My dishwasher smells bad…real bad…

“Why does my dishwasher stink?” you ask, as you scratch your head.

“Because of disgusting bacteria monsters,” says the know-it-all scientist in a predictable white coat.

“What should I do?” you ask, as your eyes fill with tears of anguish.

“You need to buy a new dishwasher!” exclaims the scientist as he ignites a handful of magic powder and escapes in a cloud of orange smoke.

No, you don’t. You can fix your dishwasher. And you can do it with your own two loving hands.

There are a few reasons why smells build up in a dishwasher, and they are rarely extinction level events. They are most commonly associated with:

  • long period without use/infrequent use
  • dirty filters or clogged food traps
  • scum build up in internal components
  • mould in spray arms or water jets
  • excessive food scraps left on plates
  • constant use of eco settings

Okay then, so let’s break it down…

Long periods without use/infrequent use:

Even if your dishwasher completes the drain cycle, there is still water left in the deep, dark places inside your appliance. Water stagnates, and begins to brew all manner of miraculous creations. If you don’t use your dishwasher a lot, avoid the eco setting if possible. Eco settings reduce the water temperature to save power but you are left with more residue and more bacteria. Pour a cup of vinegar in the base of the dishwasher at the end of the cycle and if the smell is persistent put a bowl of baking soda inside when not in use to soak up any smells.