What Causes Black Residue in a Whirlpool Dishwasher?

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You can quickly fix the black residue that is in your dishwasher.
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It often happens that when you go to put your fork or knife into the dishwasher you miss the basket and stare in dismay as your cutlery clatters to the bottom of the dishwasher. Fishing for your lost fork is never a pleasant experience, especially if you pull it back out and notice your hand is covered in a mysterious black sludge. You never noticed it before, but after deeper inspection there it is — black stuff in your dishwasher hiding in the corners and drain.


Immediately, you begin to wonder what this mysterious black sediment in your dishwasher is and how you can get rid of it. Luckily, this problem is easily identified and can be fixed rather quickly.

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Black Stuff in a Dishwasher

The sludge found in the corners and drain of your dishwasher can be black or brown but always comes back to the same thing. This residue is food that has begun to decay but that's either so large or thick that it can't be broken down and removed through the drainage pipes. The first step toward fixing the problem is to examine the drain and other areas inside the dishwasher for any buildup that can be removed with your hands.


If you're trying to remove the sludge but are unable to wipe it away, there's a possibility that it has developed into mold. Mold in a dishwasher can appear from a lack of regular cleaning or after cycles have been run and not all the water gets drained out. The problem can get worse if the dishwasher is left in this state for a few days, so proper action must be taken.

Properly Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Regular dishwasher maintenance is relatively simple. A quick DIY method is to run the dishwasher on a regular cycle with a bit of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar for a quick yet efficient clean. The vinegar will help cut any foul odors and unclog drain buildup that may have occurred due to the black residue.


If DIY methods aren't what you're looking for, you can simply run to the hardware store and pick up any typical dishwasher cleaner and run your dishwasher through a cycle using this product. It will help remove buildup on the walls and bottom of the dishwasher and prevent any future buildup from happening. These two methods are great ways to keep your dishwasher clean and running smoothly.


Deep Cleaning a Dishwasher

If the vinegar or cleaning agent didn't completely remove the black sediment in your dishwasher, run the cycle a few more times with baking soda followed by bleach to neutralize any bacteria that could be causing the mold. Another option is removing the lower cleaning rack and cleaning around the drain yourself to make sure you get any areas you may have missed. These cleanings should be a regular occurrence and, if done properly, can prevent other issues from occurring.



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