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Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

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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


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Maddogcupcake03/02/2011

Eggs cause wet dog smell in my dishwasher. Prewash anything that has come in contact with either raw or cooked eggs before putting it in the dishwasher. I haven't had the smell since I figured this out.

By woody01/07/2011

This smell is caused by washing dishes with leftover cooked egg residue on them, it will smell like a wet dog when drinking from your glasses etc. and will make you want to throw up, also very embarrassing to your guests. Sounds silly, but try this it really works, make sure your plates, and especially skillets are completely egg free before loading them to be washed. Then you wont have this problem, this test even works in the kitchen sink, try it. Hope this helps.

By Annie Rios Hill [12]06/18/2010

I just went through this. I tried all dishwasher cleaners and vinegar and baking soda. However they still
smelled horrid. I cleaned garbage disposal to no avail. What worked was I purchased small bag of ice and
ran it through garbage disposal and it worked.
My maintenance man told me sometimes even if you clean garbage disposal stuff will still stick to
blades. I always run vinegar through disposal so I did not think this was the case it was.
Simple fix and cheap.
Good luck.

By Grandma J [46]06/17/2010

CLR is the product used for cleaning, it is not that expensive and has no dye that the kool aid can leave behind. Also distilled white vinegar does that too. I had this issue, found out it was the Sparkle drying solution I used in the dispenser. They changed the marketing on it and instead of smelling good, makes your dishes smell like garbage.
I am talking about finish. Try the Cascade or even a generic one. It smells like it has a petroleum base, like an oil can got left in for the 2nd time. I have emailed the company and don't get feed back, so maybe suggesting the competition would help.

By Louise B. [4]06/17/2010

You may have some filters that need cleaning. Check out the inside and see. Mine is on the door, but there are sometimes things in the back that get clogged up.

You could also try running an empty cycle with soap and add vinegar to both the wash cycle and the rinse. I would add a couple of cups of it, at least.

By Linda Jones [13]06/17/2010

GE recommended using Tang for their dishwasher so I would go with that.

By Dorothy06/17/2010

Put Tang (the powdered orange juice mix) in your soap dispensers and run the dishwasher empty (no dishes).

By Carly St.Clair [4]06/16/2010

I looked around and a couple people suggested running a lemonade koolaid packet through without dishes inside.

By Jill [4]06/15/2010

Sounds like it could be the dishwasher. If there are screens in the discharge tube, clean them. Any part that can come out for cleaning should be pulled out and cleaned thoroughly. There a products available to run through a clean, empty dishwasher specifically to clean it. See if it helps.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

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

RE: 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.

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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)


RE: 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

RE: 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

Archive: Dishes Smell Bad After I Wash Them

Why do my dishes stink even after washing them? It is so gross.


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