Why Does My Dishwasher Smell

We know how it feels when a bad smell comes after you open your dishwasher after a cleaning cycle. It’s quite troubling and this happens to many people most people usually have this question in their mind, why does my dishwasher smell so bad?

Sometimes it’s so worse that the dishwasher smells like sewage also. But how is that possible? So first you have to know the answer to these questions, after that, you can start to fix the problem. There are some possible reasons why your dishwasher smells.

Let’s have a look at some potential reasons why your dishwasher smells bad, and later we will discuss how to clean that dishwasher.

A Blocked Food Trap:

One of the most common reasons for a bad-smelling dishwasher is the showing of old, rotting food somewhere inside the device. Whenever your dishwasher smells, then check the food trap placed at the bottom of your tub.

Look for the hole there that collects runoff from the cleaning cycle. When the dishwasher is dry, take out the bottom dish rack and look to see if there’s old food inside the food trap’s basket.

If there is no food on the surface, try to take out the basket and delve further into the opening to see if anything is there. Do this carefully because if you’ve ever had a glass break inside your dishwasher, there may be loose pieces in the food trap.


 An Impaired Drain Hose:  

The job of a drain hose is to clear the dirty water and any petite food particles into the disposal unit under your sink. If anything goes wrong with the drain hose, then there are chances that your dishwasher may start to smell.

And when this happens you can try to pull your dishwasher away from the wall and see if there are any bends, kinks, or other issues that would stop the smooth flow of material through the hose.

You can straighten the hose to see whether the material is passing from one end to the other without a problem or not.

If you can’t straighten the drain hose then it’s damaged, and you have to replace the part yourself if not then seek professional help.

Sometimes if the drain hose is placed poorly or not curved then it will obstruct food waste, and it could still be the reason why your dishwasher smells.

Maybe You are Not Running it:

When you rinse your dishes before loading them in your dishwasher, tiny food particles remain in them. Many people fill their dishwasher for some days before running it when it’s full, this may also be a reason for their dishwasher to smell bad.

Usually, bacteria grow on dishes, and when the bacteria break down while a cleaning cycle; they could emanate the unpleasant odor you smell in your dishwasher.

To fix this issue try to run your dishwasher more often. Even if it isn’t full, you can easily run it on the “light” cycle this way you don’t use much energy while washing fewer dishes.

Sometimes your dishwasher is not at all responsible for the bad smell. As we have stated, the drain hose joins your unit to the garbage disposal in your sink.

And if the food is stuck inside of your disposal, the blocked food will stop your dishwasher from emptying properly.

So it’s always better to run your disposal thoroughly and ensure there is no more food trapped inside of it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why dishwasher smells like fish?

This happens only when the particles of food got trapped in the filter. When your filter is not clean then a dishwasher will smell fishy. So it’s better to clean your filter regularly. Every model has a different filter. But they are placed in the same place.

How to clean a smelly drain hose?

You can easily do it with vinegar, just boil four cups of it, and then pour half down the drain. After this run cold water for some time and then put the rest of the hot vinegar down the drain to rinse.

How to keep the dishwasher from smelling between washes?

You can put a container of lemon juice inside your dishwasher. In this way, you can keep the dishwasher smelling fresh. And it will be much better if you run a hot wash in an empty dishwasher to clean out food debris from the corners.

How do you get rid of the smell in the dishwasher?

You can do this by running two separate cycles first one with vinegar and the second one with baking soda to get rid of any remaining smell.

For the first cycle, put on the upper rack of the dishwasher a bowl containing distilled white vinegar and run a normal cycle. Then, run the second cycle after pouring a cup of baking soda into the bottom of the dishwasher.

Why does my dishwasher smell like sewage?

When this happens most of the time it means that the dishwasher filters need to be cleaned. This also happens when there is a blockage in the inlet or the drain of the pipes inside the wall.

If you want you get rid of the bad odors in your dishwasher you can try the following tips:

It’s always better to scrape and rinse dishes properly before putting them into the dishwasher.

Never run other hot water appliances, when you use your dishwasher so that its hot cycles are literally as hot as possible, and when this happens it kills carking bacteria and cast down mold growth.

It’s very crucial to load your dishwasher properly for the best results, and take care while scraping them off pretty thoroughly and pre-rinsing. And try to clean your dishwasher every 3-4 months each year.

If you take care of your dishwasher it will help you a lot, just make sure you go through your dishwasher manufacturer’s guidelines when you clean, to keep your dishwasher in excellent condition.

One more thing you can do after running the cleaning cycle is open the dishwasher door and let it air dry thoroughly overnight. And make sure to wipe the interior of the door with a clean towel to spur the air-drying process.

How do you get rid of bad smell in dishwasher?

There are a few things you can do to get rid of bad smells in your dishwasher. First, make sure that you are using the right detergent and that your dishwasher is properly ventilated. You can also try running a cycle with vinegar or baking soda to help remove odors.

Why does my dishwasher smell like rotten eggs?

There are a few possible reasons why your dishwasher might smell like rotten eggs. One possibility is that there is food trapped in the drain or disposal that is decomposing and causing the odor.

Another possibility is that your dishwasher isn’t draining properly, so water is sitting in the bottom and causing things to start to rot. If you can’t figure out the source of the odor, it’s best to call a professional to take a look.

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell?

If your dishwasher smells bad, it could be due to a number of things. First, check the drain for any food or grease build-up. If there is build-up, clean it out with a plunger or a plumber’s snake.

Next, check the seals around the door to make sure they are clean and free of debris. Finally, run a cycle with vinegar to clean out the interior of the dishwasher.

How to keep dishwasher from smelling between dishes?

There are a few things you can do to keep your dishwasher from smelling between dishes:

-Wash it out regularly with hot water and vinegar.
-Leave the door open after each cycle to air it out.
-Clean the filters and drain regularly.

What to do when dishwasher smells?

When your dishwasher smells, the first thing you should do is check the drain for any food or grease buildup.

If there is buildup, clean it out with a plunger or a plumber’s snake. If the drain is clear, the next step is to clean the filters.

Most dishwashers have a self-cleaning cycle that will clean the filters, but you can also clean them manually with soap and water.


So we have discussed in detail the potential reasons for smell in a dishwasher. If you maintain your dishwasher properly then there are chances that you will not get that mystery smell in your dishwasher.

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