How To Clean Black Mould Out Of Dishwasher

Tuesday 19th September 2023

Ellen Warren

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Mould inside of cup in the dishwasher


If you discover mould in your dishwasher, it can be a shock. Mould can harm your health and dishware, so it is vital to understand what mould is, why it is growing in your dishwasher, and how harmful it can be.

ICE Cleaning is the UK's leading cleaning company on mould remediation solutions. We work closely with councils across the UK to ensure all homes are safe to occupy, adhering to Awaab's Law, using state-of-the-art technology and industrial-grade solutions.

Read on to learn more about why mould could be growing in your dishwasher and how to prevent it.

Why is mould in your dishwasher?

Your dishwasher can be an unexpected home for mould despite its cleaning purpose. Mould is naturally attracted to the combination of moisture and leftover food particles in your dishwasher, making it a perfect environment to flourish.

Mould thrives on organic matter, so the microscopic food debris on plates and consistent water sources allows them to continue to spread. Leaving unwashed dishes in the dishwasher for an extended period can cause undesirable bacterial growth.

The warm and damp environment inside your dishwasher after a cycle gives mould spores the perfect conditions to grow and multiply. It can eventually spread to your dishware and hinder the inner mechanism of the appliance.

Can mould in your dishwasher make you sick?

Mould can pose serious health risks if left to fester for a long time. When you open the dishwasher door, mould spores will travel into the air, where they can be easily inhaled. 

Studies show these airborne spores can cause respiratory problems such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing and trigger asthma attacks.

If it spreads to your dishware or cutlery, you could risk directly ingesting mould or having mould grow in storage spaces. This can quickly get out of control without prompt remediation, growing in cupboards and on food.

Can mould damage your dishes?

China or ceramic dishware can be at risk of mould if it lurks in a dishwasher or storage cupboard, leading to unsightly stains that may become permanent if left untreated.

The more serious issue lies beneath the surface because mould can eat away at the material of your dishes, making them weaker and prone to cracks or chips. 

To protect your dishware from this, ensure you dry off any residual water after washing up immediately. Regular cleaning, especially with vinegar-based solutions keeps mould at bay and prevents them from settling on surfaces in your kitchen.

How to clean your dishwasher

To keep your dishwasher clean and free from mould, run an empty cycle with a dishwasher cleaner every month. Professional products contain enzymes made to remove grime and dirt, keeping the area free from food debris.

Finish recommends that as well as doing this, you should empty the filter, unclog the drain and check all the mechanisms of the appliance. Doing so can prevent further issues aside from mould, prolonging the life of your dishwasher.

After each cycle, you should leave the door ajar to allow excess moisture to dissipate, preventing potential mould spores from developing. This allows any lingering damp to evaporate instead of sitting and festering.

Can you clean a mouldy dishwasher yourself?

You may believe turning the dishwasher on an empty cycle may be enough to remove the mould permanently, but this is not the case. There is even a risk of exacerbating the growth by doing this.

Many dishwashing liquids and tablets contain a mixture of salt and yeasts, which can encourage the mould to grow and spread. The internal temperature of a dishwasher ranges between 51-60°C, and mould can survive in these temperatures and potentially thrive.

Do not try to clean the inside of the dishwasher yourself with DIY solutions or bleach, as you risk damaging the appliance, exposing yourself to toxic chemicals, or harming yourself. Instead, you must contact a mould removal company specialising in this cleaning.

Frequently asked questions

Why is mould growing in my dishwasher?

Mould thrives on moisture and food debris left in your dishwasher. This damp, warm environment lets it flourish.

Is it safe to use a dishwasher with mould?

No, using a dishwasher with mould is not safe. Mould spores can become airborne when you open the door, potentially causing respiratory issues.

How do I keep my dishwasher mould-free?

Regularly run an empty cycle with dishwasher cleaners to keep your appliance clean from mould. Leave the door open post-wash for proper ventilation and promptly wipe down any spills.

Get in touch

If you discover mould in your home, you can rely on the experts at ICE Cleaning. Our experts specialise in mould removal services, ensuring all traces of mould are removed from your property. We aim to keep homes across the UK safe, so we operate nationwide to clean no matter where you are.

If you have any questions about our services, reach out to us at 0208 066 0360 or We respond to emergency enquiries 24/7 and can be on-site within a few hours of your first call. Our team work 7 days a week, including bank holidays, and works flexibly to meet your requirements.

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Zoe Dunning

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