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How to Clean a Dishwasher with Mold

Woman kneeling in front of an open dishwasher cleaning the inside

Mold is the bad guy. No matter it’s color you do not want to have it in your house or near anything you use. When it comes to having mold in your dishwasher, it is probably the worst place it can be. It will infect or contaminate eating utensils, plates, pots, and more.

That puts your whole family at risk. Take the right steps to ensure that all the mold is gone from your dishwasher. Then take preventative steps to make sure the mold does not return.

To do all of that, you just need to continue reading our article. It has the information you need to know about in order to keep your dishwasher mold-free.

The Signs and Dangers of Mold’s Presence


  • The dishwasher smells very bad when you open it up
  • Black stains appear on your dishes and elsewhere
  • You start to cough when you open the dishwasher door
  • You feel nausea and may vomiting when eating off or with utensils and plates


  • You, your kids, your spouse, and your pets start to get sick
  • One of you can get respiratory problems
  • The immune system can weaken

How to Get Mold Out of Dishwasher

Speckles of mold on a white background

You actually do not need any special cleansers to rid your dishwasher of mold. There are some very powerful cleansers in your home right now that will protect your family as it gets rid of mold.

Do not forget to remove the racks, dishes, and any other loose item that may be in your way before you start to clean.

1. Bleach it is – If you want the top mold killer possible look no further than your laundry room. Chlorine bleach kills everything including mold and it is the best option you have.

Just mix one cup of bleach in a pail of cold water and mix thoroughly. You can either use a cloth and dip it into the pail or pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Then you just spray and wipe.

Or you can use a stiff bristle brush or toothbrush to scrub the interior of your dishwasher clean. Do not use bleach if you have a stainless-steel interior. Just be careful how much bleach you use as it will affect you if you breathe in too much

2. Dishwashing or Laundry Soap – Mix with water and make sure you get a lot of suds. Then like the bleach option above use a cloth, brush, or toothbrush to make sure you cover every inch of your dishwasher.

Then to rinse, simply run the cleaning cycle without soap to get rid of the bleach or laundry detergent. This is a good time to clean the racks, etc.

3. Vinegar and Baking Soda – This is a two-part cleaning tag team. The first part has vinegar replacing the bleach and dishwashing soap. Mix 1 cup or so in with a gallon of water and mix well. Then use the same tools to apply the mixture over the mold and the rest of the interior.

After that is done, tag in the baking soda and spread it over the floor of the dishwasher. Then turn on your cleaning cycle and let the dishwasher finish the cleaning task. Once it is done, your dishwasher should be free from both the mold and vinegar odors.

How to Get Rid of Mold Under Dishwasher

Overhead view of 2 men pulling out a dishwasher from under cabinets/ countertop

This can be a bit tricky as out of sight, out of mind. But mold can grow underneath and behind your dishwasher. If you do not catch it in time, it is possible that you may have to replace the wall behind the dishwasher and the cabinets.

Your nose will be your biggest aid in detecting mold or mildew growing behind your appliance. When you start smelling that foul odor, you need to act quickly. Usually, if you have a built-in appliance you will need to remove it and then clean under the counter, the sides of the cabinets, the wall behind the dishwasher, and so on.

It is possible that you may need to tip your dishwasher over and clean it as well. The same cleansers mentioned above will do the cleaning for you but you will have to do extra hard work to get the mold out from under your dishwasher.

Some Final Words

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that is all you need in this case to stop mold from growing in your dishwasher. Regular cleaning with the above-mentioned solutions will keep mold away and make sure your dishwasher is safe to use all the time.

Also, make sure you do not leave dirty dishes inside for weeks on end. Do the load as quickly as you can to discourage any mold growth. It doesn’t take much to prevent growth and that effort will make your dishwasher cleaning time better.

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