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Cleaning a dishwasher

Why Does My Dishwasher Stink? Can I Fix It?

Opening your dishwasher at the end of the wash cycle only to be hit with a foul odor is less than ideal, and is a sign that something is amiss. If your dishwasher stinks, you're not alone, as most homeowners experience this dilemma at one time or another. Fortunately, the team of experienced professionals at Mr. Appliance® can help you get to the bottom of this problem and restore harmony to your kitchen.

Why Does My Dishwasher Stink?

Busy families rely on their dishwashers as a convenient, efficient alternative to handwashing, but as with any other type of appliance they require routine cleaning, care, and maintenance to operate at peak performance, prolong their lifespan, and prevent leakage or repairs.

Odors inside your dishwasher are typically caused by a buildup of grease or food particles which may become trapped within the filters, drain hose, spray arm, and other tight or hard to reach spaces. Over time these organic materials will begin to emit a funky or fishy odor that can make their way onto your dishware, and bacteria and mildew may start to take hold.

If your dishwasher stinks in a musty or damp way, you may have a clogged drain or a kinked hose and may require the services of a professional for expert diagnosis and dishwasher repair. Issues like these may lead to further damage or water leakage if left unattended and should be repaired at the first signs of trouble.

Tips to Fix a Smelly Dishwasher

Whether your dishwasher odor is caused by an accumulation of debris, neglect, or disrepair, you can get things back on track using these tips to clean your smelly dishwasher and prevent odors from returning:

Clean the filters and drain.

Remove the lower dishwasher rack and set it aside while you clean the screen or drain filter located at the bottom of the appliance. Carefully remove the filter and soak in warm water for 10 minutes before scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. While you wait, wipe away any lingering food particles from the interior of the drain before reinserting the clean filter.

Clean the machine.

Next, remove the upper dishwasher rack and, using a simple paste made from baking soda, dish soap, and water, scrub the interior walls and shelves of the dishwasher and rinse using a clean, damp cloth. Wipe the gaskets using a damp cloth, rinsing as needed.

Clean the spray arms.

Remove the upper and lower spray arms and use a thin wire or cotton swab to carefully remove any stuck-on debris that may be clogging the holes. Rinse each unit in the sink, ensuring all holes are clear and the water can flow freely before replacing.

Run the dishwasher.

Pour one cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher safe container and place it on the top rack of your empty appliance. Run the dishwasher through a short cycle and follow up with a baking soda rinse. Pour one cup of baking soda along the bottom of the dishwasher and run another hot cycle, repeating every month or so to keep the dishwasher smelling fresh.

If your entire home has a musty odor there may be more going on than just a dirty dishwasher, and our Neighborly company partner, Aire Serv® can help you determine why your house smells musty and offer some great solutions to combat foul odors. For all your residential and commercial appliance needs including dishwasher repair, you can trust the experts at Mr. Appliance for fast, reliable diagnosis and repair. Contact us online to schedule an appointment for appliance repair or call us at (888) 998-2011 today!