Dishwashers are great for washing dishes, but they’re also a paradise for fungi. In a study of household dishwashers, 62% tested positive for fungi. In that same study, 56% of the fungi were black yeasts, which thrive in hot, moist conditions like dishwashers.
Follow these simple steps to remove unwanted guests in your dishwasher:
1. Remove Debris
Open up the dishwasher, take out any remaining dishes, and remove the bottom rack. Use a flashlight to check out the bottom of the dishwasher and find any debris (old food particles). Remove any debris by hand or use a rag.
Take out the spinning arm and other parts covering the filter, this will vary depending on the model. This should only require simple tools, but check your dishwasher manual for more assistance if needed. Clean out any remaining debris in the filter, rinse the filter out with water, and place back into the dishwasher.
2. White Distilled Vinegar Cycle
Now that the large debris is cleared from the dishwasher, it’s time to give it a good scrub—luckily, the dishwasher will do the dirty work for you. Pour one cup of white distilled vinegar into a dishwasher safe cup, place the filled cup on the top rack facing up, and run through a cycle. After the cycle is complete, remove the cup, which is now filled with water, and dump the remaining water in the sink.
Pour some white distilled vinegar onto a rag and wipe around the edges and rubber gasket. These nooks and crannies get left out of the dishwasher cleaning cycle, so you’ll need to clean them by hand. Use a cotton swab to help with any tiny crevices.
3. Baking Soda Cycle
Next, measure out one cup of baking soda and sprinkle it around the bottom of the dishwasher. You can do a short cycle for this round, but use the hottest water available on your machine. Baking soda will freshen and brighten your dishwasher, while removing stains.
If you’re dishwasher has a lot of mold and mildew growth, you can run an additional cycle using a cup of bleach (but do NOT use bleach for stainless steal appliances!).
Now that your dishwasher is squeaky clean, keep it that way! We recommend using these easy cleaning steps once a month to keep your dishwasher in top shape. If you run into any plumbing problems in your kitchen, contact George Brazil. Our Smell Good Plumbers are ready to help you through any plumbing emergency.