Why Dishwasher Smells Bad? How To Deal With?

dishwasher smells bad

When your dishwasher smells bad, it is time to clean your dishwasher. Why dishwasher smell bad? How to deal with it? When your dishwasher begins to emit an unpleasant smell, it’s time for you to step in and give your magical chore robot a good cleaning.

Why Does Your Dishwasher Smell Bad?

If you start to notice the dishwasher smells bad, you may have one or more of the following problems:

  • Dirty drain filter
  • Clogged drain
  • Food particles trapped in soap scum buildup
  • Plastic too close to the heating element
  • Mold and mildew growth in gasket seals

Pay attention to how your dishwasher smells bad so you can accurately determine the source of the odor. There could be a clogged drain or a dirty filter if your dishwasher smells like rotten food or fish. A drainage issue that may require professional inspection can be indicated by sewage or wet dog odors. Learn more about the causes of the odor in your dishwasher and the steps you can take to help eliminate it.

How to Resolve Dishwasher Smell Bad?

Cleaning frequently is the best defense against the dishwasher smelling bad. A few easy cleaning habits can prevent your home from having a smelly dishwasher.

Check for Food

It seems obvious at this point, right? Believe us when we say that stale food is the main cause of unpleasant dishwasher odors to cause dishwasher smells bad. By far, look for and remove any food or grime that may have fallen to the machine’s base. Get rid of the leftover food and the odor. The fix can sometimes be that easy when your dishwasher is terrible. I hope that’s the case for you. Sometimes the smell of rotten eggs is simply rotten eggs.

Clean the Filter

Here’s another easy trick that’s frequently disregarded. Not every dishwasher has a filter, but if yours does, take it out and throw anything stuck inside in the trash to cause the dishwasher smells bad. There will soon be bad odors coming from your dishwasher due to old food and caked grease. So, if your dishwasher has a filter, make sure to clean it. To reduce odoriferous threats, you could also try some other basic maintenance procedures. Before attempting to service anything on your own, make sure to seek guidance from your owner’s manual.

Air Dry

The fact is, your dishwasher has a fantastic seal. If it didn’t, the floor would be covered in water. Unfortunately, if there is any leftover water from a wash cycle, it sometimes leaves your dishwasher smelling bad, and the seal will keep foul odors inside. The dishwasher will air dry the fastest if you leave the door open. Consider it as allowing your dishwasher to breathe so that you can breathe easier the next time you use it.

Is Your Dishwasher’s Drain Filter Dirty?

A dirty filter is the most typical reason for dishwasher odor. In your dishwasher’s filter, food particles become trapped, and if the filter isn’t cleaned frequently, it may begin to dishwasher smells bad. Filters that are clogged can also cause your dishwasher to be improperly cleaned by recirculating contaminated water. To take out, clean, and replace a dishwasher filter, follow these simple instructions.

To clean your dishwasher’s filter:

Step 1: To remove a filter specific to a particular model, refer to your product’s manual.

Step 2: To access the filter easily, take out the dishwasher’s bottom rack.

Step 3: Filter removal requires unscrewing.

Step 4: Rinse the filter in hot water.

Step 5: Recycle the filter in the dishwasher.

Are Food Particles Trapped in Soap Scum Or Other Buildup?

Your dishwasher accumulates soap scum over time, similar to your shower. Without routine cleaning, soap scum will accumulate in your dishwasher and smells bad. Soap scum functions as a glue trap for food particles. The debris sticks to the soap scum and doesn’t wash down the drain, leaving a bad smell in your appliance. Thankfully, distilled white vinegar can thoroughly clean the inside of your dishwasher in just one cleaning cycle. White vinegar’s acidity is a fantastic odor neutralizer for dishwashers. Glasses that have become cloudy from your dishwasher can also be cleaned with white vinegar.

To clean your dishwasher using white vinegar:

Step 1: On the bottom rack of your empty dishwasher, put two cups of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe bowl. Don’t add detergent.

Step 2: Start a regular cycle in the dishwasher while it is empty.

Step 3: Choose an air dry over a heated dry.

Is Your Dishwasher Drain Clogged?

A blocked dishwasher drain can emit an overpowering odor, which needs to be removed right away to prevent a possible leak. Dishwashers that are newer models will alarm if the drain line becomes clogged.

Is Your Gasket Seal Moldy?

Without routine cleaning, your dishwasher may turn into a haven for mold and mildew due to all the moisture and heat it generates. The gasket seal’s inner lips are a typical place for mold to grow. If your dishwasher smells bad, make sure to check and clean the door seals with a wet cloth and soap.

Is There a Burnt Plastic Smell in Your Dishwasher?

The majority of dishwashers have a heating element that helps to quickly remove moisture from dishes and the interior of the appliance by heating water. While your dishwasher is running, if you smell burning plastic, it’s possible that some plastic has come into contact with the heating element. Normally, this occurs when a slack lid on a food container or a piece of plastic silverware falls through the rack and onto the heater while the clothes are drying. Stop the cycle when you smell burning plastic, let the heating element cool, and then take the plastic item out.


Do you know why your dishwasher smells bad? Dirty drains, food, and plastic all cause the smell. You can find the reason, and follow the methods above to deal with the dishwasher smelling bad.