One of the definitions of cleaning a smelly dishwasher is the absence of odor. There should be no odor when you open your dishwasher after running a wash cycle. But, what can you do if the dishes look clean but there is still an unpleasant smell coming from the dishwasher? You must clean your smelly dishwasher. So, check out our complete guide on how to clean smelly dishwasher and keep it fresh.
Before getting the instructions, consider the possible reasons for your smelly dishwasher. While cleaning the dishes, the bits of food and particles of grease and oil washed off can be stuck around after the cleaning cycle has been completed. Food particles build up and cause trouble in a few different places in the dishwasher are:
- The filter or screen.
- Sprayer arm ports.
- The bottom lip inside the door.
Some dishwashers have self-cleaning filters. This drain filter acts as a kind of garbage disposal for food particles. However, you no need to worry about build-up of dirt with these. Manual filters are more common for cleaning. If you don't know what type of filter do you have a dishwasher, check the manual or take a look at the machine itself. You can find the drain on the bottom of the machine by removing the lower rack. If you have manual filters, they are cylindrical and you can see arrows that can indicate their removal.
- Remove the drain filter from the lower rack of the dishwasher.
- Wash the filter with soapy hot water in your sink. You can use a bottle brush or toothbrush to clean all the interior surfaces.
- Rinse the filter thoroughly and allow it to dry.
- By using a damp cloth or sponge, you have to clear any food or debris from the dishwasher drain before replacing the filter.
- Reinsert the cleaned dishwasher drain filter and make sure to lock it in place.
Cleaning of drain filter is enough to eliminate the source of bad smells. If it solves the problem, your machine is ready to get back to work.
Food and other particles will become lodged in the small holes of the spray arm. This debris also caused smelling. Here is how to clean spray arms in your dishwasher.
- Remove lower and upper spray arms from the dishwasher.
- Hold the spray arms in the sink and remove stray food particles with a cotton swab.
- Run hot water through the spray arms to clean all holes of it.
- Check all ports where the water jets out for blockages and remove food particles with a toothpick, tweezer, etc.
- Re-insert the spray arms to simply resume the normal operation.
This is the last place where the dishwasher door meets the bottom basin. So, open the door completely. Then, scrub away accumulated sludge, grime or food particles trapped on the lip between the door and washbasin with a damp microfiber cloth or soapy sponge.
Once you have cleaned away any food debris from spray arms, drain filter and the bottom door lip, run a normal cleaning cycle. Then, your dishwasher smells a lot better. However, even if the machine is cleaned, stubborn odors may linger, especially when cleaning dishes of fish, meat, etc. To avoid these smells, you can try this vinegar and baking soda method.
- Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl or glass with distilled white vinegar.
- Next, keep it on the top rack in an otherwise empty dishwasher.
- Run a high heat wash cycle without adding detergent.
- Once the heating cycle has been completed, remove the bowl or glass that you placed before.
- Sprinkle one cup of baking soda in the bottom basin of the dishwasher,
- Now, you need to run a second high heat cycle without adding the detergent.
In addition to the above steps, you will try the following tips to avoid smell in the future as well.
- Try to use cascade platinum action pacs to wash your dishes regularly. It is made for preventing hard water filming and keeping the inside surface fresh.
- Scrape and rinse your dishes carefully before loading them into the machine.
- Clean the dishwasher with cascade dishwasher cleaner monthly, it will help to keep the unit fresh a long way.
- Try to avoid running other hot water appliances while using the machine.
- Make sure you perform proper loading of dishes for the best results.
- Dishwashers should be cleaned quarterly.
Now that your dishwasher odors have disappeared. However, regular maintenance should help you to avoid bad smells from your dishwasher. If you need any further assistance on how to clean smelly dishwasher, you can refer to the manual or contact a technician. For purchasing dishwasher parts, you can pick PartsIPS.