Why does a dishwasher smell?

Cooking a healthy meal and having an enjoyable, meaningful meal time with family would be a great deal of your day. But most of us are afraid of the aftermath-cleaning the pile of plates and pots will take a lot of time and energy. That is why dishwasher has become one of the essential kitchen appliances of all time. Dishwashers save your precious time, and they kill most of the germs and bacteria by the heated water. But over time, it is not uncommon to have an unpleasant smell in your dishwasher.  Well, you will feel that it is not hygienic. But why does a dishwasher smell, even if you maintain it well.

Potential reasons for the dishwasher smell

Having a dishwasher in the kitchen is much appreciated in these times. Although there are many benefits of owning a modern dishwasher. Sometimes you may wonder why your dishwasher smell like a sewer, fish, or rotten eggs. Although the primary job of a dishwasher is to clean and sanitize dishes, you must feel odd when it is emitting the foul smell. There will be a time which you can’t bear the unpleasant smell coming from the dishwasher when you open it.

  • Odor of foods

 When you turn on the dishwasher to do the dishes, there will be thousands of food particles swirling around in the machine, and there is a good chance of your dishwasher to catch up some unwanted scent from these food particles. And over time, it may grow into a strong and unbearable odor.

  • Stucked food particles and grease

When you regularly use the dishwasher, it is easy for the food debris to stuck in the filter, drain,and spray arm, inside walls and racks, or the little nooks and corners, which is hard to notice or reach. No wonder the rotten food particles like egg, fish, and meat got stuck in the machine gives an awful smell over time.

  • An entangled/bent hose

Another common problem of a smelly dishwasher could be the drain. If the hose, which leads to the drain, situated too low, the dirty water could be stuck at the hose’s bottom, rather than flowing out. As you could see, this would be the root problem of having a smelly dishwasher and quickly be solved by elevating the drain hose. So, it won’t be any stinking pooled water collected in the drain hose.

  • Growth of mold

Hidden, dark, and moist corners of a dishwasher could make an ideal home for mold and bacteria to grow. Plus, the food particles that stuck inside will give them plenty of nutritious foods. Although you hope a dishwasher would serve you with the dirty dishes safely, it would also negatively impact your family’s health by causing cough, skin, throat, and eye irritation and could emit a nasty smell.  

  • Clogged air gaps

The air gap is the small cylinder placed on your countertop near the sink. When the dishwasher is working, the dirty water goes out from the machine, and the air gap prevents the dirty water from backing up to dishes again and contaminating them. 

If you have clogged your kitchen sink recently, then there’s a possibility of blockage, which prevents the dirty water flow to the air gap, and the dirty water could be returning to the dishwasher and causes the nasty smell.  

As there are plenty of reasons to create a bad smell of your dishwasher, the key to finding the solution is finding the right source for your problem.

How to get rid of bad smell in the dishwasher

Let’s talk about a few simple steps which every homeowner can perform to fix the problem.

  • Perform empty cycles in your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda

The two-old fashioned, yet natural cleaning agents will do wonders to eliminate bad odors out of your dishwasher. They are cheap, environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and can use on the dishwasher safely.  Perform full separate deep cleaning, empty dishwasher cycles, a cup of distilled white vinegar, and baking soda. 

First, you have to keep a cup of vinegar at the upper rack and do a cycle, and then you have to take one cup of baking soda at the bottom layer of the dishwasher and perform a another cycle. After the two cycles are complete, you can keep the dishwasher door open to let it air dry completely. 

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This process would be the first thing to try, and it will be very easy and quick. After performing these steps, you will notice a pleasant change in the odor of your dishwasher. 

Plus, have you ever wondered about how to get rid of the burnt plastic smell in the dishwasher? A dishwasher could produce a burnt plastic smell due to a variety of reasons.  Sometimes a piece of plastic from the plates or cups could be stuck at the parts of the dishwasher and cause a burning smell. Or there may be plastic rack damage or heating coil damage. We can use the good old vinegar and empty dishwasher rounds to chase away the burnt smell during a situation like this too.

  • Clean inside of the dishwasher

If the machine’s interior still smells fishy, you can use hot soapy water and a damp cloth to remove odors from the dishwasher. You can remove the upper and lower racks of the dishwasher and wash them with warm soapy water in the sink. Then you can take a cloth and wipe down the interior walls with soapy water.  This will do wonders for your dishwasher, and you will get a fresh smell in your machine after performing these steps.

  • Remove and clean the drain filter

The majority of the dishwashers come with a drain filter to prevent food debris from the drain’s clogging. The main reason for a smelly dishwasher could be a clogged filter. For this, you have to remove the filter and wash it with hot water and soap. Use a bottle brush to clean all the small interior parts and make sure to clean the drain before you reinstall the filter.

  • Remove and clean the spray arm

If the holes in the spray arm filled with food particles, it will not work efficiently in the cleaning process and will give a foul odor. You can remove the spray arms and clean the holes using a toothpick. Then, wash it with soapy water before reinstalling it.

After performing one or two above steps, you would be able to banish the unpleasant smell out of your dishwasher.

 But, the process of removing mold from your dishwasher would be different from all the above steps.

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How to remove mold from the dishwasher

Now that you know your dishwasher is keeping some unwanted guests, and you would be thinking about hundreds of methods to eliminate them, but can you use bleach in a dishwasher? Absolutely No.

Although bleach is often considered as a powerful agent that could eliminate the mold, it is not suitable for your dishwasher. 

As the bleach is caustic, it will negatively affect your health as well as the dishwasher. Instead, you can mix small amounts of vinegar and baking soda to create a foamy paste. Then you can apply this paste inside and outside of the dishwasher using a small brush while paying more attention to small cracks.

A delicious, home-cooked, healthy meal is often appreciated by the health professionals of all time. We hope the above-described methods will help you to promote your healthy lifestyle and happy, stress-free mealtime.

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