How to Deodorize Dishwasher with Baking Soda

Having a fresh-smelling dishwasher is essential for maintaining a clean and pleasant kitchen environment. Over time, dishwashers can develop unpleasant odors due to food particles, hard water deposits, and the growth of mold and mildew. If you’re wondering how to effectively deodorize your dishwasher, look no further than a common household ingredient: baking soda. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using baking soda and provide a step-by-step guide to deodorizing your dishwasher.

Common Odor Causes

Before diving into the deodorization process, it’s important to understand the common causes of dishwasher odors. These include:

  • Food particles and debris buildup: Over time, food particles and debris can accumulate in hard-to-reach areas of your dishwasher, leading to unpleasant smells.
  • Hard water deposits: Mineral deposits from hard water can create a musty odor in your dishwasher.
  • Mold and mildew growth: The warm and moist environment inside the dishwasher can promote the growth of mold and mildew, resulting in foul smells.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a versatile and affordable household ingredient that can work wonders when it comes to eliminating odors. Here are some key benefits of using baking soda to deodorize your dishwasher:

  • Natural deodorizer: Baking soda is a safe and natural alternative to chemical-based deodorizers. It effectively neutralizes odors without introducing harmful substances into your dishwasher.
  • Effective at eliminating odors: Baking soda has powerful odor-absorbing properties. It can help eliminate the unpleasant smells caused by food residue, hard water deposits, and microbial growth.
  • Gentle on dishwasher surfaces: Unlike harsh chemicals that may damage your dishwasher’s interior, baking soda is non-abrasive and gentle. It can help remove stains and residue without harming the surfaces.

Steps to Deodorize a Dishwasher

Now let’s get into the step-by-step process of deodorizing your dishwasher using baking soda:

Step 1: Cleaning the interior

Before deodorizing, it’s important to clean the interior of your dishwasher. Remove any visible food particles and debris from the bottom, spray arms, and filter. Wipe down the surfaces with a damp cloth or sponge.

Step 2: Preparing the baking soda solution

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with enough water to create a thick paste. The paste should be spreadable but not too runny.

Step 3: Applying the baking soda solution

Using a sponge or cloth, apply the baking soda paste to the interior surfaces of the dishwasher. Focus on areas prone to odor, such as the door seal, bottom, and sides. Make sure to coat the surfaces evenly.

Step 4: Running a hot water cycle

After applying the baking soda paste, close the dishwasher door and run a hot water cycle. The heat will activate the baking soda, helping to eliminate odors and freshen the dishwasher. You can add a cup of white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher for an extra boost of freshness.

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Additional Tips for Maintaining a Fresh Dishwasher

To ensure your dishwasher stays fresh and odor-free, consider implementing these additional tips:

  • Regular cleaning routine: Develop a regular cleaning routine for your dishwasher, including wiping down the interior, cleaning the filter, and inspecting the spray arms for any clogs.
  • Proper loading and rinsing techniques: Scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Rinse heavily soiled items to prevent food particles from accumulating.
  • Checking and cleaning the filter: Periodically check and clean the dishwasher’s filter to remove any trapped food particles or debris that may contribute to odors.

Can you use baking soda to deodorize dishwasher?

Yes, baking soda can be used to deodorize a dishwasher. Baking soda is an effective and natural way to remove odors from your dishwasher. To use it, simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher and run a normal cycle without any dishes. The baking soda will absorb the odors and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh.

For more persistent odors, you can create a paste with baking soda and water and spread it on the inside walls of your dishwasher before running a cycle. This will help to eliminate any lingering odors that may be trapped in hard-to-reach areas. After running the cycle, wipe away any remaining baking soda residue with a damp cloth or sponge.

Baking soda is also great for cleaning the interior of your dishwasher as it helps to break down grease and food particles that may have built up over time.

Is it safe to put vinegar and baking soda in dishwasher?

Yes, it is safe to put vinegar and baking soda in the dishwasher. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer that can help clean your dishes and remove grease build-up. Baking soda is also a natural cleaner that can help to break down food particles and reduce odors. It can also act as a mild abrasive that helps to scrub away stuck-on debris. Together, these two ingredients make an effective cleaning solution for your dishwasher.

When using vinegar and baking soda in the dishwasher, it’s important to use them separately. Start by running the empty dishwasher with just vinegar in the detergent dispenser or directly into the bottom of the machine. Then run another cycle with just baking soda sprinkled on the bottom of the dishwasher. This will ensure that both ingredients are used properly and effectively clean your dishes.

How do I deodorize my dishwasher without vinegar?

If you’re looking to deodorize your dishwasher without vinegar, there are a few methods you can try. One of the simplest is to run an empty cycle with baking soda sprinkled inside. This will help absorb any odors and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh. You can also sprinkle some lemon juice or citrus rinds into the bottom of the dishwasher before running a cycle; these ingredients naturally contain antibacterial properties that will help break down any bacteria causing bad smells. Finally, you can fill a shallow bowl with white vinegar and place it in the top rack of your dishwasher while running an empty cycle; this will help neutralize odors and leave your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh.


With baking soda as your secret weapon, deodorizing your dishwasher is a simple and effective task. By following the outlined steps and incorporating additional maintenance tips, you can ensure a fresh-smelling dishwasher that leaves your dishes sparkling clean. Say goodbye to unpleasant odors and embrace the convenience of a well-maintained dishwasher.

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