Monday, August 15, 2011

How to get rid of mold in your dishwasher

When we moved into our brand newly renovated apartment we expected to find conditions sparkly new and pristine.  For the most part that was true.  Some aspects although were left a sloppy, irresponsible mess.  Like the dishwasher.  While we have a brand new (almost) never been used stainless steel dishwasher... yet it wasn't clean.  It appeared as if the construction workers had used it once or twice to store their fast food giant gulp plastic cups.  Dirty plastic cups with remnant coke + weeks in an inclosed space = mold.  

Both dishwasher racks were covered in mold.  Check out the gross before photos.  All photos untouched. 

the black mold

bright shiny new from the outside 
gross cups we found left inside when we moved in
I googled on how to get rid of the mold myself (since the property management was not so much in the picture at this point).  We needed to do dishes stat.  I wasn't about to wait for them to get around to it, and hand washing was getting old fast.  I doubted actually using the dishwasher with mold wasn't a good idea.  Mold + eating surfaces = bad.  Not sure of the health implications if it could transfer but I figured not test it.  There is a lot on the internet about mold in dishwashers.  Mostly about how to stop getting in the future if you have it.  Things like clean the seals and checking water pipes from preventing mold from growing more.  Bogus to us.  

We found a way to clean all the mold easily and quickly.  The answer - SOS pads.  Those little steel wool pads were a lifesaver.  Originally we tried to clean the mold with soap & water with a toothbrush and sponge.  That was super slow and not very productive.  The SOS steel wool pads had an amazing cleaning product that combined with the steel wool took the mold off instantly!  

It still took about an hour to clean both top and bottom rack but 10x fast as the soap, water & toothbrush.  We pretty much had to wipe down every inch of the dish racks and they had so much surface area that had mold.  It took about 3 SOS pads for both racks.  The more we cleaned the more tinier bits of mold we found.  In the end we got it all.  After the SOS steel wool we ran the washer with a 1/2 cup of vinegar sitting in a cup on the top rack at the highest heat setting during 1 wash cycle.  After that it was clean and ready to go!

wear medical gloves for protection

A clean after shot below.  See no mold?  See only dirty used dishes?  A great success so now we can actually cook and clean in our own brand new (rented) kitchen.   This didn't cost us anythings since we owned the SOS pads to start with.  Big problem with an easy solution.


  1. I can't believe there was mold growing in the dishwasher! I would have freaked out! Glad to see you were able to take care of it, without it getting too far out of hand

  2. Thank you so, so much! We have the same problem with ours, minus the cups and definitely don't have the time to spend cleaning every square inch with a toothbrush lol

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