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How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher

A dishwasher used to be a luxury, but now it’s a must-have in most homes. If it disappears, purchasers may be turned off. This machine makes it so much easier to clean up the kitchen. But occasionally dishwashers smell awful, and it’s hard to remove.

How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher

If the smell of your dishwasher makes you feel bad or even makes you question whether you should really use it to clean your dishes, keep reading. The cleaning pros at Calgarian Appliances have some ideas on how to get rid of bad smells and keep your dishwasher clean and fresh.

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell?

Some people might think it’s strange that a machine meant to keep your food spotless could ever get dirty. After all, every time you clean it, hot water with soap goes through it. But think about the tub or shower in your bathroom. You still leave behind dirt, hair, and soap scum even when you’re getting clean. Also, pieces of food, oil and grease that were cleaned off your dishes can stay behind after the cleaning cycle is over, and this buildup of dirt and grime can begin to smell bad.

Depending on how often you use the dishwasher and how dirty the dishes are, you should clean these places every so often to keep them from smelling bad.

How to Clean the Door Lip, Spray Arm, and Drain Filter

If your dishwasher smells bad and you haven’t cleaned the drain screen or filter, sprayer arm ports, or door lip, be cautious. It might not look good. It might even be kind of gross. Regular cleaning can stop food from building up and keep smells at bay, though, once you know what to do and how to do it.

First Step, clean the Drain Filter.

Self-cleaning filters, which are sometimes called “hard-food disposers,” are in some dishwashers. They grind up food bits like trash disposal. With these, you shouldn’t have to worry about building. But most filters are manual, and they do need to be cleaned. There are two ways to find out which one you have: look at the machine itself or look at the owner’s instructions. If you don’t have the handbook, look online for the make and model. Take off the bottom rack and look for the drain on the back of the dishwasher’s bottom. Most manual filters are round and have lines on them that show you how to take them off.

To clean a manual filter, take out the round filter and, if needed, the flat filter that sits under it.

  • Wash the filter in warm water with soap. To get into cracks where dirt may be hiding, use a bottle brush or an old toothbrush.
  • Give it a good rinse and let it dry.
  • Before putting the filter back in, use a wet cloth or sponge to clean out the area under and around the dishwasher drain of any food or other waste.
  • Put the filter back where it belongs, and make sure to lock it in place.

This step is often enough to get rid of the smell’s cause. Your dishwasher is ready to go again if this fixes the problem.

Step 2: Clean The Holes In The spray Arm.

Food and other gunk can also get stuck in the spray arm’s small holes. Not only can this make your dishwasher smell bad, but it might also stop cleaning your food. Take off the lower spray arm and, if needed, the top spray arm, and look for any dirt.

The spray arms are easy to clean. Just take them out of the machine and wash them with warm, soapy water. Check to see if the water jet ports are clogged. Use a pencil, tweezers, or another small, pointy object to remove any food or other bits that are stuck. Change the spray arm(s) and go to Step 3, or just go back to normal operation.

Step 3: Clean The door’s Bottom Lip.

Last but not least, food can get stuck on the bottom lip, which is where the dishwasher door meets the bottom bowl. This spot may be missed. If there is sludge, grime, or food stuck on the lip between the door and the sink, open the door all the way and scrub it clean with a wet microfiber cloth or soapy sponge. Tip: Wipe down the bottom part of the door while it’s open!

Using Vinegar and Baking Soda to Eliminate Stubborn Smells

Before you run a normal cleaning cycle, clean any food particles from the filter, spray arm, and bottom door lip. Then your dishwasher should smell a lot better. But some smells may not go away, even if the dishwasher is clean. This is especially important when washing plates that were used to cook strong-smelling foods like garlic or fish. Try this vinegar and baking soda way to get rid of these smells. Just don’t put them in at the same time, or your dishwasher will smell like a science fair fire. (Click here to read our suggestions on how to get rid of these cooking smells in places other than your machine!)

To Get Rid Of Bad Smells In Your Dishwasher, Do These Things:

  • Put about a cup of pure white vinegar in a bowl or glass that can go in the dishwasher.
  • Put it on the top rack of a machine that is otherwise empty.

Set the washer to high heat, and do not add any soap.

  • Take out the bowl or glass when the cycle is done.
  • Put one cup of baking soda in the basin’s bottom.
  • Do a second wash run on high heat without adding soap.

There you have it! As an added bonus, this mix also gets rid of mineral deposits caused by hard water and any greasy or oily film that is on the inside walls of your dishwasher.

Keep This In Mind About Vinegar And Bleach:

People often clean their homes with vinegar and chlorine bleach. But when they mix, they make chlorine gas, which is very dangerous and can be fatal in high concentrations. Check the list of ingredients in your dishwasher soap to make sure it doesn’t have chlorine before you use vinegar to clean it. So that the residue doesn’t mix with the vinegar, wipe out the soap tray well with a damp cloth or even run a rinse cycle.

What to do to stop your dishwasher from smelling bad

Keep up with regular cleaning to get rid of the smelly washing problem for good. Once a month, clean the filter in your dishwasher if you use it every day or several times a week. Every two months, check the spray arms and door lip. For a quick fix or to get rid of smells that don’t belong, use vinegar and baking soda.