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Dishes Smell Bad After Washing Them

Dishes can retain odors they pick up from the dishwasher. This is a guide about dishes smell bad after washing them.


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0 found this helpful
June 15, 2010

After I run my dishes in the dishwasher, they have a strange odor to them. I have tried several detergents and had my water tested. I'm dumbfounded. Any ideas?

By Brian from NY, NY

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July 31, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

Look at your water. It is nothing to do with eggs, or your dishwasher, the water coming out of your taps has not been treated properly at source. Look up Hydrogen Sulphide in your water supply. Hope this helps. We have trouble here in France.

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August 31, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

It's not your dishwasher, water supply, dish soap, etc. When there are periods of high heat, humidity and dew point keep your windows and doors closed. The fresh (?) outside moist air is the reason.

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Anonymous Flag
May 1, 20160 found this helpful

Well here it is 2016 and I don't see any further complaints so I will have to try these remedies and see if it works. I have had that smell on my just washed dishes for a long time and I always said it smelled like a dog had been

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Anonymous Flag
May 2, 20160 found this helpful

I think it is eggs, mine only smells like this when egg plates have been washed with other things, also happens in a washing up bowl. Smell goes when items are re washed separately.

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Anonymous Flag
May 7, 20160 found this helpful

There may be other sources but beyond a doubt with 100% certainty, eggs do cause this unspeakable odour in the dishwasher. Like the other posters said, hand wash plate and cutlery that contacted eggs prior to loading into dishwasher.

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Anonymous Flag
June 4, 20160 found this helpful

Evelyn got the smell exactly right: the smell of worms after a rain. We've been calling it the wormy smell for a few years now--ever since we got our new dishwasher. It's not every time we wash, but fairly often--with or without any eggs involved. We've taken to rinsing our drinking glasses before using them, but this seems crazy to have to do. However, it suggests that it is not simply the water.

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June 12, 20160 found this helpful

My dishwasher guy said DO NOT USE CLR IN A DISHWASHER. Use a commercial dishwasher cleaner like Finish or Glisten that is made for that purpose.

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July 15, 20160 found this helpful

If you don't think it's eggs then have a fried egg or any egg for that matter and go outside and breathe in and you will taste the same smell it is eggs

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October 5, 20160 found this helpful

I finally realized I was over filling the soap dish in the dishwasher. The dishes smelled and never rinsed clean. Now I fill the soap to the line in the soap cup and no more smell. And I save money by not wasting soap.

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Anonymous Flag
December 8, 20160 found this helpful

I agree. After you eat eggs the dishes should be washed by hand. Otherwise all the things in dishwasher especially glasses will have an egg odor. Since I've been doing this egg smell is gone!

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0 found this helpful
July 15, 2014 Flag

I live in a townhouse and had to replace my simple dishwasher 6 years ago, and ever since then have had a rotten food smell on my dishes from the dishwasher. It is the most foul smell I have ever encountered. I have since then replaced my dishwasher twice to see if it is a problem with the dishwasher, have had 6 plumbers out to look at the plumbing and dishwasher, along with a specialist from the dishwasher manufacturer and no one can figure it out. I am at the end of my rope and just want to move. Aside from tearing up the walls and replacing all the plumbing I don't know what to do. Does anyone know what this is from. Please help!

By Sheila S

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July 17, 20140 found this helpful

There are a few dishwashing "tabs" that leave your dishwasher smelling foul. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the one I used that did this as it was only a sample. It made my dishwasher smell like vomit after I used it. I do remember it was one of those brightly colored combo tabs. After that, I only use the store brand of dishwasher tabs in the fresh scent.

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July 18, 20140 found this helpful

For the life of me, I can't figure out how your dishes could be smelly. Does the inside of the machine smell constantly as well? Does the water itself smell? You say you have replaced the dishwasher, and it still smells? If so, than it must be coming from the water or the plumbing. Does the water in your sink smell?

The plumbing that runs to your dishwasher is the same plumbing that runs to your sinks, so if the smell is somehow in the pipes or your water, it should be all over. Does everyone smell this foul odor or only you? Have you tried running the various things through your machine to clean it? People run a cycle with vinegar, or Tang, or citric acid, or commercial dishwasher cleaners, or baking soda (one thing at a time). You could even run one with a cup or two of bleach.

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0 found this helpful
October 27, 2009 Flag

Whenever I clean my counters with anything like Windex, dishsoap and water, Lysol, etc. afterwards my counters smell like a dirty, mildewy river. Also, the same happens with the dishwasher. Sometimes when I take the dishes out, they smell like a dirty mildewy river. I get so frustrated, even when I hand wash dishes and let them air dry, they smell like dirty mildewy river.

I thought maybe it's the water down here, but just using Lysol and Windex makes it smell, too. How can I get rid of this? Where does it come from? I have gotten to the point where I am spending tons of money on paper products instead of using all my new dishes from my bridal shower. It's a brand new house I live in. New counters, new dishwasher. I just don't understand. Any advice? I will be grateful.

