Is Your Dishwasher A Potential Mold Hazard?

Are you aware that some type of fungus lurks in 62% of dishwashers in six continents, including North America?

Most North American homes have installed a dishwasher in their kitchen. Furthermore, many consider them mainstay appliances because they eradicate the need for washing by hand.

Since this appliance circulates water and detergent regularly, you may not think about cleaning it. However, it offers an ideal environment for mold, which could affect your home’s air quality. Here’s how mold can develop in your dishwasher.

Mold in a Dishwasher

Moisture, a warm environment, and bits of food can generate unwanted mold development. It’s important to note that fungi can survive virtually anywhere and under severe conditions, demonstrating significant tolerance to high salt concentrations, cold, high temperatures, and harsh detergents.

Dishwashers combine various factors that promote the growth of numerous fungi that can affect your health. The high temperatures along with the high salinity and alkalinity result in the ideal place for pathogen fungus to develop. Nevertheless, regular cleaning and maintenance can prevent this issue.

Preventing Mold in a Dishwasher

  • Food Particles

Mildew and mold need nutrients to develop, and they’re present in leftover food particles in your appliance. Food particles accumulate in the plastic filter beneath most dishwashers, on the door panel, interior sides, and dish racks.

Nevertheless, removing and cleaning the filter prevents food accumulation. While removal instructions differ depending on the machine, you’ll generally find the filter beneath the dishwasher.

You should run the empty appliance at least once per week to eliminate most of the particles from the machine’s interior. You should also make sure you examine silverware baskets after every use to ensure food hasn’t accumulated inside.

  • Moisture

Mold only develops in moist environments, so open the appliance’s door after every use and allow it to dry completely before you close it to prevent mold development.

You may also use the heat-dry function after every use to dry out the interior. If you don’t plan to use it for a while, for instance when you leave for vacation, leave its door open to ensure trapped moisture doesn’t generate mildew or mold issues.

  • Door Gaskets

The door gasket traps moisture, which the appliance doesn’t clean out during a regular cycle. Consequently, dirt, food particles, and other debris get damp, resulting in mold.

The gasket areas that are most prone to the fungi aren’t easily visible unless you pull the gasket. Therefore, it’s important you clean the gasket once per week after running the dishwasher.

If the issue is ongoing, you may have to dry the gasket after every use. Make sure you use a dry cloth to wipe around the door gasket and seal.

How to Remove Mold in a Dishwasher

  • Bleach

Cleaning the interior of your appliance with bleach is one way of killing mold. However, bleach has drawback s; it’s caustic and may not be as efficient against a broad range of fungal development.

A mixture comprising ¾ cup bleach per water gallon is efficient on non-porous surfaces, for instance the inside walls and other hard plastic sections of the appliance.

If you use bleach, offer sufficient ventilation and wear gloves. You should also avoid combing bleach with other cleaning products. Make sure you run the appliance empty after you’ve cleaned it to rinse the bleach residue.

  • Scrub

Instead of bleach, you can clean mold using laundry or dish detergent and water. Take out the racks and clean them in your sink.

Prepare a soapy solution and use a sponge to clean the mold physically from the interior of the dishwasher then clean the drain strainer and rotor in the sink together with the racks. Lastly, scrub the drain opening and door gasket.

Since their creation and their successive rise in prominence in nearly every home, these appliances save people hours by handling the cleaning, drying and rinsing of dirty dishes. However, if you don’t set time aside for cleaning it regularly, mold issues are likely to arise.

If you need assistance with mold inspection, please contact us: 905-267-8556

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