Malign fungal entities may be breeding and evolving in your dishwasher, boffins warn, saying that the deadly toadstool-esque kitchen triffid yeast creatures have already become almost unkillable and may soon mutate into frightful blobominations able to launch out their deadly spores to "colonise" unwary nearby humans with …


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  1. Marky W


    Flee the spores! Flee while you can!!

    Either that or fill the dishwasher with hops and malted barley. I think I'll flip a coin.

  2. Matt_payne666

    oh great... I thought it was only the potnoodles that were out to get me!

    Nuke the entire site from orbit--it's the only way to be sure!

  3. Geoff Thompson


    Bloody hell. thats all.

    1. tas
      Thumb Up

      Think my washing machine is suffering from this too ...

      This article made me realise that my washing machine rubber seal may be suffering from a fungus problem!

      I did a bit of research and apparently these are the recommended steps to remove it:

      1. Obtain some distilled white vinegar or clear malt vinegar or citric acid. Henceforth called "acid".

      2. Obtain some soda crystals or *bleach* detergent.

      3. Do a highest possible temperature (preferably 90C) first full cycle maintenance wash (no laundry) after putting a cup of crystals/detergent in the tub and a cup of crystals/detergent in the washer drawer.

      4. Do a highest possible temperature (preferably 90C) second full cycle maintenance wash by pouring the acid into the drawer at the start of the wash as water is being drawn and heated.

      5. After both cycles have completed, open the washing machine door and check under the lip of the seal (hopefully it will be clean). Henceforth, ALWAYS leave the washing machine door permanently open unless its closed for a wash! If you remember nothing else, remember that!!!

      If the problem is not eliminated using the steps above, grab a mask, rubber gloves and HG Mould Spray or some other rubber-safe black mould and mildew remover. The protection is important due to the fungus spores AND the Mould Spray's very powerful bleach ingredients.

      If that still does not work, replace the washing machine's rubber seal.

      Once a month, make it a habit to do a highest possible temperature wash cycle. This can be a normal wash or a maintenance wash.

      Apparently, very high temperature wash cycles used to be normal, especially for towel washes, back in the old days before low temperature biological detergents and the ecological movement. This may be a reason why the fungus/mould problem has grown so widespread these days.

      1. NomNomNom


        Rather than your over-engineered solution we could just nuke the whole site from orbit. It's really the only way to be sure.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Just got to convince the wife

    then I can fire the dishwasher and get a younger un-infected model

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Just got to convince the wife

      I see what you did there.

  5. Greg J Preece

    Is anyone reminded...

    ...of an advanced civilisation finally wiped off the map by something contracted from a dirty telephone?

  6. Owen Carter
    IT Angle

    Daily Fail?

    Jeez! will you guys stop this.. Leave it up to the daily Heil; at least they have lots more hot totty on every page to cheer us up after filling us with doom...

    1. Number6


      Who needs the hot totty when there's all those pictures of Lester and the PARIS crew?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We have the comments from Sarah

      Which may not be much consolation, but it's better than nothing, so don't knock it!

  7. Andy Kay

    Molotov thrown in..

    ...then shut the door? I believe a flame needs oxygen to burn, thus by shutting the door, you'd de-flame the 'cocktail'

    1. Jonathan Richards 1


      ...Lewis knows his stoichiometry. I bet a Page(TM) Molotov Cocktail comes with its own oxidiser. I wonder if permanganate would work...? Could be time for some experiments.

      Now, *that's* a handy icon.

  8. xperroni
    Black Helicopters

    Impossible? Inevitable!

    Of course, since fungi were found feeding on the radiation leaking from Chernobyl's abandoned reactors, it's hardly surprising they would eventually conquer the relatively favorable conditions of a puny dishwasher.

    I wonder, since fungi are prone to engage in symbiotic relationships, how long it will take until they mingle with humans to produce a race of super-resistant, radiation-immune beings – who will no doubt proceed to exterminate the "inferiors" around them?

    Burn all dishwashers! It's us or them!

