From Wikipedia: a Petri dish is named after the German bacteriologist Julius Richard Petri, is a shallow cylindrical glass or plastic lidded dish that biologists use to culture cells – such as bacteria – or small mosses.

So that being said/typed, is your dishwasher an over-sized Petri dish?

I recently posted about things you need to clean oftener than once a year, and oddly enough dishwashers were left off of that list. They're one of those appliances (like a microwave) that you'd think basically cleans itself. Soap + hot water = clean, right?


Microbiologists refer to dishwashers as "extreme environments." Hot to cold, wet to dry, basic to acidic; it makes for an "extreme habitat" that only allows the extremist microbes to survive.

But here's the thing: they're not likely to actually hurt you.

"The risk [of getting sick] is probably in the realm of a shark attack." ~ Erica Hartmann, assistant professor at Northwestern University

If you or someone in your house has a weakened immune system, then you should worry about keeping your dishwasher clean.


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