Is Your Dishwasher Making You Sick? Here’s What To Do About It

Did you know that your dishwasher can make you sick? Yes, it’s true. And you’re probably not even aware of it!

Many people don’t realize how dangerous dishwashers can be – especially if they’re old. New research shows that old dishwashers can make you and your family very sick.

But we want to help. So we’ve created this handy guide to help you learn more about the dangers of old dishwashers, and how to prevent them from making you sick.

What would you do without a dishwasher? Probably wash your dishes by hand, right? But did you know that washing dishes by hand is actually worse for your health than using a dishwasher?

That’s right – research shows that people who wash their dishes by hand get sick more often than those who use a dishwasher.

What’s lurking in your dishwasher? You might be surprised. While they are typically associated with cleanliness, your dishwasher could actually be making you sick.

Don’t think so? Well, it turns out that a majority of people are not aware that they are living with mold and bacteria in their dishwashers.

According to a survey by NSF International, nearly 70 percent of all American households have mold or bacteria growing in their dishwashers. NSF International is a global public health organization that provides standards development, product testing, education and risk-management for public health and safety.

“These findings are concerning because many consumers are unaware that their dishwashers can harbor mold and other microorganisms,” said NSF International’s Dianna Paskin in a release.

The survey revealed that respondents don’t know much about the impact of their appliances on their health. The survey found that:

More than half of all respondents (54 percent) said they never clean the inside of their dishwasher.

Only 16 percent of participants said they knew how to properly clean their machine.

About half (48 percent) believe that running a cycle every day or every other day is sufficient to keep the machine clean.*

Dishwashers are amazing. They make our lives easier, reduce stress and leave us with more time to spend on other things. But did you know that your dishwasher could also be making you sick?

The Food Safety News website reports that there are more than 70,000 Americans who die each year from food poisoning. The Center for Disease Control estimates that each year in the United States, roughly 76 million Americans get sick, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die of foodborne illnesses. With this information in mind the last thing you want is to have your food washed in a dishwasher that has mold or bacteria in it.

A dirty dishwasher can spread germs onto your dishes and into the foods you eat. Your local service company certified appliance repairman strongly suggests that you keep your dishwasher clean inside as well as out.

Due to the nature of a dishwasher’s design, moisture is trapped inside it between wash cycles creating a perfect environment for mold to grow. Mold can easily travel through the air and cause respiratory problems for people who have breathing problems like asthma or allergies. It can also cause itching eyes and rashes on some people.

Mold grows on the walls of your dishwasher’s interior and around

Ever notice a little something on your dishes after you run them through the dishwasher? If so, that’s probably just what we call hard water spots, which are caused by minerals in water. But if you see slimy stuff on your plates or smell something bad, it could be a sign of something far more serious: biofilm, a bacteria-filled film that can grow inside your dishwasher.

The problem is not all that uncommon. “It comes from food and detergent residue,” says Timothy Turnquist, an appliance expert at Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning and Mr. Appliance. “When combined with the moisture inside the dishwasher, it creates an ideal environment for mold to grow.”

If left unchecked, that mold and bacteria can spread to other areas of your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold can cause allergy or asthma attacks in some people, as well as other respiratory infections and diseases.

A top-of-the-line dishwasher can mean the difference between a clean kitchen and a gross, germ-infested one. If you’re in need of a new dishwasher, you should read this blog post about the best dishwashers on the market!

A dishwasher is an appliance that cleans and dries dishes. It is typically connected to your sink’s water supply so that it can automatically fill with water before each cycle, and drain after each cycle. A dishwasher can reduce your workload in the kitchen by up to 50%. In addition, a good dishwasher will not only save you time but also water (and money) as well as getting your dishes clean without any hassle.

It’s a common misconception that dishwashers are the most sanitary way to wash your dishes. In fact, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Florida, the high-heat setting on most dishwashers may not get rid of harmful bacteria and parasites like E. coli and salmonella. If you want to avoid getting sick from your dishes, here is what you should do:

1. Hand wash as soon as possible after use.

2. Scrub with soap for 20 seconds to remove all food particles and oils.

3. Rinse with hot water.

4. Allow dishes to air dry (towels can trap bacteria).

Once your dishes are clean, store them in a clean, dry place to prevent future contamination. If you have an older dishwasher, consider replacing it with a newer model that has been tested and certified by NSF International (

You are what you eat—and what you eat has probably been sitting in your dirty dishwasher.

It’s easy to assume that your dishwasher leaves dishes sparkling clean, but a recent study shows that a shocking amount of bacteria is left on the surfaces of your dishes after a normal cycle.

The study was conducted by NSF International and examined 10 homes where participants were asked to eat identical meals using their own plates, silverware, and drinking glasses. These items were then washed as they normally would be and tested for bacteria.

The results? A whopping 75 percent of the post-cycle plates contained coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria is an indicator organism for the presence of other pathogenic organisms and can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches and fatigue.

Disgusting! But what about those fancy built-in sanitizing cycles? While these high-temperature cycles do kill off a certain amount of bacteria, they don’t always get the job done. The enzymes used in dishwashing detergent can easily build up over time and cause even more problems with sanitizing your dishes properly.

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