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How To Eliminate Your Dishwasher’s Bad Smell

Leftover dinner is put away, the counter is nearly wiped, and the dishwasher is doing its work. There is nothing more satisfactory than having a clean kitchen at the end of the day. So, where is that foul smell coming from? Did you check the dishwasher? All your dishes are cleaned, but with time, the appliances start giving off a bad odor. Listed below are some of the tips to clean your dishwasher. 

Clean the Drain Filter

Some dishwashers have an inbuilt drain filter that helps prevent small food particles from clogging the drain system. This is one of the main reasons that may cause bad odor.  

    • Make sure you remove the drain filter while using the appliance. 
    • Properly wash the drain filter with soap and hot water. You can also make use of a bottle brush to reach interior surfaces. 
    • Please make a short dream filter clear and free of food junk and debris before inserting it back into the dishwasher. Make use of a sponge to wipe away all the unnecessary particles easily. 

Clean the Spray Arm

If the spray arm of your dishwasher gets easily clogged with food particles, the ability of your dishwasher to clean cups, plates properly and expensive silverware decreases greatly. Food debris can also cause a foul odor. Here are some tips to easily clean the Spray Arms of your dishwasher: 

    • Firstly, remove the lower and upper spray arms.  
    • Hold the upper spray arm over the sink and remove all the food particles using a cotton swab. 
    • Then pour water through the spray arm in such a manner that every small hole is thoroughly cleaned. 
    • Repeat the same procedure with the lower spray arm.  

Wipe Down the Inside of the Dishwasher

Over time, grime must have accumulated all over the inside walls of your dishwasher. A quick wipe can work magic by removing all the foul odor. Here are some tips on wiping the inside walls of your dishwasher: 

    • Firstly, remove the lower and upper racks of your dishwasher and run some hot water all over them. 
    • Then scrub the inside walls of your dishwasher with a sponge or rag that are damped with hot water. 
    • Lastly, wipe the door gasket, which might have collected some mildew or molds.  

Eliminate Foul Odor of Your Dishwasher with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Vinegar is a strong potential that can help in fighting foul odor, yet it is 100% natural and safe. On the other hand, baking soda is an excellent ingredient to neutralize bad smells without using chemical cleaners. You can use either both the ingredients separately or use them together to sterilize your dishwasher easily. Here are tips on sterilizing your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda: 

    • Empty all appliances of your dishes.  
    • Place a cup of vinegar on the upper rack of your dishwasher. 
    • Then run your dishwasher on the hottest cycle. The acid present in vinegar will deeply break down all the deposits and make it smelling fresh.  
    • Remove the cup from your dishwasher once the procedure is completed. 
    • Lastly, sprinkle some baking soda on the surface of your dishwasher.  
    • Run a cycle at the hot temperature to make sure the baking soda dissolves completely. This will leave your dishwasher smell all clean and fresh.  

Check the Drain Hose

If the bad odor remains or returns easily after following the above instructions, then something might be wrong with your drain hose. Make sure you check the bottom of your dishwasher for standing water; if water remains after every wash, then something is wrong with your drain hose. Here are some tips for cleaning your drain hose: 

    • Firstly, inspect your drain hose properly. 
    • Ensure that the hose is not restricted or bent, limiting or stopping the flow of standing water. 
    • If by any chance wastewater from your kitchen sink is backing up into your dishwasher, avoid this by lifting your drain hose a little higher. 


Dishwashers can also wash more than just your dishes. Make sure to use the above instructions and tips to get the fresh and clean smell from your dishwasher.