How do I Stop my Dishwasher from Smelling

How to Eliminate Unpleasant Odors from Your Dishwasher

A smelly dishwasher can be a real nuisance in the kitchen. It not only affects the cleanliness of your dishes but also creates an unpleasant atmosphere in your home. If you’re wondering, “How do I stop my dishwasher from smelling?” you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore various methods to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean.

Understanding the Root Cause

Before we dive into solutions, let’s understand why dishwashers develop odors in the first place. Dishwashers are a haven for food particles, grease, and soap scum. Over time, these residues can accumulate and create an ideal environment for odor-causing bacteria to thrive.

Keeping Your Dishwasher Clean

Regular Cleaning Routine

One of the most effective ways to prevent dishwasher odors is to establish a regular cleaning routine. Here’s what you can do:

Step 1: Empty the Dishwasher

Before cleaning, ensure that your dishwasher is empty of dishes and utensils.

Step 2: Clean the Filter

Remove the dishwasher filter and clean it thoroughly. This filter traps food particles and prevents them from clogging the drain.

Step 3: Wipe the Interior

Use a damp cloth and mild detergent to wipe down the interior of the dishwasher, including the racks and walls.

Step 4: Run a Cleaning Cycle

Run an empty dishwasher cycle with a specialized dishwasher cleaner. This will help eliminate any lingering odors.

Natural Remedies

You can also use natural remedies to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh:


Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher and run a hot water cycle. Vinegar helps dissolve mineral deposits and neutralize odors.

Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher and run a short cycle. Baking soda is excellent at absorbing odors.

Maintenance Tips

To prevent future odors, consider these maintenance tips:

Scrape Plates

Before loading your dishes, scrape off any food residue into the trash or compost bin.

Rinse Dishes

Give your dishes a quick rinse before placing them in the dishwasher. This reduces the amount of food particles entering the machine.

Odor Prevention Products

Dishwasher Fresheners

There are dishwasher fresheners available in the market that can help maintain a pleasant smell. These are usually placed in the dishwasher and release a fresh scent during the wash cycle.

Scented Dishwasher Detergent

Opt for dishwasher detergents with built-in scents. These detergents not only clean your dishes but also leave a pleasant aroma behind.

Troubleshooting Persistent Odors

Check for Clogs

If your dishwasher continues to emit unpleasant odors, there may be a clog in the drain hose. Inspect and clean the hose to ensure proper drainage.

Repair or Replace Seals

Faulty door seals or gaskets can allow moisture to accumulate, leading to mold growth and odors. If needed, replace these seals to maintain a tight seal.


A smelly dishwasher doesn’t have to be a permanent problem in your kitchen. By following a regular cleaning routine, using natural remedies, and considering odor prevention products, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling dishwasher with every use. Keep your kitchen clean and inviting by addressing the issue promptly.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I use bleach to clean my dishwasher?

While bleach can be effective, it’s best to use milder options like vinegar or baking soda to avoid damaging your dishwasher’s components.

How often should I clean my dishwasher?

Aim for a monthly cleaning routine, but increase the frequency if you notice persistent odors.

Why does my dishwasher smell like fish sometimes?

The smell of fish could be due to leftover fish residue on your dishes. Rinse dishes thoroughly before loading them.

Are commercial dishwasher fresheners safe to use?

Yes, most dishwasher fresheners are safe to use and are specifically designed for dishwashers.

What if my dishwasher still smells after trying all these methods?

If the odor persists, it may be a sign of a more significant issue. Consider consulting a professional appliance repair service.

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