Preventing Mold From Invading Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher does a great job of cleaning your dishes each day, but this doesn’t mean that it needs some TLC. Dishwashers are damp and dark most of the time, creating an optimal breeding ground for mold and bacteria. So, even if your dishes appear to be sparkling clean, you need to ensure that you keep those germs under control, so they can be truly sanitized. Giving your dishwasher a bit of attention will help keep mold at bay, so your dishes come out as clean as possible.

Close up image of a dishwasher

Gasket Sanitizing

The rubber seal or gasket inside the door of your dishwasher is the most likely place where bacteria and mold can collect. So you need to ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned every couple of weeks. Fortunately, this is quite simple and can be accomplished using some soapy water and a toothbrush. If you want to increase the sanitizing power, add some white vinegar to your water. Ensure that you dry the gasket completely using a paper towel when you’re finished cleaning, or the germs will quickly start to accumulate.

Clean the Filter

Another area that is vulnerable to germs and bacteria is the filter. The filter collects food particles and any other debris from your dirty dishes. Unfortunately, rotting food can be a massive source of dishwasher mold, particularly when it is circulated again around the tub during a wash cycle. To prevent mold from taking hold, ensure that you clean the filter out at least once a week and clean it in soapy water every month. The filter is typically set into the dishwasher floor, where it simply twists or pulls out. If you’re unsure where the filter is in your dishwasher, check your owner’s manual.

Allow the Dishwasher to Dry Out

Allowing your dishes to air dry after a wash cycle may be eco friendly and energy efficient, but it can cause dishwasher problems. If you do prefer to dry your dishes in this way, you need to ensure that your dishwasher is completely dry between each cycle. Keep your dishwasher door open during air drying and after if there is still moisture lingering in the tub.

Use White Vinegar and Baking Soda

Fortunately, you don’t need to invest in costly cleaning solutions and formulas, as you’re likely to already have two of the most effective mold busting cleaners in your kitchen. White vinegar and baking soda are both food safe, so they can be used around dishes, but they are also gentle enough to avoid damaging the sensors and components of your dishwasher. Avoid using harsh chemicals and bleach in your dishwasher, as you can damage the heat sensors.

Spray the entire interior of your dishwasher with a mixture of water, white vinegar, and baking soda. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes before running a hot wash cycle. During this cycle, place a dishwasher safe bowl of white vinegar in the top rack and sprinkle some baking soda on the floor of the dishwasher. If your dishwasher is particularly grubby, you can remove the dishwasher racks and wash them separately. While this may seem involved, the cleaner you can keep your dishwasher, the easier it will be to clean. Performing this cleaning routine every month is sure to keep mold and bacteria at bay.

Taking care of your dishwasher will ensure that it takes care of your dishes. Giving your appliance a good clean periodically will not only ensure cleaner dishes, but also improve the lifespan of your dishwasher.

If you have concerns about your moldy dishwasher, you can rely on the expertise of an experienced appliance repair specialist. A professional technician can assess your dishwasher to determine any underlying issues and restore functionality.