  9. Nigel 11

    Back in the real world

    I'm guessing here, but ...

    The obvious question is whether the spores of the non-extremophile versions of these yeasts are omnipresent in everyday environments, in the same way that everyday green mould spores are? If so it suggests that our immune systems are protecting us against them on an everyday basis, and there's little cause for concern (unless you suffer from CF).

    I'd also expect the varieties which mutate to enjoy the innards of a dishwasher, have traded tolerance of that environment for optimisation for non-extreme conditions (such as the insides of a human being). In that case we have less to fear from the ones living in dishwashers than their parent strains. Even if not so, tolerance of extreme heat, alkalinity, etc. won't create tolerance of antibiotic medicines. Be extremely wary of the dishwasher used on petri dishes in a path lab, though!

    1. david wilson

      @Nigel 11

      Indeed - if the stuff is everywhere, and hardly ever harms healthy humans, is it actually any more likely to mutate into some Horrendous Killer Plague than any other microorganism?

      Not good for CF sufferers, but presumably all kinds of other not-generally-oh-my-god microorganisms are bad news for them as well.

    2. Peter Mc Aulay

      I'd say the inside of the human body counts as an extreme environment...

      Filled as it is with hostile nanotech (the human immune system).

  10. Thomas 4

    So in real life

    Mushroom eats Mario?

    1. John 62

      real life, perhaps

      definitely in Soviet Russia, though.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    I hope the government has a plan for FUNGUS APOCALYPSE

    On the other hand, the monstrofungosity [probably cancer-causing, too, I remember some black fungus being rather carcinogenic] must have exchanged survivability in extreme environments against something else, opening up an Achilles' hell, or rather a Siegfried's dragon scale.

    Just need to find out what it is.

    1. Luther Blissett

      I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help

      We have instituted a committee at the highest level, and they have called for a levy.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clean it ?

    How about you clean it with some bleach ?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    So Who Still Doesn't Believe in Karma, eh?

    You were too lazy to do the washing up.

    You bought a machine to do it

    Now you're going to die.

  14. David 24

    zombie apocalypse

    So this is how it begins.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Shock...killer fungi are going to make your eyes bleed and your balls fall off

    Or you know....clean it from time to time, just like everything else that you don't want bacteria on.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    DNA splicing...

    I want those traits in my DNA code, so I can swim in a sulfuric acid lake, by a volcano. I love the thermals, but the lethal ones would be somewhat cheaper for the season.

    Off to the gene-splicing lab, pronto.

  17. There's a bee in my bot net

    Nuke em?

    Take of, nuke em from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

    Oh wait, this isn't slash dot is it...

  18. Steve Button Silver badge
    IT Angle

    abandon it in an unpopulated area??

    Why abandon it? Leave it out the front of your house to scare away unwanted energy salesman and other types. With the added Kudos of having more white good out front! (I'm writing this from Norwich BTW)

    What's the point of a dishwasher anyway? You have to rinse everything beforehand in case a rogue piece of sweetcorn clogs up the works and everything comes out with the dirt finely mashed up and baked onto the plates. Far easier to to "wash up" -- if you remember how we used to do it back in the day.

    Is it Friday BTW?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I think I've seen that house....

      Is it the one on the Mile Cross with four fridges in the front garden?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      buy a newer model

      only the mark-1 versions clogged with leftover detritus, the newer ones swallow it all whole and beg for more. If you are getting finely mashed sweetcorn baked onto your plates, then you are probably stacking the dishes incorrectly.

      Paris, because she's stacked correctly.

  19. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    May I be the first to

    welcome our fungal overlords

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: May I be the first to


      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        I may not be the first to post,

        but still seem to be the first to welcome them

  20. Alfie

    I for one ...

    welcome our new yeastoid overlords.

    The important question is: do they convert all the sugar into alcohol?

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Its the only way to be sure.

  22. Elmer Phud

    Networked appliances

    This follows on from the earlier article about networked appliances. It clearly demonstrates that we cannot trust our white goods to get social. To think that my dishwasher may contract the equivalent of an S.T.D. after a rough session with the glass-washer at the local pub just cheapens the whole idea.

