Why Does My Dishwasher Have a Bad Smell?

Kitchens are ideally associated with the smell of delicious foods or the fresh scent of clean surfaces. So, when there is a bad smell emanating from your dishwasher, it can be rather off putting. Additionally, when your dishwasher smells, you may find that your dishes also carry traces of this odor. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to eliminate any bad smells.

Dirty Filters:

The first thing to check is whether there is a buildup of food particles clogging up your filter. The food particles that come off your dirty dishes can often get stuck inside your dishwasher, causing food decay and the associated odors.

Cleaning your filters should be a part of your regular dishwasher maintenance, but you may need to consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to do this.

Wastewater Not Properly Draining:

Another common cause of bad smells from your dishwasher is an issue with the wastewater not properly draining. Wastewater leaves your dishwasher after the cleaning cycle has finished, but if there is a clog in your drainage system, this dirty water may be lingering inside your dishwasher.

If you notice standing water inside your dishwasher, it is a sign that there is some issue with the drainage. Whether it is a result of a bent water hose, backed up garbage disposal or clog, you may need help from an appliance repair technician to resolve the underlying problem.

Cleaning Tips to Avoid a Smelly Dishwasher:

Cleaning a dishwasher is a relatively simple task and it can help your appliance to work properly, extending its lifespan. With these tips, you can ensure that you have a fresh smelling dishwasher.

Clean Your Drain Filter:

As we discussed earlier, food debris can build up inside the filter, causing lingering and unpleasant odors. If you’re unsure where the filter is located inside your dishwasher, consult your owner’s manual.

In most cases, you can simply twist the filter housing and lift it out. You can then rinse it under the tap or use a soft brush or sponge to lift any stubborn residue. It is also important to clean around the filter housing and the bottom of the dishwasher to prevent more food particles from dirtying your newly cleaned filter.

You can also minimize the food debris by scraping your dishes of any food scraps before you load them into the dishwasher.

Run a Cleaning Cycle:

Most dishwasher models have a cleaning cycle, which operates at high temperatures to sanitize your machine. You can use a citrus based dishwasher cleaning aid to break down any grease inside the dishwasher tub.

It is a good idea to run a cleaning cycle regularly as part of your overall kitchen cleaning routine.

Use a Neutralizer:

If there are any lingering smells inside your dishwasher, you may want to consider an odor neutralizer. There are products available in grocery stores, but you can also make your own DIY version using everyday household items.

For example, you could use one cup of white vinegar and place it in a dishwasher safe bowl. Place this into the dishwasher rack and then run a deep cleaning cycle. This will distribute the white vinegar throughout the dishwasher interior to deodorize any smells.

You could also try sprinkling baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Baking soda is highly effective at absorbing odors and if you leave it overnight, and then run a cleaning cycle in the morning, you should have a fresh smelling dishwasher.

If you’re having issues with your dishwasher and bad smells, be sure to speak to a professional appliance repair specialist. An experienced technician will be able to troubleshoot the appliance to diagnose any underlying issues and provide an effective resolution.