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How to Remove Mold from Dishwasher

remove mold from dishwasher

Dishwashers are a perfect breeding ground for mold due to their warm and moist environment. Leftover food particles, soap scum, and water that doesn’t fully drain can all contribute to mold growth.

Additionally, the frequent opening and closing of the dishwasher door can introduce more moisture and spores from the air.

Common Areas Where Mold Grows

Mold can grow almost anywhere in the dishwasher, but it tends to favor specific spots:

  • The Filter: This often traps food particles and grease.
  • The Door Seal: The rubber gasket can hold onto moisture and grime.
  • Spray Arms: These can accumulate residue and blockages.
  • The Interior Walls: Any remaining moisture can promote mold growth.

Pre-Cleaning Preparations

Safety Precautions

Before you start cleaning, make sure to wear rubber gloves and a mask to protect yourself from mold spores. It’s also a good idea to open windows or use a fan for ventilation.

Necessary Cleaning Supplies

Gather the following items:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Mask
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Soft brush or old toothbrush
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Dish soap

Preparing the Dishwasher

Empty your dishwasher completely, removing all dishes, racks, and utensil holders. This will give you full access to all areas that need cleaning.

remove mold from dishwasher

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Mold

Step 1: Empty the Dishwasher

Take out all removable parts, including racks, utensil holders, and the filter. This allows you to clean these components separately and thoroughly.

Step 2: Clean the Dishwasher Filter

The filter is often a hotspot for mold. Remove it according to your dishwasher’s manual, soak it in hot, soapy water, and scrub it with a soft brush to remove any buildup.

Step 3: Wipe Down the Interior

Using a mixture of warm water and dish soap, wipe down the interior walls, the door, and the door seal with a microfiber cloth. Pay special attention to corners and crevices where mold might hide.

Step 4: Use Vinegar for Deep Cleaning

Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run a hot water cycle. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that helps to remove mold and deodorize your appliance.

Step 5: Baking Soda Rinse

After the vinegar cycle, sprinkle a cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short hot water cycle. Baking soda helps to further clean and freshen the interior.

Step 6: Clean the Spray Arms

Remove the spray arms and soak them in hot, soapy water. Use a toothpick or a small brush to clear any clogs in the spray holes.

Step 7: Check and Clean the Door Seal

The door seal can harbor mold and grime. Wipe it down thoroughly with a vinegar-soaked cloth, making sure to get into all the folds and crevices.

Preventing Mold Growth in the Future

Keep the Dishwasher Dry

After running a cycle, leave the dishwasher door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape. Wipe down any visible water from the interior surfaces.

Use a Dehumidifier

If your kitchen tends to be humid, consider using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels. Less moisture in the air means less opportunity for mold to grow.

Run the Dishwasher Regularly

Regular use of your dishwasher helps to prevent mold by keeping the interior clean and dry. Even if it’s not full, running a short cycle can help maintain cleanliness.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Ignoring the Filter

Neglecting to clean the filter can lead to mold buildup. Make sure to clean it regularly to keep your dishwasher functioning properly.

Overloading the Dishwasher

An overloaded dishwasher can prevent water and detergent from reaching all areas, allowing mold to grow in hidden spots. Load dishes properly to ensure thorough cleaning.

Skipping Regular Cleanings

Regular maintenance is key to preventing mold. Don’t wait until you see visible mold – by then, it’s already a bigger problem. Stay proactive with monthly cleanings.


A clean dishwasher is essential for ensuring your dishes come out sparkling and safe to use. Mold can be a stubborn and unwelcome guest in your appliance, but with regular cleaning and proper maintenance, you can keep it at bay. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to remove mold effectively and enjoy a fresh, clean dishwasher every time.

Written by Zain

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