    But, if people still insist on confusing a dishwasher with a waste-disposal unit in a sink then what do you expect - I have seen some very, very manky dishwashers, fridges, washing machines in the past and it's all due to lazy bastards. When the bacteria in the dishwasher has more intelligence than the human and works its way in to the processor to communicate with other like-minded bacteria we is fucked.

    At this point in time it's worth remembering that the most successful life form on the planet is not human.

  23. Dick Emery

    I for one welcome... know the rest.

  24. CADmonkey


    Are you talking about my mum?

  25. Paul Naylor

    V funny

    You have a fungus desk?? Sweet.

    But I suspect that the inevitable Daily Mail / Express article will be even funnier. Though in entirely a different way.

    Is the whole "May I be the first to welcome our toadstooloid overlords" meme still de rigueur?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      It is.


      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge


        (more letters)

    2. NRT

      It may be de rigueur.

      But it isn't fungi.


  26. Paul Johnston

    Now that's what I call research!

    Test 2 dishwashers in the UK and find one contaminated and it's the end of the world!

    Either that or the the test lab in Slovenia is contaminated.

    Seriously getting rid of the black stains off the rubber seal on a washing machine is no easy job.

    That's also why we now always get black keyboards at work.

  27. Steve Foster


    ...couldn't we convert the dishwasher into a beer-making machine? After all, yeast is required to make beer...

    (obvious choice of icon)

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Really news?

    Can't say I am that surprised. You put tiny particles of food on plates, sometimes leave it to sit until the end of the day ( you don't wash it through on every meal, we're all too green for that! ) and then you fire it up and it reaches internal temperatures of up to 70 degrees.

  29. Pat 11

    So that's what it is

    Been wondering what the brown slime is that builds up around the bottom seal of the dishwasher. I scrape it off, it comes back. Time to take precautions...blast it from , it's the only way to be sure.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    OK then - how do we slay the beasts?



    I expect this to spawn a whole new shelf area in the domestic cleaning aisle at Tescos - a problem being an opportunity in disguise.

    The scare stories will be legion.

    1. me n u

      see your doctor...

      ...he's got a drug that's right for you, just ask!

    2. VeganVegan

      10% bleach

      SOP for nuking fungi, bacteria and viruses.

      Just use a spray bottle & spritz the bleach on all the surfaces, let stand 20'.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought the cure for fungal infections

      Was natural yogurt?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They obviously need to take lessons on doom saying from the like of the AGW mob.

    Oh, maybe they have, might, possible...

  32. Pete 43

    As a non dishwasher owner....


  33. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Kills 99% of all known germs, dead

    is obviously less than useless - we either need one that kills 100% without exception, or we need (whisper it) to stop worrying about it and grow some anitbodies!

    1. Nigel 11

      That which does not kill us ....

      99% ... is a good driver for microbial evolution. The 1% that survives, will become 2% two hours later, and re-fill the ecosystem after another 12 hours or thereabouts. And they'll be resistant to whatever you did to their grand^6 parents.

      You can breed bugs to eat almost anything this way. Culture some soil bacteria. Add enough dioxin (or other environmental contaminant) to kill most of them. Culture the survivors. Add a bigger dose of dioxin. Repeat until they pretty much thrive on neat dioxin (and possibly can't survive without it). Culture a large batch, and spray it onto your contaminated site. Leave for a year. Contamination gone.

      The Gulf of Mexico long ago bred crude-oil-eating microbes, because of the high level of natural oil seepage there. Lucky for BP.

      Bacteria are nature's clean-up crews. Without them, higher-level life would have choked itself to extinction with its own by-products, many times over.

      Just don't teach them to eat plastic, or rubber, or petrol. Or to think.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        experimenting...yeah, that's what I'm doing.

        You should see the stuff growing in my sink. If it were only black goo, I'd feel better, but some of it is grey, some green, but no tartan. When they start investigating the plague that wiped out the human race, they'll probably end up in my kitchen.

