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Removing Odors from a Dishwasher

Category Appliances
Woman making shocked face as she squats down next to open dishwasher
Dishwashers can develop unpleasant odors for a variety of reasons, including bits of food trapped near the drain. This is a guide about removing odors from a dishwasher.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
October 13, 2010

I have an odor that smells like wet dog coming from the dishwasher.

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Somewhere I read to run orange powdered drink mix, like Tang through a cycle.

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March 2, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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July 12, 20120 found this helpful

After reading Maddogcupcake's tip about eggs, we tried this at home with a good result. However, the eggs we eat all seem ok and don't taste odd but last night my wife was glazing a cake with raw egg white and there was that smell! She tried another egg and that was ok. So not every egg has it which may account for the randomness some people get.

So the answer for us is to hand wash dishes, pans and utensils that have been in contact with eggs. A small price to pay for saving a dud load. Also, I now top up the salt and rinse-aid and clean the filters every week. I don't wait for the machine to tell me it has run out of stuff. We used to get this smell on a previous machine but generally only when it was running out of salt or rinse-aid.

Having said all this it isn't a complete cure as I have found that when a load is just finished and I need something taken out when it is still hot and no pond smell is there, leaving the door open while it cools down has sometimes produced that smell. So I don't know the complete cure but doing what we do should help. Thanks to Maddogcupcake for the tip.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 14, 2011

How do I get the stale smell out of my dishwasher?

By DianeH

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Run a cycle with tang, vinegar, baking soda, or some bleach. Any one of these should do the trick. Just don't use them together. But, as others have suggested, you might also look for grungy deposits in the filters. Poke around inside the machine and see if there is something you can clean out. Check your owners manual, if you have one.

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August 14, 20110 found this helpful

Luana in San Diego.

I just posted on how to remove odors from a fridge. It's the same, you can run an empty dishwasher with baking soda in place of the regular soap. Before I did this I would recommend washing it out with apple cider vinegar, it takes the smell and neutralizes it.

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August 15, 20110 found this helpful

Another way is to run the empty dishwasher with Tang (or the generic store brand). The citric acid in the drink mix is great for removing odors and stains. I use about a cup full of drink mix, and only buy it when it's on sale and I have a coupon, so it's cheap, cheap, cheap!

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August 15, 20110 found this helpful

It isn't the odor you need to take care of under the bottom sprayer food collects and for the life of me I cannot remember how he said to remove it but he showed me and it was easy and he said to pour pure bleach in the bottom and then run the load of dishes and will kill the odor but if the food is still there it will come back.

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful

Run a cycle without dishes but add one packet of lemon kool-aid....it will be lemon fresh in no time.

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October 13, 20100 found this helpful

Can someone tell me how to get the nasty smell out of my dishwasher?

By Ruby from OH

Answers:

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

You can run 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup Tang, or 2 packages Kool-Aid through a regular cycle. (06/29/2010)

By Doll_face

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

Here is one that takes the smells, hard water stains, etc. out of your dishwasher and plastic and glassware. Fill up dishwasher, with plastic glasses, glassware, and dishware. No metal, of any kind! Anything you want sparkly and clean.

No detergent! Fill up a small bowl at the bottom of the dishwasher with vinegar, 1 cup of white. Run the cycle, do not dry. Fill up with 1 cup of bleach, run again. This takes care of all hard water stains, germs that are causing smell, etc. Also check for food at the bottom of the dishwasher. This cleaning recipe came from the Queen of Clean books, I use it often and love it. (06/30/2010)

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By michawnpita

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June 29, 20100 found this helpful

What will take a smell out of the dishwasher?

By Christy from Sparta, TN

Answers:

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

For the next load of dishes, dump in one cup of white vinegar along with your dishwasher detergent. (05/11/2010)

By MCW

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May 11, 20100 found this helpful

I noticed that our dishwasher smells. Is there a way to make it fresh smelling?

Cliff in CO

Answers:

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

Put ice and a lemon down your disposal and let it run a few minutes. Your waste from your dishwasher may be backed up in there. Also, go to Walmart and in the dishwasher products is something called "Lemon Shine." I use it once a week and it helps a lot. (09/12/2004)

By teresatrey

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

The smell could be coming from the drain pipes shared by the sink and dishwasher. You can help clean out the pipes by putting half a box of baking soda down each side of your sink. Follow it with several cups of vinegar (enough to make the baking soda go down the drain). Wait 5 minutes and run very hot water down each side of your sink. This will also work with a slow-to-drain sink. (09/13/2004)

By Ann

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

I have found the best dish and dishwasher cleaner. "Electrasol gelpacs" are great. They make your dishwasher and whole house smell lemony fresh. They have jet dry in them too. They come in lemon, green apple, and orange fragrances. I like lemon. I really like them and hope you will too. (09/14/2004)

By Susie

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

Check to make sure that there isn't food/grease built up in the door hinge area. They can get pretty nasty over time. Just bend open the door and where the bottom of the dishwasher meets the door, run a wet rag along in there to see if you pull out any junk. Yuck! The older dishwashers have grooves that just kind of collect stuff there. Newer dishwashers are better about it but still need to be cleaned out or the build up will stink. Good luck. (09/18/2004)

By Melanie

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

Take the rind from one orange and your leftover coffee grounds. Split in 2 parts. One part goes down the disposal and run with cold water to kill anything lurking down there causing a smell. The other part goes into an emptied dish washing machine in the "main wash" compartment. Run, done. No more smell and the washer is scoured in the process. (09/19/2004)

By Suzanne S.

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

Every so often I put vinegar in the soap dispenser and run it through the light or shortest cycle. This works really well. (09/25/2004)

By pats/az

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

Here is a tip that I've been using for years now:

I keep a bleach bottle under the sink next to the dish washer soap and always add a little when running the dish washer. It keeps the dishes, glasses, and flat ware sparkling clean. I never use Jet Dry anymore, plus the dishwasher is always clean and smells great. (09/25/2004)

By Mads

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

Purchased a new dishwasher with stainless steel inside and from day one have noticed an odor (pond water/fish smell or however else you want to describe it!). This has nothing to do with our water (town), as we never had the problem before the new stainless steel inner. The list of responses on this site indicate most are experiencing the same issues, sounds like a real problem!

Just spoke to the manufacture of our Kitchen Aid and was told DO NOT USE BLEACH, suggested placing 2 cups of vinegar on lower rack and run normal followed by extra rinse cycle. This should only be done once a year, more frequent use will cause the seals to prematurely wear. Ok, going to give it a try, if odor continues will let you know. (08/21/2008)

By Jeff S

Removing Odors from Dishwasher

My sister told me her wash machine smelled until she tried switching detergents and said I may be having the same detergent problem with my dishwasher. I had been using a store brand and with one cycle of the "name brand" my dishwasher no longer smells. It was an easy fix! (09/18/2008)

By Lori

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