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Mar 22, 2011 06:11 AM

Mold in lid of pump-style salad spinner?

I have an Oxo pump-style salad spinner -- it's made of plastic and I've probably had it for almost a decade. It still works perfectly. The only problem is that what looks to be black mold seems to be growing between the two pieces of plastic in the lid... I can also see more black stuff inside the round piece that protrudes inside the lid where the pump mechanism is. I'm not sure if it's mold or just dirt (but I think it's probably mold since it looks a lot like the little black specks of mold that sometimes grow on the plastic lid of our Brita water pitcher)... I'd like to clean it, but I can't get to it. Has anyone had success in taking apart the lid of this kind of salad spinner? Would soaking the whole thing in a pan of bleach be a bad idea? Or should I just suck it up and buy a new one?
Any advice would be much appreciated!

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  1. I think it may be mildew. I believe mildew is black, while mold, a live culture, is green. I also think bleach will get rid of mildew, but it will not kill mold spores. Having said that, I would try to scrub it off first with a cotton ball on a hanger end or wire, Q tip, or something of that nature, before trying the bleach.

    4 Replies
    1. re: E_M

      Agree it's likely mildew. Soak in 10% bleach solution.

      1. re: E_M

        Isn't mildew a type of mold or fungus?

        1. re: scubadoo97

          Yes, but they are different. Mildew grows on damp surfaces; mold grows on organic surfaces. If there was food that got trapped in the spinner, mold could grow on that. But if the black stuff is forming in a damp crevice, then it's likely mildew.

        2. I have actually put the top and bottom of my salad spinner in the dishwasher with no problems.
          I do, however, avoid putting them directly over the drying elements.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Maryelle

            Same here. Not everytime I use them but occasionally when there is a lot of room in the top shelf, I put all 3 pieces of mine -- 2 bottom parts (a colander like inner bottom that goes inside a solid outer bottom), and the lid in. I've got the pull string type.

          2. In answer to one of your questions: The lid does come apart. Mine's not available right now for examination, so this description is on the vague side, but I think if you turn the lid over and look at the conical element that houses the plunger, you'll find two spots along the base of the cone that you can press in to release the two pieces from each other.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Miss Priss

              I tried to take apart the lid but couldn't find any way to do it without snapping the pieces of plastic that keep the two parts together. Finally decided to email OXO and get some answers...
              Apparently in my older model (the bowl is clear and the lid is black and white), the lid does not separate for cleaning. They have a newer version (she said it has a clear lid) that comes apart for cleaning. They're sending me a free replacement lid for my model (hooray for "satisfaction guaranteed" policies!) and offered to send me a discount code for use on their website if I decide I would like to buy the newer model. We were able to get some mildew off with the weak bleach solution, but not everything, so we're very happy to be getting a new lid!

              1. re: hungry_united

                That's impressive customer service. Glad it all worked out so well!

            2. I know this is an old thread, but it was one of the first to come up when I Googled how to disassemble the Oxo salad spinner lid in order to clean mine. I have the old style and you CAN disassemble it, it's just a little tricky. Here is a short description, take care or you will snap a tab off and your spinner might not work again...
              1. Take the plunger assembly off.
              Hold the black plunger in place as you slowly twist the lid until resistance is reached. Gently continue to twist the lid against the resistance until you hear and feel a click. Take the plunger and spring off the lid.
              2. Remove the retaining assembly.
              Looking down into the center of the lid, you will see a retaining ring (see the picture). You can tell the bottom of the retaining assembly by the six notches around the bottom edge. This is held in place by three tabs that line up with the three notches on the top of the retaining assembly.
              Remove the lid latch, it will fall easily out of place. Insert a flat head screwdriver through the latch hole to get in under the bottom of the retaining assembly. Line up the screwdriver with one of the 3 notches to get in right where a tab is. Snap the tab out of place. Here's the tricky part. The tabs want to go right back into place before you can move on to the next tab. You might be able to use enough force to keep it out, but I wasn't able to without fear of cracking the assembly. So I took a small pair of vise grips and grasped the top of the retaining assembly in the same notch I lined up my screwdriver with. Then I pulled up on the vise grips and keep the tab from falling back in place while I rotated to pop out the next tab. Once you have the tabs released you can take the retaining assembly out. What remains is a small plastic cam that sits on top of the center post - don't lose it!
              3. Clean. I didn't try to disassemble any further, I was able to use some small brushes to get into all the holes.
              4. Assemble.
              Pretty much the reverse, except you want to insert the lid latch before putting the top part of the lid back on the bottom part of the lid.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Nesto

                The new model by Oxo has a transparent lid that comes apart and so you can clean it completely -- I highly recommend it!

                1. re: Nesto

                  thanks for this. I am going to give it a try.

                  1. re: Nesto

                    Thanks so much. My lid internally must have come apart and wouldn't work. The description was a bit hard to follow but I was able to fix it and save $30 and not having to throw away my spinner and make more waste was great. The bonus was being able to clean the mildew at the same time.

                  2. The black specks on the lid of your Brita water pitcher are probably specks of charcoal from the filter, not mold.

                    Read your owner's manual. The black speck issue is addressed there.