Why You Should Look In Your Dishwasher Right Now

Two days ago something came across my Facebook wall from one of the many health and healing pages that I follow. It got my attention, and sparked my curiosity, so I actually read the whole article. (How many of us really do that?)

What I read was so disgusting... so concerning... that I just had to get up and look inside my dishwasher, just to see for myself. You know me... I'm a worrier, not a warrior.

I couldn't find the exact article I had read, but I did find these two, which are both reporting the same story. I don't want you to think I made the whole thing up. Take a look, and then get back to me.

Prevent Harmful Fungi From Developing In Your Dishwasher -- UndergroundHealth.com Is There A Fungal Jungle In Your Dishwasher? -- Healthline.com

So, I looked in my dishwasher. Really looked. I looked straight down into the center, where the water settles in the bottom, and guess what?
There was fungi in my dishwasher!!
Now, at first I thought it was just a really bad build up of calcium deposits, or some other mineral. We live on a community well, and we have very hard water. There's hard mineral deposits building up in the shower heads, in the coffee maker, and staining the toilet, and I just hate it. 

So I reached in to scrape it off, if indeed that's what it was. 
But it wasn't! 
It was actually a fungus. It was rubbery, and cold, and it did indeed scrape off. 

What do you think I did next? I did exactly what the article I had read said I should do... only a little more extreme, because, well... "me", that's why.

Luckily for me, my Hubsy is a professional fix-it guy. He turned off the power and water supply to the repulsive machine. Then he unbolted it and pulled it out from under the counter. He took the door off, and all of the inside parts and components out. Upon examining each piece, we found fungi, mold, and crusty hard water mineral deposits. I had work to do.

In old clothes, and thick rubber kitchen gloves, and in the bathtub, I wiped the top and bottom dish racks down with CLR (Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover). Using a long handled, narrow headed scrub brush, I had to scrub in between several of the pegs to remove a few rust stains. Then a good rinse, and a towel dry. I did the same thing with each of the other little components as well, many of which required a good scrubbing. After rinsing them, I did it again, but this time I dug into the deeper crevices, where I had found more evidence of the mushroomy stuff, and scrubbed them with bleach. The article said that I could use vinegar, but I was running low. Let me tell you... Eeeew.

Before Hubsy could put Humpty-Dump back together again, I had to wipe down the entire inside of the box. It's like cleaning out the microwave, but bigger... and even more disgusting, if you can imagine that. But uh-oh, I kinda messed up.

Keep in mind that I had been working on this sucker for hours. I was exhausted, and really ready for this to be over. I had totally forgotten that I had already poured CLR into the bottom of the beast, to dissolve a very large rust stain that covered the circular area, underneath the water spout thingie that attaches to the bottom (you know what I'm talking about). But now that I'm ready to clean it out, I see more fungus, so I pour a bit of bleach into the bottom. Instantly, I could not breathe. Instantly, my eyes began to burn. I knew instantly what I had just done. I had created some very dangerous fumes, and I bolted to the kitchen window, for fresh air. Then I bolted out of the room, and fetched one of the hospital masks that Punkin had picked up from the doctor back in October. Then I rushed back down to suck up the volatile concoction with the shop vac and get it the hell outta there! Suffering through a burning, shallow cough and sore throat, and even a few cognitive issues, I rinsed it all with water, and then wiped it down again with bleach only. Once it was all put back in place, we ran a full cycle with baking soda and vinegar.

It took a few hours, but the pain in my throat subsided, and I regained what little faculties I have left.

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