to see your dishwasher in a different way – a dark place with lots of moisture and food remains. It is the ideal environment for bacteria and fungi.
At this point, learning how to clean a moldy dishwasher becomes your top priority. Unfortunately, most people never bother to prevent mold or learn how to clean the dishwasher until they actually face a problem. This is when they try to figure out ways to overcome the situation. What do you do if you find yourself in this situation then? What kind of options do you have?
Causes of mold inside a dishwasher
Clean dishwashers are less likely to experience such problems, which makes it quite obvious – regular cleanups will prevent the apparition of mold, bacteria, fungi and rotten smells from food trapped in the filter.
Generally speaking, fungi and bacteria do not come with too many requirements. So, what do they need? A bit of darkness, some moisture, lots of heat and organic matter – in this case, food leftovers around the dishwasher or the filter. It sounds funny, but your clean dishwasher checks each box, so it is not really that clean. In fact, mold is relatively common in such appliances.
It sounds a bit weird – what about the detergent? How about some chemicals? What about the high temperatures? None of these things will work against bacteria and fungi. Mold is so resistant that it can easily go through all the stages of a cycle without experiencing any issues whatsoever.
Plus, the hot water stimulates the mold growth. Detergents are also rich in salt and yeasts, which make a great breeding ground for mold. You may not be aware of it, but there are more species of mold and each of them has its own characteristics. Some of them like food, while others prefer seals and rubber.
Effects of mold in your dishwasher
Learning how to clean a dishwasher involves understanding the effects of the first. If mold was alright – healthy and good for you, you would not really care. But then, allowing it to thrive inside your house will put you and your family members in a dangerous situation.
There are people out there with an obvious sensitivity to mold. The mold exposure can bring in a plethora of affections and symptoms, including skin irritations, coughing, stuffed nose, eye, nd throat irritations. All these reactions can become quite problematic if you are allergic to mold.
Some people are more exposed than others when it comes to the risks. For example, elders are fragile, as well as children. Those with a low immune system is also at risk, hence the necessity to keep the dishwasher clean.
Is there anyone suffering from a lung affection in your household? Constant exposure to mold will cause serious affections in the long run. Diabetics should also keep mold under control, not to mention those under antibiotic treatment.
Simply put, there are a lot of high-risk groups out there. Unless you are a healthy individual and you live by yourself, chances are you have someone in this group in your house, be it your parents or your kids. Even if you are healthy, the constant exposure can bring in long-term allergies. Bottom line, say no to mold and do whatever you can to get rid of it.
Common mistakes when cleaning the dishwasher
Now that you know that mold is terrible regardless of the situation, you have to know how to get rid of it. There are a few steps you have to go through – three things that can tackle and prevent mold. First, you have to disinfect. Second, you need to clean. Third, keep the area ventilated.
Under no circumstances should you ever use bleach. Even if you mix it in a cleaning cycle, it is a bad idea. Sure, bleach is often rated among the most efficient mold killers, but it is not that good for your dishwasher. It is caustic and will affect your health, as well as certain parts of your dishwasher.
Bleach will also affect heating probes, so the cleaning performance will be dramatically removed. Dishes will be relatively wet or at least covered in droplets, creating the perfect environment for even more gold, so stay away from it.
What options do you have then?
How to get rid of mold in your dishwasher
Baking soda and white vinegar are your best friends when trying to eliminate mold. A bit of soapy water will not do too much – you can use it to clean the top rank or the kitchen sink, but this is it. Instead, vinegar and baking soda mixed together will provide great results. Simply mix the two ingredients until you come up with a paste.
Not only is this paste safe to use for the dishwasher, but it is also safe for you. It is just as efficient at killing mold and bacteria. For instance, vinegar is so efficient that it will clear 99% of the bacteria in the dishwasher, as well as over 80% of all the mold species.
Throw the ingredients in a cup and stir until you get the foamy paste. Get a scrubbing brush and get to work. Scrub everything and focus on small cracks though. Look at every crevice and focus on hardly accessible areas. A toothbrush will also help in the process. At the same time, you should get rid of all the food leftovers – including the remains in your filter.
Once you are done, you have to rinse. Spray vinegar inside everything and run a cycle. You can also pour a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run the cycle. Let the dishwasher dry thoroughly once you are done.
Frequently asked questions
Learning how to clean a moldy dishwasher will inevitably bring in a few questions too, especially if you had no clue about mold in dishwashers.
Is mold in your dishwasher dangerous?
Yes, it is. It makes no difference if you are healthy or you already suffer from various affections. The exposure will negatively affect your quality of life.
Why is mold growing in my dishwasher?
Mold needs darkness, warmth, moisture and some food remains. Your dishwasher is the perfect environment for the apparition and growth of mold.
Can you run bleach through a dishwasher to clean it?
You can, but you should never do it. Bleach will damage parts of the dishwasher. While it will kill mold in the first place, it will also create an even better environment for it. Simply put, stay away from bleach.
What is the best way to clean the inside of a dishwasher?
You will have to do it manually. Vinegar and baking soda are safe for yourself and your appliance. They are efficient against fungi and bacteria, as well as inexpensive.
As a short final conclusion, you do not have to be a genius to learn how to clean mold off your dishwasher. Procedures are simple and inexpensive – there are a few things to do, as well as a few things to avoid. You need to remember that cleaning must be done on a regular basis – you should try to prevent the mold, rather than deal with it every now and then.