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How to Fix Stinky Dishwasher Smell

You open your dishwasher, expecting sparkling dishes, but instead, you’re hit with a smell that makes you scrunch up your nose. If you’re in the Miami area, you’re not alone. We hear about smelly dishwashers all the time!

The good news is that it’s usually not a sign of a major problem. Oftentimes, it’s something simple like food scraps, a dirty filter, or a clogged drain causing the stink.

We’ll walk you through the common causes of dishwasher odors and give you some easy fixes to try at home. And if those don’t do the trick, don’t hesitate to call the appliance repair experts in Miami. We can diagnose any underlying issues and get your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean again.

The Usual Suspects: Why Your Dishwasher Smells

So, what exactly is causing that funky smell in your dishwasher? Here are the usual suspects.

Food Debris

Think about all those little bits of food left behind on your plates and utensils. Even if you rinse them off, some tiny particles can still find their way into the dishwasher. Over time, these bits of food can decompose and create a pretty nasty smell. And it’s not just the smell – trapped food can also clog up the spray arms and other parts of your dishwasher, leading to poor cleaning performance.

Dirty Filter

Your dishwasher’s filter is designed to catch all those food particles we discussed. But if you don’t clean it regularly, it can get clogged up with gunk. That gunk smells bad and can prevent water from draining properly, leading to even more smells and a less-than-stellar cleaning cycle.

Mold and Mildew

Dishwashers are a warm, moist environment – the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. These unwelcome guests love to hide in dark, damp places like the dishwasher’s gasket, spray arms, and filter. And guess what? They bring their special brand of the musty odor along with them.

Drain Issues

Dirty water can’t drain properly if your dishwasher’s drain is clogged or partially blocked. This stagnant water can become a breeding ground for bacteria, creating unpleasant smells. A clogged drain can also prevent your dishwasher from getting your dishes as clean as possible.

DIY Fixes: Roll Up Your Sleeves and Try This

Okay, enough talk about the problem. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get that dishwasher smelling fresh again! Here are a couple of DIY fixes you can try:

Basic Cleaning: It’s easy to forget about, but your dishwasher needs a good cleaning, just like any other appliance.

  1. Locate the filter: It’s usually found at the bottom of your dishwasher, either in a corner or around the base of the lower spray arm. Check your owner’s manual if you’re having trouble finding it.
  2. Remove the filter: Most filters simply twist or lift out. If yours seems stuck, consult your owner’s manual for specific removal instructions.
  3. Rinse it off: Hold the filter under hot running water and use a soft brush (an old toothbrush works great) to remove any visible gunk. For stubborn grime, soak it in hot, soapy water for a few minutes before scrubbing.
  4. Clean the interior: Now that the filter is out, dip a cloth in hot water and white vinegar. Give the inside of the dishwasher a good wipe-down, paying special attention to the door gasket and any other nooks and crannies where food and grime might hide. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, so it’ll help kill any bacteria or mold that might be causing the smell.

Baking Soda Trick: If your dishwasher still has a lingering odor after a basic cleaning, baking soda can help neutralize it.

  1. Sprinkle about a cup of baking soda evenly across the bottom of the dishwasher.
  2. Run a short, hot water cycle. The baking soda will fizz and work like magic, absorbing and neutralizing any remaining odors.

When to Call for Backup

If you’ve tried these tips and your dishwasher still smells like a science experiment gone wrong, there may be a more serious issue like a clogged drain or a mechanical problem. 

If these DIY tricks don’t eliminate the odor, it might be time to call professional services. Don’t worry; lingering smells don’t always mean a major repair. 

Sometimes, a deeper clean is all it takes to get things back to normal. This brings us to the importance of regular maintenance to keep your dishwasher running smoothly and smelling fresh.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

The best way to avoid a smelly dishwasher in the first place is to make regular maintenance a habit. A little bit of preventative care goes a long way. Here’s what you can do:

Preventative Measures

  1. Clean the filter regularly: Aim to clean your dishwasher filter at least once a month or more often if you use your dishwasher frequently. This will prevent food particles from building up and causing odors.
  2. After every wash cycle, give the inside a quick once-over: Grab a damp cloth and quickly wipe down the inside of your dishwasher after each use. This simple step will help get rid of any moisture or leftover food bits that could invite mold and mildew.
  3. Let your dishwasher breathe: When you’re done running a cycle, leave the dishwasher door cracked open for a while. This allows air to circulate and helps prevent that humid environment that mold and mildew love.

Professional Deep Cleaning

Even with regular maintenance, sometimes your dishwasher needs a little extra attention. Think of it like a spa day for your appliance. A professional deep cleaning can get into all the nooks and crannies you might miss, removing hidden grime, bacteria, and mineral deposits that can build up over time.

This kind of deep cleaning helps eliminate odors and improves your dishwasher’s overall performance. It can help your dishwasher run more efficiently, use less energy, and extend lifespan.

Appliance Repair Florida offers professional dishwasher cleaning services. We use specialized tools and cleaning solutions to thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of your dishwasher, including the filter, spray arms, door gasket, and other hard-to-reach areas.

Think of it as an investment in your appliance. A little TLC now can save you from costly repairs down the road. 

Related article: Why Your Dishwasher is Leaving Your Dishes Dirty

A Fresh Start for Your Dishwasher

If those DIY tips don’t completely banish the bad smells from your dishwasher, it might be time to call in the professionals. A persistent odor can sometimes indicate a hidden issue that requires a trained eye.

Don’t let a smelly dishwasher dampen your spirits! At Appliance Repair Florida, we have the experience and expertise to diagnose and fix any underlying problems. We’ll get your dishwasher smelling fresh and working like new so you can enjoy clean dishes and a pleasant kitchen. 

Call us today, and let us help you restore harmony to your home.

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