How To Clean Mold On Dishes

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I am no stranger to an inbox full of questions about mold. They run the gamut but lately I have had an onslaught of questions such as “how do you clean moldy dishes,” “will dish soap kill mold,” “how do you remove mold from pots and pans,” “can I keep dishes exposed to mold,” and tons more! Blenders, Instant Pots, Tupperware, Teflon, glassware, rice cookers, and crock pots that has been exposed to mold were also all big concerns.

In 2014 I went through a toxic mold nightmare. Through that experience (and additional mold events) I learned exactly what to do with every item that could possibly be found in a house. This includes dishes, glassware, silverware, and other kitchen items that have been exposed to mold.

When walking away from toxic mold isn’t an option, most people seem to want to keep their kitchen items. Slightly baffling since these are easy to replace but like I said, I get a lot of emails asking how someone can clean dishes that have been exposed to mold.

A sink full of moldy dishes. Below is an image of the clean dishes with the mold removed.

Would I clean and keep kitchen items that have been exposed to mold? Yes. I didn’t keep anything from my original moldy house but that was because it was beyond highly contaminated and I was basically dying. It wasn’t worth it to keep anything.

Since then, I have been able to successfully clean and keep certain non-porous items after “minor” mold events.

Before I dive into the method I use and recommend to clean dishes, glassware, and kitchen items that have been exposed to mold, let’s look at what exactly can be salvaged from your kitchen.

  • All dishes including glass, glazed clay, china or porcelain.
  • All serving dishes like bowls, pots, gravy servers, carafes, casserole dishes including glass, glazed clay, china or porcelain.
  • All items made of glass including jars, glasses, boxes, figurines, ash trays, dishes, bowls etc.
  • All metal silverware including everyday stainless and/or fancier silverware for entertaining.
  • Most pots and pans including lids can be cleaned. The main exception is cast iron. It simply cannot be properly cleaned to remove mycotoxins. In addition, if you have copper or one of those other “green” pans, you shouldn’t try to save it if it has scratches on it.
  • All bakeware, including silicon and glazed stoneware. 
  • Most utensils can be saved unless they are made of wood. 

Anything not on this list that has been exposed to mold should be thrown out. This is especially true of:

  • Wooden cutting boards
  • Wooden utensils
  • Appliances with a motor (this means your moldy blender, moldy Instant Pot, moldy crock pot, and moldy rice cooker need to go.)
  • Appliances or kitchen items with little nooks and crannies (like a toaster or handheld mixer)
  • Knife block
  • Anything with fabric (potholders for example)

The mold and mycotoxin removal process is a bit time consuming. The solution I recommend has been independently lab tested and proven to reduce the amount of mold and mycotoxins. You might see a lot of other suggestions out there but I assure you, I have done far too much research and experimentation and I know what I am recommending works.

How To Clean Kitchen Items (Dishes, Pots, Pans, Glassware, and Silverware) That Have Been Exposed To Mold

1. Bring EVERY kitchen item that you want to clean outside. Let it get some sun if possible.

2. Saturate your dishes, glassware, silverware, pots, pans, and other kitchen items with this mold solution spray. Let it air dry.

3. Turn everything over and repeat the process.

At this point, you can choose to hand wash everything or run it through a dishwasher.

For those of you handwashing, grab a bottle of the mold solution concentrate. Plug your sink and pour 4 ounces of the solution and 28 ounces of super hot water into the sink. Dunk each kitchen item in the solution, swishing it around for a few seconds. Rinse with warm water and air dry or towel dry.

For those of you with a dishwasher – you have two options. It is normally 16 ounces of the mold concentrate to a gallon for regular strength Mold Spray.  A typical washer uses 4 gallons.  But because the water is high temperature and in contact for a lot longer time, 8 ounces of the mold concentrate undiluted at the start of the wash should clean the machine and the dishes. The Laundry Additive actually works better because it is formulated for greater dilution in the washer. However, the dishes might faintly smell like Tea Tree Oil.  You would only need to use once ounce of the laundry additive. Run your cycle normally.

And there you have it! How to clean and keep dishes, glassware, silverware and other kitchen items that have been exposed to mold.

A Word Of Caution About Using Bleach On Mold

Don’t. Just don’t. I wrote an entire post about bleach and mold so please give that a read.

Pro Tip

Never bring anything into a new environment (or remediated environment) without cleaning it first. You will cross contaminate the heck out of your living environment which would not help you detox from mold exposure.

Before we go… if you are thinking about using essential oils to clean mold please open that link and read my post. Also, if you want to prevent mold, check out my monthly mold prevention protocol. It is also very useful if you have had a minor mold event. Need to remediate your car? Read that post.

If you are skeptical about my method for dealing with moldy dishes, leave a comment or shoot me a message. I not only researched this myself but I spoke extensively to several companies about their product to determine which one would really withstand the heat of the dishwasher or hand washing in hot water.

In this post I refer to EC3 products. They are one of the only three mold and mycotoxin removal products that I personally use and recommend. Please read my article outlining what makes EC3 superior when it comes to killing mold and mycotoxins. It has been independently lab tested and proven to be 99% effective when used properly. I encourage you to purchase EC3 products directly through Micro Balance. If you prefer to shop on Amazon, Micro Balance has a presence there as well.

