Mold is a type of fungus that decays organic matter in nature. Thousands of mold spores are floating through the air in and around your home. When they land on wet surfaces in your home, they will begin to grow there and will eventually decay organic materials on or around that surface. Black mold is a type of mold that is toxic and that can cause irritation, an allergic reaction and even lung infections in some people. Use your dishwasher to kill black mold from some surfaces.
Most detergents and soaps will remove black mold from a surface, which is especially true if the dishwasher detergent contains bleach, which will kill the black mold spores. If black mold is growing on an item in your home that you can place in your dishwasher, wash it immediately to kill the black mold. Don't wash it with other items that aren't moldy as you want to prevent cross contamination. Always rinse the object completely, and dry it thoroughly.
High heat will kill black mold spores and will prevent them from growing again. If the water in your dishwasher gets very hot, it will kill the black mold spores. If your water heater is not turned up very high, your dishwasher will not kill the mold spores. In fact, black mold might actually begin to grow in the dishwasher if it is not high enough. Dishwasher water should be between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Preventing Black Mold
Prevent black mold from growing in the first place by controlling the moisture content in your home and in your dishwasher. Mold will grow anywhere where there is excess water. Fix leaks as soon as you notice them, and ventilate your bathroom and laundry room with exhaust or ceiling fans. Open the dishwasher to air it out after every use, and open windows to encourage the humidity to go outside.
Black mold can cause health issues in some individuals if it grows out of control and you are exposed to that growth for a long time. Tiny spots of black mold are unlikely to cause any issues. Reactions include a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, coughing and sneezing. If you already have an immune or respiratory issue, black mold can cause memory loss or difficulty concentrating. If you have asthma, it could cause a lung infection, but this is an uncommon reaction.