Found Mold in Your Dishwasher? Here's What the Fort Worth Experts Say to Do.
When we think about dishwasher appliances we think clean and sanitary. We trust it to do a better job than handwashing.
The truth is, a dishwasher is the perfect place for mold to grow. Steam from the humidity, ample moisture from the water cycle, darkness, and food particles are everything mold spores need to thrive.
So, why is there mold in your dishwasher? Wouldn’t a hot drying cycle and potent detergents kill off microbes? Not exactly. Mold can live through repeated dishwashing cycles. Mold likes the heat the dishwasher gives off and the detergent may be an unintended food source for the mold.
Mold is an unwelcome guest in your cleaning apparatuses. You wouldn’t want it anywhere around items you want to be sanitary, so you should be aware and proactive to keep mold in a dishwasher at bay.
At SERVPRO in Fort Worth, we are the mold experts. We’ll show you what to do when you discover you have a moldy dishwasher.
Why Is There Mold in My Dishwasher?
Mold makes its presence known with a pungent and musty smell or dark mold spots appear.
A dishwasher has all the right conditions for mold growth. This environment collects bits of food, is dark, warm, and has ample moisture.
Mold likes to grow on food that is left near the drain area and hides in places like crevices and rubber parts. To be specific, these areas are seals around the door, drain covers, and gaskets.
Mold spores end up trapped inside the dishwasher and make themselves at home in its Goldilocks environment.
Common Causes of a Moldy Dishwasher
The design that keeps water inside for the cleaning process is also a primary factor in mold growth. For the water to stay inside the dishwasher, the door must be sealed, and because it’s sealed off, it doesn’t get adequate ventilation.
Airflow is needed to keep mold spores from settling. Once the mold spores are trapped in the apparatus, there is the opportunity for mold to grow.
Clogged drains, leaks around hoses, and a lack of cleaning care also contribute to mold growth.
Dishwashers are designed to clean, not all are self-cleaning. Just like a clothes washer, they need regular cleaning.
How to Get Rid of Mold in Your Dishwasher
An appliance that is intended to keep things clean should also be kept clean. When you see mold spots or an odor indicates mildew is in the dishwasher, it’s due for a cleaning. Here is how to clean mold in the dishwasher.
Note: Bleach is commonly used to clean mold, but it’s not appropriate for cleaning the dishwasher (because it can damage the parts). We recommend you opt for vinegar or soap and water when cleaning a moldy dishwasher. Lemon juice works well as a deodorizer.
- Pull out the removable parts: racks, utensils holder, drain strainer, rotor, etc. (anything that is designed to be removed from the inside). Clean them with hot, soapy water, rinse, and air dry.
- Next, scrub the inside of the dishwasher (especially hiding places for molds such as the drain opening, rubber seals, crevices, and the seal around the door). Vinegar mixed with hot water and toothbrush works well for scrubbing these areas.
- Wipe down the sides with a sponge or rag soaked in the vinegar/hot water mixture.
- Run the dishwasher empty for a complete cleaning cycle either using a bowl of vinegar placed in the top rack or a product intended for dishwasher cleaning.
- Once the cycle is complete, leave the dishwasher open to dry completely.
- Recheck the areas for mold. If you see any mold left, spot clean it with hot water and vinegar. If you do end up doing some touch-up cleaning, allow these areas to dry completely as well.
- Enjoy your sparkling clean dishwasher!
Dishwashers for home-use are fairly easy to clean, however, if you have an industrial-sized dishwasher this process won’t apply. You may need professional cleaning and SERVPRO is always available for commercial cleaning services in Fort Worth.
How to Prevent Mold From Returning
Because the dishwasher is an ideal habitat for mold, homeowners need to be proactive to prevent mold growth. Here are some tips on how to avoid mold in the dishwasher.
- Thoroughly clean the dishwasher monthly. Don’t wait for mold to show up for it to be cleaned and maintain a cleaning schedule.
- Periodically check those trouble spots for mold growth such as the crevices, rubber parts, and seal around the door.
- Remove food particles from collection areas between uses (such as the drain area).
- Keep the dishwasher slightly open between uses. This allows for ventilation.
- Run your garbage disposal before you run the dishwasher. Most dishwashers use the same drain as the garbage disposal.
- Make regular use of any self-cleaning features the dishwasher has such as a sanitization cycle.
- Address high-humidity issues in the kitchen with a dehumidifier or added ventilation.
Mold needs the right conditions to thrive. When you mitigate these conditions, mold doesn’t have an opportunity to grow.
Reach Out to Our SERVPRO Fort Worth Mold Remediation Specialists
Keeping up with mold can be a real chore, especially when you have an industrial-sized dishwasher for foodservice. SERVPRO offers professional Fort Worth Commercial Mold Removal services to keep your dishwashing systems as clean as can be!
We’re also here to help homeowners with appliance cleaning when you don’t have the time or are experiencing challenges with cleaning it.
Reach out to the experts at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills for Fort Worth mold remediation and set up a free consultation about your mold in dishwasher issues. We’re here to answer the call 24/7 at (817) 589-1499 or fill out our convenient contact form.