Various dishes that are stacked in a cube cubby. They represent dishes that were cleaned after having mold on them.

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  1. Tyler Johnson says:

    That’s good to know that wood dishes might not be able to be saved of they are covered in mold. Wood is pretty porous, so that makes sense that it will be hard to get the mold out safely. If I decide to buy some cool wooden dishes, I’ll have to make sure I keep mold away from them as much as possible.

  2. Christina D. says:

    You didn’t mention whether plastic/Teflon dishes could be saved. I’m assuming not? We are working on bringing home things from my grandma’s to sell/have some keepsakes, but it there is a definite mold issue…

    1. No, plastic and teflon dishes cannot be saved. They end up with little nicks and cuts from use and they are very difficult to clean.

  3. Thank you for this information. We lost almost everything to mold in a storage unit (that was AC’d!) And I am now going through kitchen boxes of what I can salvage. Appreciate you!

    1. So glad I could help!

  4. I have been ill for several weeks and have a sinful of dirty, moldy dishes. Many are plastic storage containers. They also contain a couple of removable slow cooker containers. I used throw away plates, bowls, and cups and paper towels. As a Sr citizen, I need to save as much as possible. I’ve read your articles but they seem geared toward black mold, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Glenda! I would absolutely get rid of the plastic storage containers. It is not worth the possible health risk. Slow cooker inserts can be cleaned no problem.

  5. Hi Jennifer,

    I’ve been trying to get a move-out plan together and have greatly appreciated all the tips you’ve got going on here, thank you!

    I called MicroBalance a couple of times for clarification on the dishwasher tips and I know they haven’t got a specific protocol for this, but I forgot to ask one question (shocker, moldy brain finally remembers to call customer service for help, but promptly forgets key questions..)

    Would I still run the dishwasher cycle with my usual Cascade detergent gelpack in the detergent compartment, or should I run that first to wash them, and then run a separate dishwasher cycle with the tippable cup containing 1oz of the EC3 Laundry Additive in there to make sure it washes over everything after its already clean?

    Just wondering if it is safe to use both the dishwasher detergent and the citrus/teatree oil blend in one cycle, I imagine it would save time and energy but wondered if it’s one of those chemistry no-no’s, or if its been proven to work just fine 🙂

    1. Hi there! Yes, mold brain is a thing. 😉 I run the dishwasher with the EC3 first and then run a “quick wash” with detergent. You do not want to mix Cascade with the EC3. Your dishwasher won’t explode or anything but it can reduce the EC3’s effectiveness.

      1. That makes sense, thank you so much! This has been a scary path full of seemingly silly questions, and life likes to keep the pitfalls coming while I’m wandering about in a moldy haze.

        I just noticed your Work With Me page, going to shoot over an email in a bit!

  6. Hi Jennifer

    My dishes got moldy in the dishwasher. I bought the EC3 concentrate. Do I run the dishwasher w the moldy dishes in it with the EC3
    Never ever had this happen before!
    Thank you

    1. Yes, run them through the sanitize cycle with the EC3. I would then do an extra rinse.

  7. I have some special artisan made unglazed small sculptures. Can I clean those by soaking in ammonia or ec3?

    1. I would use EC3 on those and not ammonia.

  8. My husband left a large amount of my new canning lids out on the patio over the winter. The boxes and lids got moldy. Can these be cleaned so they are still useable.

  9. For putting EC3 whether concentrate or laundry additive into the dishwasher, where do you put it? The detergent compartment? The rinse aid compartment? Just dump it into the bottom of the unit? Thanks!

  10. Hello, Jenniffer!

    A few months back I have gotten out of a messy moldy situation myself from my previous flat. This article you wrote was my life savior back then! When I was struggling so much with cleaning because mold solutions are quite pricey for a university student like me (since bleach is a no no and it’s so hard to find food grade mold solution where I live) so I went to clean and disinfect all of my salvageable kitchen appliances with sodium percarbonate, soda ash, vinegar, etc with hot water in cycles and it seemed to have worked wonders for me (it also works with laundry! just mix sodium percarbonate, soda ash, and detergent with hot water and the mold residue just melts away!)

    Anyways I still keep the majority of my appliances, one of them is my rice cooker and I’m wondering if its surface never been directly get moldy and was just kept inside of a moldy environment, is it still safe to use even if I try to disinfect it the same way I did with others? I also kept my smooth and barely ever used teflon and disinfected it many many times before I use it again, do you think it’s a good idea? (well, back then it got a little moldy on a surface though). I’m very skeptical and is thinking to buy new ones instead.

    I will forever appreciate it if you’d kindly share your thoughts! Thank you!

  11. Hi Jennifer,

    I have two questions.

    My dish-ware was in a garage that formed mold. No mold on the actual plates or dishes.

    My children have plates that are made of bamboo and melamine plate and I also have Caraway pans in the inside are aluminum core and ceramic coating on and outside of the pan is a nontoxic, nonstick coating that is teflon, PTFE and PFOA free.

    Are these dishes and pans salvageable ?

    Thanks so much for any info !

    1. Hi Sonia! Yes, if there was not mold growing on them, these items can be cleaned. The exception would be if there are scratches in the non stick coating. In theory, this could allow spores to “stick” better but in my experience this is a pretty low risk.