Mold on Dishes
Obviously, my personal life has been taken over by my work life... I didn't even notice a science experience growing in my kitchen! I just discovered a large glass measuring cup, a serving spoon, and a large bowl covered with green mold. Lots and lots of mold covering the entire surface. Do I automatically toss them all out? Or are they safe to use if I run it through the dishwasher (or am I contaminating all my other dishes?!)?
re: Pat Hammond
Hot water, soap and some scrubbing is always adequate for surfaces - the green and blue stuff isn't really toxic anyway, just gross. For things you can't get into, like bottles and jars, a dollop of chlorine bleach, followed by a top-up of hot water, a resting period and a healthy rinse will do the trick. Bleach is like Kryptonite to mold...
re: Will Owen
As a home eccy I ditto the bleach recomendation. Soft earthen type clay is more porous than others and more likely to harbor bacteria so give it that with boiling hot water and detergent andlet it sit for a bit. Some hysterics would suggest jettisoning it all but bleach and better hygine will takecare of it.
One thing to be aware of - if any of the dishes are pottery you may have to toss them. I bought plates, bowls and cups that this happened to and had to toss some of them because the unglazed edges (normally the seam on the bottom) would constantly sprout mold and smelled bad and made the dish underneath it smell bad and you wouldn't notice until you started eating that your food tasted like mold. (I'm also highly allergic to mold spores - and I disagree that they aren't dangerous...inhaling the spores can make you very sick). From the research I did online, everything suggested making SURE your dishes are cleaned and soaked overnight in a water/bleach solution and then completely dry if before you put them in the cabinet. If they are pottery, it may mean you have to keep them in the light, rather than dark cabinets. I did this and still had to toss some my dishes.
You've got two problems:
Be careful not to confuse them.
For the mold, just scrape and wash. It's not poisonous, may even be
good for you, and you obviously don't have a mold allergy because if
you did you'd be dead now.
The cooties are a bigger problem. The next bunch of times you use the
dishes, you're going to see the science experiment. So you need to do
something exorcismic. Like maybe fill the bowl with water and microwave
it until the water's evaporated a couple of times. Or soak everything in
a strong solution of bleach overnight (probably not good for the spoon).
Get out your biggest pot and boil everything in it for an hour or two.
Bake them in the oven for an afternoon. Deep fry them. Do you have
access to an autoclave?
The mold is easy, you just rinse it off.
The cooties are harder, they live in your head.