Why Does My Dishwasher Smell
Before we get to the instructions, consider the possible reasons why your dishwasher smells. First, standing water could be causing mold to grow inside the dishwasher. This can also happen if you leave the dishwasher door closed for an extended time, such as while youre away on vacation.
Food particles could also accumulate in the drain filter, drain hose, spray arm, or elsewhere in the dishwasher. The odor could be especially rancid if the particles are comprised of fish, eggs, or other strong-smelling foods.
Fortunately, you can clean your stinky dishwasher in a few easy steps.
Is Mold Inside Your Dishwasher Dangerous
As with all mold and fungal types, some molds are dangerous while others are harmless and sometimes helpful to humans. The main thing to remember about molds inside your dishwasher is that you cannot tell if the mold is safe or dangerous. So, treat all mold types as if they are not good for you. Have a Mold Busters professional inspect and test the molds that are growing, so you are certain of what type of mold it is.
Can A Dishwasher Clean Mold Off My Dishes
Technically, yes. The dishwasher can clean mold off your dishes. However, the real issue is why the mold is on your dishes in the first place. Was it because they were sitting in the sink for a long time? Or was it because there was a mold colony inside your dishwasher dispersing mold onto your dishes while they were being cleaned? This is the issue you would need to know to have a proper diagnosis.
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How To Clean A Moldy Dishwasher
This article was co-authored by Ashley Matuska. Ashley Matuska is the owner and founder of Dashing Maids, a sustainably focused cleaning agency in Denver, Colorado. She has worked in the cleaning industry for over 5 years.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 91% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 156,905 times.
You might think dishwashers do a good enough job of keeping themselves clean as they wash your dishes. However, bits of food can become lodged in the filter, causing odors and even mold. You can also clean the dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda to get rid of any accumulated mold.
Shocking Reasons Why There Is Mold In Your Dishwasher
It can be tempting to believe that every time your dishwasher runs through a cycle, it gets a cleaning itself. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
While you likely view your dishwasher as a useful appliance that conveniently cleans your messy dishes and saves you time, what you might not know is that it can actually be a safe haven for mold and bacteria to live and grow in.
The modern household provides many ideal environments for mold and fungal growth, especially in moist, dark areas like the refrigerator and the dishwasher. The humidity and potential for leaking water in these areas create a perfect environment for unwanted mold and bacteria to live in.
Need an introduction to microorganisms to learn about what they are and the different types?
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Use A Dishwasher Cleaner
Remember to clean your dishwasher once a month using Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner or more regularly, using our In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner, to make sure minerals and particles don’t have a chance to build up.
If you’ve done all these steps, consider repeating them just to be sure. Then, if your dishwasher still smells, seek professional advice.
How To Prevent Growth Of Mold In Dishwasher
The damp environment of a dishwasher helps make it the perfect environment for mold growth. Therefore, taking steps to prevent mold from growing is important. Here are a few tips that can help keep the fungal growth down:
We recommend deep cleaning your home dishwasher at least once every two months in order to prevent mold growth and microbial buildup.
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Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Smells And How To Fix It
Its a tale as old as time: You open your dishwasher to do a load of dishes, and a giant wave of nausea sweeps over you as an unbridled, nasty reek pummels your nostrils into sadness and submission.
Yup. Something is definitely, totally, 100 percent wrong. The good news is that there is a solution for your problem. Several, in fact! First, lets try to figure out what is causing that smell and get to the root of the problem.
Trapped in the Filter
The first thing you want to check when your dishwasher smells worse than two-month-old roadkill thats been baking in the hot sun like an omelet of death and disease is the washers filter/trap. When was the last time you cleaned your filter? Have you ever even looked at the filter? Did you even know that your dishwasher had a filter? Well, now you do. Youre welcome.
We arent here to judge! Just to help. Clean that sucker out, and see if that helps the smell problem at all. If not, keep reading. Well get to the bottom of that smell even if it kills our noses first.
A Home for Mold
Remember when we said we werent here to judge? We really mean it. Were just trying to help you keep your appliances in the best shape possible. We want your stuff to last as long as it can.
Disinfect A Washing Machine With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has strong oxidizing properties and is an excellent disinfectant. It is a safe alternative for cleaning when you prefer not to use bleach, and it is also cost-effective.
Pour one cup of hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray the inside lid and any upper crevices of the washer. Use a sponge to wipe the area down to remove mold, gunk, and debris.