Sandra from Wesley Chapel, FL


Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

My guess is that it's something you're using like a sponge or dishcloth/rag. When they are dry, they often don't smell and soap often covers the scent. I'd change all your sponges and cloths and see what happens. (03/28/2006)

By sueey.

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

Sometimes when I wash the dishes I pour a little Clorox bleach into the water. It helps keep the water sudsy and takes away any egg smell from breakfast in the water and dishes. Also works on any other food smells. (03/29/2006)

By Firefly1985

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

I'm thinking that maybe it's the FL water? Your house is new and so are the pipes so maybe it will take a while to go away. If not call your water company and explain the problem to them. I know FL water can be funky. My son lives down there and he uses that water purification (forget what you call it). He gets it at Walmart. He hates the water down there as he's from here on the shores of freshwater Lake Erie. Good luck. (03/29/2006)

By maryc

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

Just a friendly word of caution. Depending on the brand/type of hand dishwashing liquid, adding bleach to the soapy water can cause harmful (even fatal) fumes. I know several people, all still living, that add bleach to their dish washing water. I don't know what ingredient or brands cause the reaction. Always be careful when adding bleach to any other cleaning product, even those that seem harmless, most will not tolerate the mixture. Some cause deadly fumes to form instantly. Doesn't take much inhalation to cause a serious chemical burn of the lungs. If you are overcome by such fumes, get outside to fresh air immediately and fully ventilate the area before returning for any length of time. (03/29/2006)

By kidsNclutter

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

If the smell is musty like mold or mildew, you may need a dehumidifier or air conditioner. Maybe things just aren't drying out completely. Also, be sure to put your sponge or dish cloth into the dishwasher to sanitize it. I've also heard that you can put them in the microwave to sanitize, but haven't tried that. I wash my dish cloth every day in the clothes washer. I get a clean cloth and clean towel every day. Best of luck. I wish I could help more. (03/30/2006)

By Carol in PA

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

The cause for this is more than likely build up down where the pump goes. Look at the bottom of the dishwasher and you will see a filtering panel where the water exits the dishwasher out to the drain. Use a screw driver and pop up that drain and you'll find lots of build up. Pour lots of vinegar in the drain and let it sit for a couple hours. Put the drain train in a plastic bag and fill it with vinegar as well to allow all of it to get soaked. A few hours later, with a tooth brush, brush out that mold build up. Make sure you give the trays and the dishwasher walls a complete wash off using generous amounts of vinegar. Let it vent for a few hours then give it a shot. Good luck. (07/05/2006)

By Walter the dishwasher dude

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

Sorry to end the parade on your theories, but some dishes are made out of clay like materials that when you add heat to them makes the water that has been absorbed by the dishes start to come out of the dishware. When this happens, it does not normally smell that great. I suggest if it is not your water supply you may have the type of dishes that are not made out of the best materials. (02/05/2007)

By Philippe

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

I am a 21 year old male. I hate this smell like nothing else. To me, it smells like rotting, dead worms from after a rain storm. Its disgusting. I think its something in the water. I've noticed that if you just rinse a dish, the dish will acquire the smell of unknown origin. However, if you mix the water with soap, the dishes are fine. Similarly, if you do not use a rinsing agent (a product that is intended to reduce water marks on the dishes, increasing shine) in your dishwasher, the dishes get the smell from the water. If you do use the rinse agent, the dishes are fine. It is something in the water; water being the only link between dishes and rain storms. (10/08/2008)

By Matt

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

Try adding a cup of baking soda to your dishwasher it works for me. Other postings I read said you could use 2 Alka Seltzer tabs or a half cup of bleach. Another suggestion was Dishwasher Magic used alone in an empty dishwasher. My guess would be it from some sort of food build up and the wet and heat. Yuck. (10/22/2008)


Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

Eggy plates should always be washed in cold water with bit of washing up liquid. No smell. Wash them with hot water, smelly. It is to do with the protein nature of eggs. Afterward rinse the sponge or scouring pad with cold water. (10/31/2008)

By Sven

Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

What I found it is that the clay plates never really dry when they are removed from even a heated cycle from the dishwasher. The water is being absorbed in the bottom of the plates, bowls where there is no glazing. When the dishes are laid flat in the cupboard, mold starts to grow. I have spent many hours killing the mold with beach, vinegar, etc. But it's about letting them dry out or even applying glaze to the bottom or even standing the dishing on their side in the cabinet. (11/18/2008)

By Dan

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November 25, 20160 found this helpful

It is not build up or anything as I got a brand new dishwasher! I have to get the water as possible and sometimes they don't smell and sometimes they do. I believe it is the water and or drains/pipes. I think when they treat the water I don't get the smell....which is like a milk glass that didn't get clean...but they r clean! I only started having this problem about a year or so ago...I just don't know what else to do but call the city!

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