Why Does My Dishwasher Smell?

The last thing you want, when you are trying to clean your dishes, is a bad smell coming from the machine that is supposed to leave them spotless and sweet smelling! Why does my dishwasher smell, I hear you cry? After all, it gets hot enough to kill bad odours, right? We are going to unpick the reasons – and find you some solutions.

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell?

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Like Eggs

There are a few different reasons why your dishwasher (integrated or table top) could start to smell – it is a place where all the dirty dishes go, after all!

  • Dirty filter. If the food particles that get washed off your dishes end up getting stuck in the filter, they can go bad and cause a nasty smell.
  • Blocked drain. If the dirty water can’t escape, you are at risk of leaks as well as a truly awful smell – this needs fixing quickly!
  • Food build up in soap scum. Soap residue is unavoidable, but if food particles are getting stuck in the scum then you will get a nasty odour.
  • Mould growth. Mould can grow inside the seal of your dishwasher, causing that characteristic mould and mildew smell.
  • Heating element. If your unpleasant smell is one of burnt plastic, chances are the heating element is too close to some plastic.

Once you have worked out which type of smell you are dealing with, there are lots of different ways to get rid of the problem.

How Do You Get Rid Of Bad Smell In Dishwasher?

There are many ways to clean your dishwasher to remove unpleasant smells – and you don’t have to resort to expensive chemicals either!

1. Clean the drain filter

Do this by removing the bottom rack, then unscrewing the filter. You can wash this with soap and hot water, and it should solve the problem.

You may need to use a toothbrush to reach all the areas inside the filter, where food particles can build up and start to rot.

2. Wash the walls of the dishwasher

If the smell is coming from grime that has built up on the walls, scrubbing it all off is a great plan.

Use hot soapy water and a cloth to clean the walls, and if there is stuck-on grime then you may wish to consider using some harsher household cleaners.

3. Wash the door seal

This is an area where mould and mildew can build up, so cleaning it once in a while is a great plant.

Remove it from the door and wash it inside and out with hot soapy water. Allow it to dry well before you reattach it.

4. Use vinegar

Place a cup of water mixed with vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Vinegar is great at removing odours, despite its own distinctive smell!

Make sure you have emptied your dishwasher before you do this, then run your dishwasher for a full cycle.

5. Use baking soda

Sprinkle a cup of baking soda over the bottom of your dishwasher, before running it on a short, hot cycle.

Baking soda is not only a well known cleaning agent in its own right, but it is excellent at reducing bad odours too.

Check out this informative article, for a great many different ways that you can identify and prevent bad smells coming from your dishwasher.

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Like Eggs?

A smell of rotten eggs anywhere in the house is pretty disgusting, but the last place you want that smell to come from is the kitchen!

If your dishwasher smells like eggs, it is because of a specific problem – a build up of food particles somewhere.

Here are a few things you can try to remove that nasty, sulphurous smell for good:

  1. Clean the door seals. This is an ideal place for food to build up, as it doesn’t get as clean as the rest of the washer.
  2. Check the hose. This is to prevent the waste water from flowing back into the dishwasher – if there is a blockage then it can make your dishwasher stink.
  3. Scrub the filter. The filter is where any bits of food from your plates will go, so it can get a bit disgusting! A good scrub once in a while should sort out the problem.
  4. Clean the racks. These usually don’t get as grubby as the rest of the washer can, but if you have tried everything else and it still smells, this is worth a go.

How Do You Clean A Dishwasher Filter?

How Do You Clean A Dishwasher Filter

A dirty filter is, in a lot of cases, the source of any bad smells coming from your dishwasher. Cleaning out the trap can solve the problem instantly!

You don’t need any fancy equipment or cleaning chemicals to do this – just a little knowledge, some clean cloths, hot water, and a soft bristled brush.

  1. First, work out if you have a self-cleaning filter or one that needs to be cleaned manually. These will look a little like a water filter, and you can find them under the spray arms.
  2. Take out the entire lower rack of the dishwasher, including the cutlery tray (this should slide out fairly easily, but you may need to lift it slightly to disconnect it).
  3. Clean any visible debris from around the filter – this can happen if the filter is too full to do its job properly.
  4. Turn the filter by hand and lift it out of its space – there may be directional arrows to help you on this step.
  5. Rinse the filter under hot, running water until this runs clear. If any food is stuck on, use a soft brush to gently scrub it away.
  6. Replace the filter once clean, and replace the racks and trays. You can do a vinegar rinse now to remove any lingering smells.
  7. It is definitely worth doing a clean like this once a month if you use your dishwasher daily, to prevent it from clogging up and causing smells.

This video will take you through the steps of how to clean your dishwasher filter:

Final Thoughts

When you have figured out the reason why your dishwasher smells and you have fixed the problem, you will never look back.

No more worrying about whether the dishes are actually clean – you can open and close your dishwasher with impunity, knowing the it and its contents are perfectly clean and odour free.