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May 13th, 2019 in Plumbing Maintenance, Plumbing Problems

How to Fix a Smelly Dishwasher in 4 Steps


In a perfect world, your kitchen is always filled with enjoyable smells like freshly baked cookies or your grandmother’s secret spaghetti sauce recipe. But in the real world, foul odors can overtake your kitchen and make working in it an uncomfortable experience.

Fix a Smelly Dishwasher

If the bad smell is coming from your dishwasher, there are four steps you can take to fix the problem.

  1. Clean the filter – Over time, the filter of your dishwasher can get covered in food particles and other gunk. This is the most common reason a dishwasher starts to smell bad. Read the user manual to find out how to remove the filter of your model. Then, clean the filter and surrounding area with soapy hot water.
  2. Clean walls and gasket – Use a soapy rag to clean the interior walls of the dishwasher as well as the rubber gasket that seals the door. Look for and remove any food or mold that you find.
  3. Scrub internal parts – Pull out the racks and give all the internal parts a thorough cleaning. That includes the spray arms, slide arms, and dish and utensil racks.
  4. Run a clean cycle – Add 1 cup of distilled vinegar to a bowl and place on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run a full cycle without any other items in the dishwasher. This will disinfect the inside. After that’s done, remove the bowl and add a small amount of baking soda to the bottom of the dishwasher underneath the spray arms. Run another cycle – the shortest one available on your model – for a final cleaning and to get rid of the vinegar smell.

Preventing your dishwasher from smelling

To keep the bad smells from coming back, keep an eye out from food residue that doesn’t make it down the drain after each cycle.

Also, don’t leave dirty dishes in your dishwasher for too long – this is asking for bacteria growth and foul odors. Instead, try using the rinse-and-hold cycle to keep the dishwasher fresh in between full washing cycles.

If you try all these tips and you’re still having problems with your dishwasher, call the professionals at Rick’s Plumbing at (203) 874-6629. We’ll be happy to come out to investigate and fix the problem so you can go back to enjoying your kitchen.



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