Fill the machine with hot water and add the remaining four cups of hydrogen peroxide to the water. Allow the solution to rest for about an hour and then run the hottest setting on the machine.
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Tips On How To Clean Smelly Dishwasher Drain Hose
When you feel a foul smell emanating from the machine that remains even after running a full cycle, these steps will sure help to solve the odor problem. I suggest trying strategies first that allow to clean the dishwasher hose without removing it, since an improper removal can damage the appliance, but if the irritating smell remains, you may need to remove or even replace it.
Clean Your Drain Filters
The drain filter of your dishwasher is the most likely source of unusual odors in your appliance. A warm, damp condition can accumulate food particles here, becoming unappetizing over time.
The cylindrical detachable filter will most likely channel the water. Toxic scents from a filthy dishwasher drain filter are the most common.
Examine the drain for any food or muck that may have accumulated. Use a sponge to remove any loose particles.
Remove the drain filter from the dishwasher and reattach it.
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What Causes The Bad Smell Of Your Dishwasher
Now, lets be honest. Some of our practices cause our dishwashers to smell bad. We often take for granted that this appliance that cleans and washes needs care and washing, too!
Remember, you cannot just put dirty dishes inside and all the dirt, grime, and grease go poof in the air. This is one of the most common causes for drinking glasses that smell bad out of the dishwasher.
Here are some causes of the bad smell in the dishwasher:
- Food particles accumulate over time in nooks and crannies with smells ranging from rancidity to rot.
- There are pockets of stagnant water left inside your dishwasher that cause mold to grow inside and emit that stale stinky smell.
- The dishwasher door is kept closed for an extended period or has been unused.
- The dishwasher door is kept completely shut after a hot cycle allowing water to condense and pool in the dishwasher interior resulting in that steamy stink.
How many are you guilty of? Be honest this will help you determine the next steps that need to be done to eliminate dishwasher smells!
How To Prevent A Moldy Dishwasher
While we recommend regular cleanings of your dishwasher, there are several things you can do in-between cleaning techniques to prevent mold and mildew from making your dishwasher their new home.
Moldy Dishwasher Prevention
One of the first steps that you can take to prevent the build-up of mold and mildew in your dishwasher is to leave the washer door ajar between washing. Doing this allows for airflow in the damp environment, preventing the ideal breeding ground for mold growth.
If you have had a particularly heavy load of extra dirty dishes, run a cleaning cycle with dishwashing detergent in the empty dishwasher. The dishwasher is often treated like a garbage disposal. Dishes that are caked with food and not appropriately rinsed can clog up the dishwasher.
Running an extra load without dishes can help to clean out any leftover food debris and prevent mold growth from starting. Make sure to run a cleaning solution such as vinegar or baking soda through a regular cleaning cycle once per month. Doing this will not only keep your dishwasher clean but prevent mold from taking hold.
The first step to eliminating mold from your dishwasher is to prevent it in the first place by following a few simple steps. Fortunately, there are several different methods to choose from if youve already crossed that line and have a moldy dishwasher.
Now that cleaning the dishwasher can be checked off your to-do list, whats next? How about learning how to make homemade dish soap?
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Cleaning Ports Of Spray Arm
Teeny food bits and mold can block the minute holes in your dishwaters spray arm. Aside from causing a bad smell within your unit, it lowers the water supply while cleaning and prevents your dishwasher from cleaning properly.
Remove all the spray arms and soak in warm soapy water.
Lightly scrub the surfaces to rid of any gunk and prick the nozzle holes with a toothpick to dislodge anything blocking the water flow. You can also use a bottle brush to clean this.
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Clear A Clogged Dishwasher
If water is backing up into the dishwasher, a buildup of debris may have caused a clog. Heres how to clean a clogged dishwasher and prevent future obstructions:
- Clear garbage disposal: Often, the dishwasher is hooked up to drain through a disposal. If the disposal is full of debris, the dishwasher wont be able to drain properly. We suggest running your disposal before each wash cycle to make sure its clear of food particles.
- Clean out air gap: if your kitchen has an air gap near the faucet, it can also become clogged with debris that hinders dishwasher draining. Remove the air gaps cap and clean out any visible debris.
- Break up clogs: Pour a solution of baking soda and white vinegar down your dishwashers drain. Wait 10-15 minutes and flush the drain with hot water to dissolve the solution and dislodge clogs.
