Although dishwashers are intended to sterilize your dishes and flatware, they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and…mold. That’s because after each use of your machine there will inevitably be some kind of residual moisture left behind. Once you close the door to your unit and seal in that moisture, depending on how often you use your dishwasher, it can begin to incubate mold within the dark, humid, and nutrient-rich conditions created by food particles left behind. Here are three kinds of mold you may encounter.

Black Mold

Black mold, perhaps the most notorious of molds, is a common inhabitant of dishwashers and it may resemble mildew, rotting food, or black spots around your dishwasher’s door seal, drain, or vent.

Black mold can aggravate allergies and asthma, and even cause fatigue, swings in mood, and weight gain.

Orange Mold

This is another common mold found in dishwashers. Orange mold may take on the look of rust on your dishwasher’s mechanisms, or perhaps on your dishes or silverware. So if you thought that the orange discoloration you’ve occasionally seen on some of your spoons and forks was simply blemishes, you might be mistaken.

Like other molds, orange mold can have negative health impacts, including allergy and asthma irritation, coughing, sneezing, congestion, headaches, bronchitis, and even pneumonia.

Pink Mold

Pink mold is yet another mold that loves to set up shop within the dark, humid, and nutrient-rich confines of your dishwasher. Pink mold may look like a bright pink or light pink substance (think cotton candy or even Pepto Bismol) that has a foamy or marshmallow-like consistency.


Pink mold can cause respiratory tract infections and trigger allergic reactions like sneezing, coughing, watery or itchy eyes, and sinus trouble. Foods tainted with pink mold can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.


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