Some might assume that a dishwasher is not a common place for mold to grow and cultivate. This comes from the fact that the machine has a self-cleaning ability which will clean the inside parts after washing your dirty dishes. Sadly, this is not entirely true.
Because of its moist condition, you may find mold in dishwasher that hides between some of the parts, such as in crevices, gasket, and drain seal.
Mold is not the only danger you should be aware of. Other types of fungi, including yeast and mildew, can also grow inside the dishwasher. When this bad thing occurs, there is no choice left other than cleaning and disinfecting your dishwasher before worse things happen.
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A. Health risk of mold in dishwasher
Some types of mold, including those who could live inside your dishwasher, bring an allergic reaction. Symptoms like sneezing, sore throat, even skin rash indicate that you have been affected by mold infestation. Those symptoms also prove that mold can put your health at risk if it is not taken care of immediately.
Moreover, a study conducted by Medical Mycology in 2012 revealed that the presence of black mold in dishwasher leads to a meningitis outbreak. For that reason, you need to be more aware of mold danger which lingers in its presence at your home.
B. What kills mold in the dishwasher?
There are several options of mold killing agents that you can use to clean moldy dishwasher. Some effective solutions include bleach, vinegar, and laundry detergent.
However, if you choose to clean the dishwasher with bleach, there are some important notes to follow. Although bleach is good at cleaning the dishwasher surface, it is not that effective for removing mold in porous parts. Moreover, bleach has a high degree of chemical substance that might be harmful to those who have sensitive skin.
Vinegar and detergent, on the other hand, are considered milder and safer to use. Laundry or dish detergent is even recommended by professionals to clean the dishwasher from mold infestation.
Meanwhile, vinegar is often combined with baking soda to create a great solution which has disinfectant power. The solution is not only effective for killing mold in dishwasher but can destroy any other types of fungi and bacteria as well.
C. How to get mold out of dishwasher
Before getting rid of the mold, you need to know how to clean a dishwasher—especially a filter, in a correct way. The dishwasher filter that is not cleaned correctly will turn to be a growing ground for mold.
To clean the filter, the first thing you need to do is removing it from its place at the bottom part of the dishwasher. Then, simply wash it with dishwashing soap under the warm water. Rinse it properly with hot water before you put it back to its place.
Now, it’s time for cleaning mold out of the dishwasher. As mentioned earlier, you can choose between bleach, detergent, and vinegar (with baking soda) as a cleaning agent.
When it comes to cleaning mold in the dishwasher, bleach can be used in two different ways. First, you can mix one cup of bleach with a liter of water to create a solution. Apply the solution to the interior of the dishwasher using a stiff brush or a toothbrush. Scrub thoroughly until the narrow parts.
Another way is by putting a bowl of bleach at the bottom part of the dishwasher. Then, run the dishwasher on a full cycle and let the chemical substance clean the interior as the machine works.
Note that bleach cannot be used in a dishwasher with stainless steel interior. Moreover, if you use bleach to clean the mold, make sure to provide enough ventilation in the room. You may also need to wear rubber gloves for protection when diluting bleach with water.
2. Removing mold with a dish or laundry detergent
You can use detergent to clean the racks, the interior, as well as some small parts of the dishwasher by following several steps below.
- Mix detergent and water to create a soapy solution.
- Remove the racks, the rotor, and the drain strainer from the dishwasher.
- Use the solution to clean all the parts in the sink. With the sponge, make sure you scrub harder on the area which is covered with mold. Rinse them, and let them dry.
- While waiting for the parts to dry, scrub the interior of the dishwasher with a brush. Use a toothbrush to reach narrow parts such as drain seal and the door gasket.
- Wait for a few minutes before putting all parts back into the dishwasher.
Besides cleaning mold from the dishwasher, the detergent is also useful in preventing mold from coming back.
Vinegar and baking soda make a great combination for cleaning mold in the dishwasher, even though they are used separately. Vinegar, in particular, is not only effective in removing mold but can also clean mildew in the dishwasher.
To begin with, put a bowl of vinegar on the top rack. Then, run the machine with a hot-water cycle. Take the cup out of the dishwasher once the washing cycle is done.
After that, sprinkle baking soda over the bottom part. Run the machine once again, and brush any remaining mold using a toothbrush when the cleaning process is finished.
D. How to prevent mold from growing back in dishwasher
Cleaning mold out of dishwasher is not enough. You also need to keep your dishwasher spotless, so that the mold has no chance to come back. Regular cleaning is highly advisable. Clean the interior and all parts separately using dish soap or detergent.
Alternatively, you can clean the dishwasher by running the cycle while the racks are empty. Use a chlorine-based detergent for better and cleaner result.
In conclusion, you need to get rid of mold in dishwasher immediately before it spreads into a larger area and puts your health at risk. Whichever mold killing agent you choose to clean the moldy dishwasher, make sure to follow the correct cleaning procedure. Therefore, you will get the best result while bidding farewell to the mold.