Mold in Dishwasher? 5 Easy & Fast Ways To Fix The Problem

Is mold growing in your dishwasher? If yes, then you should be concerned. Mold growth is a common problem in dishwashers, leading to foul odors and potentially harmful bacteria.

Repairing a moldy dishwasher is not often simple, but that is not the case for you.  Because in this article, you’ll find easy and effective ways to fix a moldy dishwasher quickly.

In this guide, we won’t just jump into teaching you how to fix a moldy dishwasher without giving you the reasons behind it; that’s why we’ll discuss the causes of mold growth in dishwashers.

By following the tips or steps you’ll find in this guide, you will need to get rid of mold in your dishwasher and ensure that it’s clean and safe to use.

Why is there Mold in the Dishwasher?

Mold growing in the dishwasher is a frustrating problem for many homeowners. One, it’s unsightly, and two, it can cause health problems if left unattended.

But why does mold grow in dishwashers in the first place? In this section, we’ll cover all of that. 

Continue reading to learn about the causes of mold growth in dishwashers.

1. Poor Cleaning Habits

Not cleaning your dishwasher regularly can cause mold to grow in your dishwasher. It is one of the primary reasons for many homeowners’ mold growth in dishwashers.

When you use the dishwasher to clean dishes, leftover food particles, grease, and other particles are often left behind in the dishwasher, and they can serve as a perfect breeding ground for mold spores.

In addition, the warm and damp environment of the dishwasher, together with food debris, creates an ideal breeding ground for mold.

You can prevent the growth of mold in the future by regularly cleaning the dishwasher using hot water and mild detergent.

2. Standing Water

Another common cause of mold growth in dishwashers is standing water.

The dishwasher isn’t originally designed to hold stagnant water, but that can happen when the dishwasher isn’t draining correctly or there’s a clog in the drainage system.

The stagnant water in the dishwasher can become a breeding ground for mold. Hence, it’s essential always to ensure that your dishwasher’s drainage system works fine and that there are no clogs or blockages.

3. Humidity

Humidity is another important factor contributing to mold growth in dishwasher dishes.

If the kitchen or the room where the dishwasher is kept is humid, it can increase the moisture level in the dishwasher, making it easy for mold to grow.

Suppose mold grows in your dishwasher due to humidity.

In that case, you can easily resolve it by installing a dehumidifier in your kitchen or the room where the dishwasher is kept reducing the humidity and prevent mold growth in your dishwasher.

4. Faulty Seal

Do you know that the door seal of your dishwasher can be the reason behind mold growth in your dishwasher? Well, now you do.

This happens because, over time, the seal becomes worn or damaged, and that defect will allow moisture into the dishwasher, creating a perfect environment for mold to grow.

You can prevent mold growth by inspecting the door seal regularly and replacing it if you notice any defect.

5. Poor Ventilation

Poor ventilation in the kitchen can also lead to mold growth in kitchen appliances, such as a dishwasher.

If the airflow in your kitchen isn’t adequate, it can increase the humidity level, making mold easy to grow.

In this case, installing a fan or range hood in the kitchen will help improve ventilation and reduce the risk of mold developing in your dishwasher.

6. Infrequent Use

If you don’t use your dishwasher regularly, it can cause mold to grow in them. This is because moisture will be able to accumulate in the dishwasher, and as you already know, a moist environment is perfect for mold growth.

Hence, it’s essential to run your dishwasher regularly, even when it’s not full, to prevent the growth of mold in it.

How to Remove Mold in Dishwasher

Mold is a common dishwasher problem that can be fixed by following simple steps. Here’s how:

1. Identify the Cause of the Mold

When it comes to fixing mold in dishwashers, the first thing anyone should do is identify the cause of the problem.

Why? Because the reasons behind dishwasher mold growth are numerous, and if you don’t tackle the problem at its roots, it’ll only return to haunt you again.

Hence, it’s essential to first identify the cause before taking the necessary steps to prevent the mold from returning.

2. Clean the Dishwasher

After identifying the cause of mold growth in your dishwasher, it’s time to clean it.

Cleaning the dishwasher removes the mold in it. To clean your dishwasher, empty your dishwasher and remove any food particles or debris you can find in the dishwasher.

Once that’s done, mix a cleaning solution of white vinegar and baking soda; apply the mixture to the affected areas of the dishwasher.

Allow the solution to sit for about 15 minutes before scrubbing away any visible mold using a bottle brush or scrub brush.

After scrubbing or cleaning the dishwasher, rinse it thoroughly with water.

3. Clean the Dishwasher Filters

When cleaning the dishwasher, remember the filters because they are capable of harboring mold.

To clean the filter of your dishwasher, first, remove the filter from the appliance and rinse them under hot water to remove any mold or debris.

If the filters are filthy, clean them by soaking them in hot water and vinegar for about 15 minutes before rinsing them thoroughly.

It’s essential to clean the filters to prevent mold growth regularly.

4. Run a Cleaning Cycle

After cleaning the dishwasher and its filters, run a clean cycle to help you remove any remaining mold and bacteria you may have missed or were unable to clean.

To do this, fill a dishwasher-safe container with vinegar and place it on the top of the rack.

Now you can clean and refresh your dishwasher by running a hot water cycle on the hottest setting. The vinegar will help in killing any remaining mold spores.

5. Prevent Future Mold Growth 

To prevent mold growth in the future, you can try a few simple things.

Firstly, rinse your dirty dishes thoroughly before placing them in the dishwasher. This helps in preventing food particles from accumulating in the dishwasher.

Secondly, ensure that you only use the recommended amount of detergent for your dishwasher to avoid overloading the dishwasher.

And last but not least, run your dishwasher on the highest setting possible to help kill any bacteria or mold spores in the dishwasher.

By following the steps in this section, you can ensure that your dishwasher remains mold-free and safe.


Is it safe to use a dishwasher with mold? 

The answer is NO! Using a dishwasher with mold is not recommended because it can be a health hazard.

Molds release spores that can cause respiratory problems, especially for people with allergies or compromised immune systems. Also, mold can contaminate the dishwasher’s utensils, dishes, and other items.

Hence, it’s crucial always to promptly address mold growth in dishwashers to prevent further spread and potential health hazards.

What is the difference between mold and mildew? 

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi, but they have some differences in appearance, texture, and color.

Mildew is a mold that usually grows in a flat pattern and has a powdery, fluffy, or fuzzy appearance. This type of mold (mildew) is typically white or gray but can also be yellow, black, or brown.

Mildew often grows on surfaces that are warm, humid, and damp.

Mold, on the other hand, can have a fuzzy, slimy, or even leathery appearance. Like mildew, it has different colors—black, brown, gray, white, or green.

Mold usually grows in clusters or patches and can be found on different surfaces. Mold tends to grow in damp or moist areas and can cause structural damage and health problems if left untreated.

Can I put bleach in a moldy dishwasher? 

It is generally not recommended to use bleach in a moldy dishwasher. Why? Bleach is an effective disinfectant, and it is made with chemicals that damage the rubber parts of your dishwasher.

In addition to that, bleach fumes can be harmful if inhaled. Rather than using bleach to clean your dishwasher, use white vinegar and baking soda to clean a moldy dishwasher—it’s safer and more effective.

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