Appliance Appointment

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell?

A dishwasher that smells isn't exactly a vote of confidence for how good of a job it's doing to clean your dishes. While it's not the most pleasant issue you could be dealing with when it comes to your dishwasher, it's far from uncommon. If you use your dishwasher a lot or have had it for some time then you'll be dealing with a lot of food particles flying around and potentially getting trapped, creating odors that are more than a little unpleasant.

A smelly dishwasher is not a sign of your dishwasher's quality. Even the most expensive dishwashers can fall victim to bad smells after a certain amount of time and use. That being said, you want to get rid of that smell fast. And if during your search for the source you come across a mechanical problem in your dishwasher, you're going to want to call in for help.

A vinegar wash

The quickest way to give your dishwasher a rinse is to run a cycle without any dishes or detergent. Instead take about three cups of white vinegar and pour it into the base of the dishwasher tub. Then run a regular cycle. The vinegar and water will break down any residual particles or build up and will get rid of the smell fast. However, it's important to make sure you never mix chlorine and vinegar which can become a noxious fume.

Look for clogs

You may run your vinegar cycle and clean out your dishwasher but find it's starting to smell again with the next normal cycle. This is a symptom of a chronic issue and usually means something is failing in the mechanism of the dishwasher. The water inlet valves could be damaged, the dishwasher could not be draining, or food particles could be chronically clogging and getting lodged in the dishwasher where they're collecting bacteria. It's best to call for help if you can't locate exactly why it still smells.

User error

One of the biggest mistakes dishwasher owners make is not pre-rinsing their dishes. While you don't need to give dishes a full wash—that's what the dishwasher is for—you do need to rinse them of any large bits of food particles. Your dishwasher is good, but it still needs to be used properly. Another problem is the detergent you're using isn't properly cleaning or breaking down food particles which stay behind to rot. You should also make sure your dishwasher is cleaning at a temperature of at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get a Dishwasher Repair Technician in Your Area

Local & Qualified
Rapid Connection by Phone
Commitment-Free Calls
Services We Provide
Services We Provide