How to Clean Dishes With Mold Like a Pro

A sink filled with soapy water and a scrubbing brush

Table of Contents

Mold on dishes is a common household problem that can be both unsightly and potentially harmful to your health. However, with the right knowledge and techniques, you can tackle this issue like a pro. This guide will provide you with comprehensive instructions and tips on how to effectively clean dishes with mold.

Understanding Mold

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in warm, damp environments. It reproduces by releasing spores, which can spread and grow on various surfaces, including your dishes. Mold can come in various colors, including black, green, white, and orange.

Exposure to mold can lead to various health issues, particularly for people with allergies or asthma. Symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, and eye, nose, or throat irritation. Therefore, it’s crucial to regularly clean your dishes and kitchenware to prevent mold growth.

Why Mold Grows on Dishes

Mold can grow on dishes for several reasons. One common cause is leaving dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher for too long. Food particles and moisture create an ideal environment for mold to thrive.

Another reason is poor ventilation in your kitchen or dish storage area. Without proper air circulation, moisture can accumulate, leading to mold growth. It’s essential to ensure your kitchen is well-ventilated and your dishes are thoroughly dried before storing them.

Materials Needed for Cleaning Moldy Dishes

Before you start cleaning, gather all the necessary materials. Having everything at hand will make the process smoother and more efficient. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Soft scrub brush or sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hot water

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Moldy Dishes

Now that you understand what mold is, why it grows on dishes, and what you need to clean it, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of cleaning moldy dishes like a pro.

  1. Put on your rubber gloves to protect your hands from the mold and harsh cleaning agents.
  2. Rinse the moldy dish with warm water to remove loose mold particles.
  3. Apply dish soap to your scrub brush or sponge, then scrub the dish thoroughly. Pay special attention to any areas with visible mold.
  4. Rinse the dish with hot water to remove the soap and any remaining mold particles.
  5. For stubborn mold stains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply this paste to the stains and let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then scrub again and rinse.
  6. As a final step, rinse the dish with a mixture of white vinegar and hot water. The vinegar will help kill any remaining mold spores.
  7. Once the dish is clean, dry it thoroughly before storing it. Remember, moisture is a breeding ground for mold, so it’s essential to keep your dishes dry.

Preventing Mold Growth on Dishes

Cleaning moldy dishes is important, but preventing mold growth in the first place is even better. Here are some tips to help you keep your dishes mold-free:

  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher for long periods. Try to wash them as soon as possible after use.
  • Ensure your kitchen and dish storage areas are well-ventilated.
  • Always dry your dishes thoroughly before storing them.
  • Regularly clean your dishwasher to prevent mold growth.

By following these tips, you can maintain a clean, healthy kitchen environment and prevent mold growth on your dishes.


Mold on dishes is a common problem, but with the right knowledge and techniques, you can tackle it like a pro. Remember, prevention is the best strategy, so keep your kitchen well-ventilated, don’t let dirty dishes sit for too long, and always dry your dishes thoroughly before storing them. Happy cleaning!

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