Why does my dishwasher smell?

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You may have noticed a foul smell when you open your dishwasher and see the dirty dishes. If so, you’re not alone! It’s hard to keep a clean-smelling kitchen with all the cooking and baking we do in it. Sometimes our appliances can get smelly, too, especially if they were not adequately cleaned before use or are located near other less than fresh smells like trash cans or diaper pails. Here are some tips for getting rid of that stinky odor once and for all.” 

Clean out your dishwasher regularly by removing any standing water or food items from the bottom rack. You should also empty any food containers left on top if they’ve been sitting there more than 24 hours since the last running. Run an empty load without the detergent to rinse and air out. Caution: Do not leave the door open for an extended period as this may cause condensation to form on the machine and the walls of your home, leading to mold and mildew buildup.

Dishwasher Filter & Drain Hole Cleaning

The first step in cleaning your dishwasher is to remove the bottom tray or rack. Then take out the removable filter and soak it for 10 minutes, scrubbing with soap and hot water before rinsing thoroughly and replacing it into the machine.

The next part of this process includes removing gunk from inside a drain at the bottom of your dishwasher; you can also pop half a cup of baking soda in a while doing so. Finally, after following these steps, replace filters into place by putting them back where they were initially found within your appliance.

Spray Arm Cleaning

Before starting the dishwasher:

  1. Check that your spray arm is in place and not bent out of shape.
  2. Use a wire or toothpick (or another object) to clean any holes on it if they are clogged with food debris.
  3. After this step, reattach the piece back into its original position before using it again for washing dishes by hand-screwing off from where you removed it initially while checking all connections made beforehand as well!

Dishwasher Seals Cleaning

The dishwasher seal could get dirty over time, so cleaning the joints and seals is essential. Use a damp cloth or sponge to remove built-up grime from contact points and areas around the edges of your machine that may cause leakage problems later on.

1. Remove water

If there is any water left in the bottom of your dishwasher, you will need to empty it before removing debris. To do this, most machines have a particular button or knob that you can turn to release the water. 

It’s usually located on the outside of your dishwasher door. If your machine does not have such a feature, remove the bottom rack and pour out any water collected there. You may want to wear a glove to protect your hand from any sharp items on the shelf.

2. Remove Debris Next

You’ll want to remove any large pieces of food or debris that are visible in the bottom of your dishwasher. If towels were left inside, remove those as well. Most machines require you to pull a latch located on the side or top rear part of the interior to release any hidden items like these.

3. Cleaning With Vinegar & Baking Soda

If your dishwasher smells bad, you can clean the inside of the machine with vinegar and baking soda. The smell is caused by leftover food particles stuck to dishes or in small spaces between other items. Remove everything from inside, including silverware baskets and racks, to make it easier for cleaning- this will also help prevent future contamination when reassembling later on. 

Put a bowl filled halfway up with white distilled vinegar at one end of empty disassembled interior parts bins (for example). Alongside serve another container half full with warm water, add 1/4 cup baking soda followed by more hot water until each bin serves 3/4ths way through its depth – place these containers on the top shelf near centerline perpendiculars points away from the side

4. Dishwasher Smells like Rotten Eggs & Sewage

If your dishwasher smells like rotten eggs or sewage, it might be time to call a plumber. These odors are usually caused by the sulfur present in the water supply and can indicate too much of this element available for good drainage. 

Although some people may experience these unpleasant scents occasionally from their dishwashers, continuous exposure could lead to long-term damage such as corrosion inside pipes and equipment and should be addressed.

5. Cleaning Drain Hose

If your dishwasher is smelling, there might be food particles stuck in the drain hose, causing the odor. You can clean out this part by attaching a wire or toothpick down it to remove any debris built up inside and then run an empty cycle on hot water with vinegar added into the soap dispenser or run some CLR cleaner through once a month. 

If you need to remove food particles from your drain hose, use a long tool like a spatula or screwdriver.


You can get rid of the foul smell from your dishwasher by removing water and debris next and then cleaning it with vinegar and baking soda. If you are still having trouble getting rid of that funky odor in your kitchen, try using bleach to disinfect the area around where the hose attaches to the drain system. If all else fails or if you have any questions about this blog post, please comment below! Also, Check out why your dishwasher not draining.

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Ubaid Hassan
Ubaid Hassan

Introducing Ubaid Hassan – the expert who knows all about fixing dishwashers. Ubaid understands how dishwashers work and is really good at finding and solving problems. Ubaid is the person to ask for helpful advice and solutions. Loving both dishwashers and taking care of the environment, Ubaid can share smart ideas to help you use your dishwasher well and be kind to nature.

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