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How to get rid of the Odor From Your Dishwasher

If there is a nasty funk emanating from your dishwasher, don’t feel bad!  Even the best-maintained dishwashers are likely to end up quite odorous in due time.  Thankfully, cleaning a dishwasher is not that challenging.  Give the cleaning methods detailed below a shot and you will find your dishwasher really does smell significantly better.

Mind the Drain Filter

Food particles accumulate within dishwasher filters as time progresses.  Unfortunately, these particles will gradually rot.  Food particle rot is the top cause of odorous dishwashers.  Take off the bottom rack of the dishwasher so you can access its drain filter.  Use a sponge soaked in hot, soapy water to wipe the entirety of the drain filter.  Clean the filter once each month and it will be that much easier to keep the dishwasher clean, fresh and pleasing to the nose.  However, if you notice the drain filter clogs with regularity or if it starts to smell bad prior to its monthly cleaning, it might be best to install a completely new drain filter.

Clean the Door Gasket

Your dishwasher’s black rubber seal along the unit’s opening is known as its door gasket.  This gasket features a magnetic strip along its interior that makes it easier for it to connect to the door frame so water does not spill out amidst washing cycles.  It is only a matter of time until food washed from dishes during cleaning cycle sticks to the sides of the door gasket.  Wipe away the grime from the gasket from time to time and you will notice your dishwasher smells that much better.

Clean the Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are hooked up to the same primary hose as the dishwasher.  There is a good chance the garbage disposal is the true cause of your odorous dishwasher.  If this is the case, it won’t take long to find out as you will be inundated by odor as soon as you detach the hose from the disposal.  Take off the hose, clean it with a wire and a wet cloth.  Once the hose is manually cleaned, the addition of a mild bleach along with cold water will help break apart any leftover food particles to prevent additional odor.  Furthermore, it will also help to slice up a lemon into small pieces from time to time, running the lemon pieces through the disposal in an effort to neutralize the odor.

Use an Odor Neutralizer While Cleaning a Load of Dishes

Baking soda and vinegar are fantastic odor neutralizers.  Fill a cup with baking soda or vinegar.  Place this cup along the upper rack of the dishwasher.  Run a cycle without any dishes in the dishwasher to loosen up the food particles, grease and soap scum from the dishwasher walls.  Be sure to wipe down the inside of the dishwasher with clean paper towels at the very end to ensure a truly thorough clean.

Another cleaning approach that uses lemons involves filling a glass with lemon peels and operating the dishwasher with the cup inside the unit.  Open the dishwasher door after this cleaning and you will find it smells wonderful.  Just be sure to check below the bottom rack after the cycle is finished so you can pick up any lemon peels that fell.

Clean the Dishwasher’s Spray Arm

An odorous dishwasher might be the result of a spray arm jam-packed with food particles.  If food accumulates within the spray arm, the dishwasher will struggle to clean dishes inside the unit.  Furthermore, such a buildup of debris also causes the dishwasher to be quite odorous to boot.  The solution is to clean the spray arm.  Start by disconnecting the lower and upper spray arms.  Hold one of the spray arms directly above the kitchen sink.  Use a cotton swab to remove particles of food.  Run some water through the spray arm to ensure all of the holes are completely clean.  Repeat this process with the other spray arm to ensure a thorough clean.