Why does my dishwasher smell? 6 helpful tips

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Why does my dishwasher smell? 6 helpful tips
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Dishwasher smell common cause: time to clean the dishwasher filter.

A dishwasher that emits an unpleasant odor can be a frustrating problem, as it can make your kitchen feel unclean and can even affect the taste of your food. However, there are several potential reasons why your dishwasher smell might be noticeable, emitting an unpleasant odor, and by understanding these causes, you can take steps to eliminate the odor.

Common Causes of a Dirty Dishwasher Smell:

One of the most common causes of an unpleasant odor in the dishwasher is food particles and debris that become trapped in the dishwasher’s filters or spray arms. These areas can provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can lead to a musty or moldy smell. To prevent this, it’s important to clean these areas regularly. This can be done by running the dishwasher on the hottest setting with a special cleaner, or by using a brush or toothpick to manually remove any debris.

Dishwasher smell common cause: time to clean the dishwasher filter.
Dishwasher smell common cause: time to clean the dishwasher filter.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to regularly check the filters and spray arms for food particles and debris, and to clean them if necessary. The filters should be removed and cleaned using a brush and warm water. For a more thorough cleaning, you can soak the filters in a solution of vinegar and water. The spray arms can be cleaned using a brush and a solution of vinegar and water as well.

Another potential cause of a musty dishwasher smell, or odors in the dishwasher is hard water buildup. Hard water contains high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium that can deposit on surfaces, forming a buildup that can be difficult to remove. This buildup can lead to a buildup of bacteria and mold, which can cause an unpleasant smell. If you have hard water, using a dishwasher cleaner specifically formulated to remove mineral buildup can help. These cleaners are available at most home improvement stores and can be used to remove buildup from the dishwasher’s interior and exterior. Additionally, to prevent hard water buildup, you can install a water softener or use a dishwasher cleaner designed to remove mineral buildup.

Old, stale detergent can also lead to an unpleasant smell. If you’ve been using the same detergent for a long period of time, the detergent can become stale and ineffective, which can lead to a buildup of food particles and debris. Using fresh detergent and running the dishwasher with hot water will help to remove any buildup. If the dishwasher has not been used for a long period of time, the stale odors can build up. To help get rid of these odors, you can run the dishwasher with a special cleaner on the hottest setting. Additionally, it is important to use the right amount of detergent and not to overload the dishwasher, as this can cause detergent to become trapped and not fully cleaned, leading to bad smells.

Another potential cause of an unpleasant odor in the dishwasher is a dirty seal or gasket. Over time, the seal can become covered in food particles and debris, creating an ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria. To clean the seal, you can use a soft cloth or sponge and a solution of white vinegar and water. It’s also important to regularly inspect the seal and gasket and to clean them if necessary. To properly clean the gasket, you can use a toothbrush and white vinegar to scrub the area.

Finally, if your dishwasher is located in a damp or humid area, it can also lead to the growth of mold and bacteria, leading to an unpleasant smell. To prevent this, make sure to use the dishwasher in a well-ventilated area and keep the dishwasher’s door open after use to allow it to dry out completely.
It is also important to check the drain hose and garbage disposer for any blockages that can lead to bad smell. make sure that no food particles are trapped in there, and clean them if necessary.

In summary, an unpleasant smell in your dishwasher can be caused by several factors such as Food particles, Hard water buildup, Old stale detergent, Dirty seal or gasket, Damp location. Regular cleaning, maintenance and proper usage of the dishwasher will help prevent such issues from arising. It may take some trial and error to identify the specific cause of the smell in your dishwasher, but by following these recommendations, you should be able to reduce or eliminate the odor.

John, Larry, Mike, owners of Western Rooter & Plumbing

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If you’re having plumbing issues or emergencies, contact Western Rooter & Plumbing online or call our dispatch center at (626) 448-6455. We are the Los Angeles County and San Gabriel Valley’s number one plumbers – don’t wait, call now!

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