My sister has a problem with dirty dishes left in her dishwasher. She has been having renovations done to her condo, and before she could run the dishwasher, her building crew turned off the water. Now the dishes have been in there a while and she's afraid that there will be a lasting odor in the dishwasher. I told her to run the cycle with a box of baking soda in it, but maybe some one out there has a tried and true solution.
Any of your natural cleaners, i.e. vinegar, soda, bleach, should work. There might be a problem getting it to run after having been turned off for a long time. Some times they don't want to work after being off for a long time.
If the load was never started she could just hand wash the dishes.
Place a mug full of vinegar in the empty dishwasher and run. This will remove most odors. This can be done once a month to keep the dishwasher running well and the dishes coming out clean. The vinegar breaks down fats and oils that accumulate in the dishwashers drains over time.
Also if the odor is very strong and pervasive take a tray and fill it with charcoal briquets (the ones you use for the summer BBQ) leave the tray in the dishwasher when not in use. Change the tray every 1-2 days until the odor is gone. This also works well for the Fridge or just about anywhere else you can think of.
The absolute best dishwasher cleaner/deodorizer is Tang powder, the citric acid in it degreases/cleans/deodorizes like nothing else! Even store brand orange drink mix works great! Just put one cup of the powder in the bottom of the dishwasher and run it on a long cycle.
In the meantime (until the water is turned back on), get the old dirty dishes out ASAP, and try the other suggestions for odor control. I would put some charcoal briquetets in an old panty hose leg and hang it from the top rack.
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