        Anonymous just in case I ever decide to have a social life again.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All Known Germs...

      No wonder they had a problem in northern Germany-- those were unknown germs!!

      Now the sproutbreak germs are known, so we are safe again... for a while.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    smear your black yeasts with marmite

    Every seen mould on marmite...thought not.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Killer Mutant Fungus in Your Dishwasher?

    How did you know about Her Yeast Infection?

  36. Chris Seiter

    They have feelings too

    Just leave the dishwasher door open; they have lovely flowers. They like to be taken care of. We must water them daily. Don't use the hot dry cycle; we don't like it. Please understand us; we mean you know harm. We just want to live among you. You brought this upon yourselves.

  37. adnim

    My dishwasher

    has gone on a photographic holiday to the Scottish Isles, while I remain at home working. I wish a had a spare kitchen sink, this one's full.

    On a serious note: We don't have a dish washer, only two of us so not much point. I now wonder what lurks in the clothes washer though.

  38. Rogerborg


    My mate died of cystic fibrosis at 26! HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA! What a laugh, eh?

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Hahahahaaha!

      I don't think anyone was laughing about that.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        re: re: Hahahahaha!

        Yes, I was laughing about it.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    What about...

    What about washing machines then - surely they suffer from the same issues?

    I have two dishwashers - am I going to die?

    1. me n u


      but not from this!

  40. radiomama

    What about the fungus on your sink stopper?

    Has anyone bothered to check the rubber seal on your generic sink stopper? I would imagine that its growing medium for unimaginable species of fungi is every bit as hospitable as that of a dishwasher seal! More research, please! (or maybe not?)

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes thermite IS the answer

    Thermite - for those stubborn stains when opening the door a crack and lobbing a grenade in just won't do.

  42. Ray 8


    Cillit Bang will clear that Fungal Infection...

    They use the stuff to clean de-commisioned Nuclear reactors so it should kill off the Toadstool invaders from your dishwasher

  43. El Cid Campeador

    Lewis is back!!

    Thank you for taking Lewis off the decaf! It's been a long time since we've had him in full Apocalyptic mode and I, for one, can't get enough! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all of his articles, but seeing him unleash his full powers rocks.

    Oh and I hand wash my dishes (within 48 hours or so...) so nyah nyah nyah!

  44. elderlybloke
    Thumb Up

    Think my washing machine is suffering from this too .


    I would try the 90C degree wash idea but the regulations here in NZ restrict the temperature in the Hot Water Cylinder to 60 C.

    I expect my end is near.

    1. Equitas


      1. the dishwasher itself has a heater?

      2. there's nothing to stop you filling the dishwasher up to the level of the bottom of the door with water at boiling point?

  45. Merrall

    Er! Think it does affect a lot more than you may think!

    Having worked in more than a few pubs in my time, I think this problem will affect more than 1 or 2 Register readers.

    In fact, any one who has Ice in their drinks, or has beer from a pump or tap.

    I've found a fungus in many ice makers, check to see if there are black spots in your ice - and No, I am not joking.

    Also, the pipes delivering your beer from the barrel or keg should be cleaned each week using a recommended chemicals, plus there should be, as in the best bars, a wash with clean water after every barrel change.

    The yeast from the beer can mutate into interesting variations if left un-attended, and can lead to victims calling on the Great God Huey on the Cosmic Telephone.

    A pub with a regular cleaning regime is a good pub - they will probably look after the beer better as well. Ask the bar person when was the last time the pipes were cleaned - if they don't know, drink elsewhere.

    Personally speaking, I prefer my beer to pass through my kidneys and not pass my tonsils on a return journey.

  46. pete23

    That's my birthday pressie sorted out...

    One subscription to Fungal Biology please, love.

  47. Equitas

    It's the Greens to blame ...

    All those low temperature washes

    All those namby-pamby tablets and gels instead of robust detergents

    Oh well, there's one advantage -- the eco-freaks will be disproportionately affected

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