Easy Fixes for Smelly Dishwashers: Get Rid of Bad Odors Fast!

Having a smelly dishwasher can be a real nuisance, but fixing it doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re tired of holding your breath every time you open the dishwasher door, you’re in the right place! This article is packed with simple, quick solutions to get rid of bad odors and keep your kitchen smelling fresh.

We’ll walk you through some straightforward steps to clean your dishwasher and eliminate those stubborn smells for good. Whether it’s leftover food particles or a need for a deep clean, we’ve got the tips and tricks you need. So, let’s say farewell to that stinky dishwasher and make your kitchen a pleasant space again! With our help, you’ll tackle the problem head-on and enjoy a fresher, cleaner dishwasher in no time.

stinky dishwasher

How to Address a Stinky Dishwasher?​

dishwasher smells

Why Cleaning Your Dishwasher is Important?​

Regularly cleaning your dishwasher is not only beneficial for its performance but also for maintaining proper hygiene in your kitchen. Over time, food particles, grease, and soap scum can accumulate in various parts of the dishwasher, leading to unpleasant odors, reduced cleaning efficiency, and potential health risks. Cleaning your dishwasher helps to remove these contaminants and ensures that it operates at its best.

Signs of a Stinky or Dirty Dishwasher

A dishwasher is meant to clean your dishes, but what if it starts to emit unpleasant odors or leaves your dishes looking less than sparkling? These signs indicate that your dishwasher may be stinky or dirty. It’s important to address these issues promptly to maintain the appliance’s efficiency and ensure clean, fresh dishes every time. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

Foul Odors: A persistent, unpleasant smell coming from your dishwasher is a clear indication that something is amiss. The odor may be caused by accumulated food particles, grease, or mold growth.

Cloudy or Dirty Dishes: If your dishes come out of the dishwasher looking dull, spotted, or covered in a filmy residue, it suggests that your dishwasher is not cleaning them effectively. This can be caused by clogged spray arms, a dirty filter, or improper detergent usage.

Residue or Film on Glassware: Glassware that appears cloudy or has a sticky film on it, even after running through the dishwasher, indicates a problem. This residue is often caused by hard water minerals or detergent buildup.

Clogged Spray Arms: The spray arms in your dishwasher distribute water to clean the dishes. If they become clogged with food debris or minerals, they won’t spray water properly, resulting in inefficient cleaning and potential odor issues.

Draining Problems: If you notice that water is not draining completely from the dishwasher after a cycle, it can be a sign of a clog in the drain or filter. This can contribute to odor buildup and hinder the dishwasher’s performance.

Mold or Mildew Growth: Excessive moisture and food residue in a dirty dishwasher can create an ideal environment for mold or mildew to thrive. If you spot any signs of mold or mildew, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly for both hygiene and health reasons.

If you observe any of these signs, it’s essential to take action and clean your dishwasher thoroughly. Regular maintenance and cleaning will help prevent these issues from recurring, ensuring that your dishwasher operates efficiently and leaves your dishes clean and odor-free.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher

Preparing for Cleaning

Empty the dishwasher: First, take out all dishes and items. Make sure it’s empty.

Cleaning the Interior

  • Wipe down the inside: With a wet cloth, clean the walls, door, and bottom of your dishwasher.
  • Clear the drain: Take out any food bits or debris from the drain and filter it to keep it clear.
  • Clean the spray arms: Take off the spray arms and wash them under water to remove any clogs.
  • Unblock the nozzles: Use something small, like a toothpick, to get rid of blockages in the spray arm holes.

Tackling Odor Issues

Vinegar or baking soda: Put a cup of white vinegar or a bowl of baking soda on the top shelf and run a hot cycle. This helps get rid of smells.

Use a dishwasher cleaner: Sometimes, special cleaners can help remove stinky smells and buildup.

Exterior Cleaning

Clean the door and controls: Use a gentle soap and wet cloth to wipe the outside parts of your dishwasher.

By following these steps, you’ll tackle that stinky dishwasher problem and keep your kitchen smelling fresh! Regular cleaning will help you avoid future odors and keep your dishwasher in top shape

Preventing a Smelly Dishwasher


Rinse Dishes First: Before loading, quickly rinse off food from dishes. This reduces the chance of food getting trapped and causing odors.

Run Regularly: Use your dishwasher often. Standing water or bits of food can start to smell if left too long.

Leave the Door Open: After each cycle, leave the door slightly open to let air circulate and dry out any moisture.

Use the Right Detergent: Choose a dishwasher detergent that works well and keeps your machine clean.

Clean Regularly: Wipe down and clean your dishwasher regularly, especially the filter and trap.

By keeping up with these simple steps, you can stop stinky dishwasher smells before they start. Regular care means a fresher kitchen and cleaner dishes every time!

When to Call a Professional for Your Dishwasher

Persistent Smells: If you’ve cleaned everything and the bad odor remains, it might be time for a pro. They can check for deeper issues.

Drainage Problems: If water isn’t draining properly or there’s a constant pool at the bottom, a technician should take a look.

Strange Noises: Odd sounds can indicate a problem with the motor or other internal parts. Better safe than sorry!

Water Leaks: Any water outside the dishwasher is a sign something’s wrong. Get it checked to avoid further damage.

Poor Cleaning Results: If dishes aren’t coming out clean, even after troubleshooting, a professional can diagnose the problem.

Don’t wait if you notice these signs. Calling our professional can save you time and prevent bigger issues with your stinky dishwasher. We have the tools and expertise to get your dishwasher running smoothly again!

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FAQ: Smelly Dishwasher

Why does my dishwasher smell bad?

Most odors come from trapped food particles or buildup of grease and soap. Over time, these can lead to bacteria growth and a stinky smell.

Aim to clean it thoroughly every month wipe down the interiors and filter every few weeks, depending on usage.

Only use bleach if your dishwasher is white and doesn’t contain stainless steel, as it can damage or discolor certain materials. Always use it sparingly and follow up with a thorough rinse.

Yes, vinegar and baking soda are natural deodorizers and can help eliminate odors. Use them separately during a regular cycle for a fresh-smelling dishwasher.

If your dishwasher is old, not performing well, and consistently has odor issues even after repairs, it might be more cost-effective to replace it.

Need Help?

Talk To Our Technicians.

647- 808-9935

If you have concerns about your appliance’s performance, contact the professionals at ARNI Services, Appliance Repair, for a thorough diagnosis and repair service. – you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.