Now you can answer the call when your dishwasher smells bad and use these methods to prevent odor. If its still not cleaning well, consider using a dishwasher rinse aid. But sometimes there is no preventing dishwasher repair. In that case, call GFY Appliance Repair & Showroom for prompt service!
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Dishwasher Smells Bad Heres How To Clean It
If the dishes in your dishwasher come out clean, then the dishwasher itself must be clean, right? Unfortunately, when your dishwasher smells bad youll learn this is not the case.
Its recommended that you clean home appliances like a dishwasher every 1-3 months to avoid mold buildup. But what is the best way to clean the inside of a dishwasher?
Unclog + Wipe Down Interior Parts
Next, examine the dishwasherâs spray arm and drain hose to be sure neither of them is clogged with more food particles. Clogging of these essential dishwasher parts could also contribute to unwanted odors because it could mean theyâre not functioning properly. If the spray arm or drain hose are clogged, use that scrub brush or even a toothpick to clear the passageways.
Another thing to check is your garbage disposal. You may want to disconnect its hose and clean that out as well. Itâs pretty simple, but depending on how often youâve cleaned it, be fair warned: it could be dirty business.
Then, wipe down the inside of your dishwasherâs walls with a soapy rag to be sure no mildew is building up from food scraps. Be absolutely certain to wipe down the interior of the door, and especially the door lip and gasket , where sneaky food bits and crud may linger unnoticed. Itâs whatâs on the inside that counts.
Door Bottom Lip Cleaning
Sludge tends to form on this oft-neglected part of the dishwasher the bottommost part of your appliance door that meets the bottom rack and basin.
To clean, open the door down to expose the gap of the dishwasher door bottom lips. Give it a good wipe with a sponge or microfiber cloth thats been in warm, soapy water.
Make sure to rinse out the soap film by wiping it with a damp cloth then let either let it stay open to air-dry or wipe down with a clean, dry rag.
How To Clean A Stinky Dishwasher
Nothing makes your dishes seem dirtier than a weird smell every time you open the dishwasherbecause how could something that smells so bad get your dishes clean? The final step of the instructions belowusing vinegar and baking soda to get rid of dishwasher smellscan provide a quick fix, but we recommend a deep-cleaning to tackle the root cause. Heres how to clean a dishwasher thoroughly and effectively.
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Clean The Dishwasher Tub
Now that youve cleaned the smaller components of your dishwasher, its time to clean the tub! It seems like a big job, but its easier than youd think. All youll need is white vinegar, baking soda, and bleach .
Vinegar and baking soda are natural deodorizers, so your dishwasher will smell fresh again in no time. Using these few simple steps, your Bosch dishwasher mold smells will be long gone:
- Pour one cup of white distilled vinegar in the bottom of the tub. Let it run through the longest wash cycle.
- Next, pour 1 cup of baking soda evenly across the bottom and let sit overnight. The next day, run another cycle.
- If you have persistent issues with mold, measure 1 cup of bleach and place in a dishwasher safe bowl.
- Put the bowl of bleach in the top rack and run the hottest cycle setting your Bosch dishwasher has.
Run Empty Dishwasher With Vinegar And Baking Soda
White vinegar is a natural odor-fighting agent and safe to use on your houseware. In addition, sodium bicarbonate is a fantastic smell neutralizer. Thus, baking soda and vinegar are ideal to fight foul odor. They are used in two separate cycles as follows:
For the first cycle, place a cup of distilled white vinegar on the top rack. Run a regular wash cycle and let the vinegar spread evenly. Its acidity will break down all the deposits found in the appliances interior and leave it smelling fresh.
Once the cycle is complete, pour a cup of baking soda at the bottom of your machine. Run a full rotation at the hottest temperature available to ensure all the baking soda dissolves. This cycle should remove any remaining foul smell inside the machine and in the drain hose.
Note: dont use chemical-containing cleaners such as Drano for flushing the drain hose. It has strong sodium hydroxide that may damage the plastic pipe and existing plumbing.
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What To Do When Your Dishwasher Smells Bad
Want to know where to start when your dishwasher smells bad? Weve broken down how to clean a dishwasher into easy-to-follow steps that can be part of your regular dishwasher maintenance. However, if youre struggling to find time in your day to get this chore done, let us clean your dishwasher for you with our convenient maintenance program.