Why Does My New Dishwasher Smell So Bad

If you’ve recently invested in a new dishwasher, you might be surprised and puzzled when an unpleasant odor starts emanating from it. After all, a new appliance should bring convenience and efficiency to your life, not an unwanted smell. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind why your new dishwasher might smell bad and provide effective solutions to eliminate those odors. Let’s dive in and tackle this kitchen conundrum together.

Understanding the Phenomenon

The New Appliance Smell

Just like a new car can have a distinct smell, new appliances, including dishwashers, can also emit unique odors. These smells are often a result of manufacturing processes, packaging materials, and even residues from the factory. While these odors can be bothersome, they usually dissipate over time as the appliance is used and the materials off-gas.

Accumulation of Residues

One of the main culprits behind the bad smell in a new dishwasher is the accumulation of residues. During the manufacturing and shipping process, various substances can get trapped inside the machine. These residues might include oils, lubricants, and even dust.

Common Causes of Bad Odors

Standing Water

Sometimes, water can pool at the bottom of the dishwasher, leading to foul smells. This can occur due to improper installation or a clog in the drain system.

Insufficient Cleaning

New dishwashers might not clean as effectively during their initial cycles. Food particles and debris can remain, creating a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.

Plastic Items

Plastic utensils and containers can release unpleasant odors when exposed to high temperatures. These odors can linger in the dishwasher and transfer to other dishes.

Improper Drying

Moisture that remains after the drying cycle can foster the growth of mold and mildew, resulting in musty smells.

Preventing and Eliminating Odors

Hot Water Rinse

Run the dishwasher on its hottest setting without any dishes or detergent. This helps dislodge and flush out any residues that might be causing the smell.

Regular Cleaning

Periodically inspect and clean the filter, spray arms, and all nooks and crannies of the dishwasher. Use a vinegar and baking soda solution to eliminate odors naturally.

Proper Loading

Ensure that dishes are loaded properly, allowing water to reach all surfaces. Avoid overloading, which can trap food particles.

Use of Rinse Aid

Rinse aid can improve drying performance and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. This can significantly reduce bad odors.


A bad smell from your new dishwasher can be a temporary and solvable issue. By understanding the causes and taking proactive steps to prevent and eliminate odors, you can enjoy the convenience of your appliance without any unpleasant surprises. Remember, a well-maintained dishwasher not only keeps your dishes sparkling clean but also ensures a fresh and odor-free kitchen environment.


Q: Is it normal for a new dishwasher to smell bad?

A: Yes, new appliances can emit various odors due to manufacturing processes, but these odors usually fade with time.

Q: Can plastic items in the dishwasher cause bad smells?

A: Yes, plastic utensils and containers can release odors when exposed to high temperatures, contributing to bad smells.

Q: How often should I clean the dishwasher filter?

A: Cleaning the dishwasher filter once a month is a good practice to prevent odors and maintain optimal performance.

Q: Why does standing water lead to bad odors?

A: Standing water can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which produce foul-smelling compounds.

Q: Can I use bleach to clean my dishwasher?

A: It’s not recommended to use bleach, as it can damage the dishwasher’s components. Opt for vinegar and baking soda for a safe and effective clean.

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