How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher

Last update: 1 year ago

How to clean your smelly dishwasher
Lazy_Bear /

Dishwashers are one of the most overlooked appliances in your kitchen when it comes to cleaning. We are all used to cleaning any spills from the fridge and setting our ovens to a self-cleaning cycle from time to time, but we often forget about the dishwasher. That is why having a smelly dishwasher is not an uncommon problem. Find the solution to how to get rid of the odour in the following lines.

Why your dishwasher is smelling bad?

There is only one reason for bad odours coming from your dishwasher, and it is food build-up. Over time, tiny particles of leftover food accumulate in the filter or the crevices of the machine. Thus, they create a build-up inside your dishwasher. This build-up is the reason for the unpleasant smell, which can even be transmitted to the dishes during the drying cycle.

Some dishwashers feature stainless steel innards, which are better. However, most of them usually feature plastic innards. Plastic is porous like your skin. It absorbs dirt, mildew and odours. Unless the machine is cleaned out periodically, the smell will persist. The situation gets even worse when you’re dealing with “hard” water, and the calcium deposits clog the machine. The build-up is created a lot faster.

How to clean a smelly dishwasher

All you need is vinegar and some baking soda. Start by taking a minute to clean the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher. Simply unscrew the waste filter and remove it. Also, remove the filter tray. All you have to do is wash the filter and the tray under warm water. However, for best results, you can soak the two of them in warm soapy water for about 10 minutes.

Important: Don’t use an abrasive scrub brush. Waste filters are pretty delicate and such tools may damage them.

After you’ve replaced the filter, it’s time to deodorize. Take some white vinegar, a measuring cup and pour out one cup of white vinegar. Pour it into the bottom of the empty dishwasher. Next, select the deep cleaning cycle on your dishwasher to start the show. The vinegar will break up the build-up and deodorize the inside of the machine.

For even more deodorizing power, pour some baking soda at the bottom of the dishwasher and leave it overnight. The baking soda will thoroughly deodorize your dishwasher. In the morning, run an empty cycle, and you’ll be amazed how fresh and clean your dishwasher smells.

How to prevent the smell from reoccurring

The best way to prevent the smell from reoccurring is to take regular care of your dishwasher. Here is how:

  1. Clean the filter and the inside of the machine on a regular basis. Thus, you will keep food build-up from causing odours.
  2. Rinse the dishes before you put them in the machine. Scrape off large pieces of food that can clog the drainage system.
  3. Avoid using the kitchen faucet while the dishwasher is filling with water, as this will divert the water. When too little water is used during the wash cycle, the change of food debris being trapped in the gabs of the machine is higher.
  4. Every dishwasher holds a water softener, and there is a reason for that. If the concentration of calcium and magnesium in the water is too high, the water is called “hard” water. It is the reason for the calcium deposits that clog your machine and can be found on your dishes. A water softener is the right solution to the problem.
  5. Practice prevention combined with regular deep cleaning of the machine, and you should be able to banish the bad odours.

Got a trick on your own? Share it with us in the comments below!

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