Having a dishwasher is a great convenience, but a foul odor emanating from it can be very unpleasant. It’s important to understand why dishwashers smell so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent and eliminate the odor.
Causes Of Dishwasher Odor
Dishwasher odor can be caused by several factors, including stagnant water, leftover food particles, mold, mildew, and hard water buildup. Stagnant water is a common cause of dishwasher odor and occurs when water is left in the dishwasher for an extended period. This can happen when dishes are not unloaded promptly or when the dishwasher is not used frequently.
Leftover food particles are another common cause of dishwasher odor. These particles can become trapped in the dishwasher filter, spray arms, or other components, leading to a foul smell. Mold and mildew can also form in the dishwasher if it is not cleaned properly or if moisture is left inside. Hard water buildup can also cause a musty smell in the dishwasher and can occur when there is a high mineral content in the water.
To identify the source of the odor in your dishwasher, start by inspecting the dishwasher’s components, including the filter, spray arms, and interior. Look for any visible signs of leftover food, mold, or mildew. If you notice any buildup, clean the affected area thoroughly with a mixture of hot water and vinegar or a specialized dishwasher cleaner. If the odor persists, you may need to call a professional to inspect and repair the dishwasher.
How To Prevent Dishwasher Odor
To start, one of the most important preventive measures is to regularly clean your dishwasher. This means wiping down the interior, including the door gasket, spray arm, and filter, with a soft cloth or sponge and warm soapy water. You can also use a dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clean the dishwasher and remove any buildup or lingering smells.
In addition to cleaning, it’s important to run hot water through the sink before starting the dishwasher. This helps ensure that hot water is reaching the dishwasher and washing the dishes effectively. Another tip is to avoid overloading the dishwasher, as this can prevent dishes from being properly cleaned and lead to odors.
Using a high-quality dishwasher detergent is also important for preventing odor. Look for a detergent that is designed to break down food particles and grease and has a fresh scent. Avoid using too much detergent, as this can leave a residue and cause odor.
Finally, it’s important to properly maintain the dishwasher to prevent odor. This includes regularly inspecting and replacing the dishwasher’s gasket if it’s damaged, checking the drain for any clogs or debris, and running an empty cycle with dishwasher cleaner every few months to remove any buildup.
How To Get Rid Of Dishwasher Odor
Dishwasher odor can be unpleasant and can even contaminate dishes, but there are steps you can take to eliminate it. Here are some tips for getting rid of dishwasher odor:
A. Begin by removing any visible debris and buildup from the dishwasher. Check the dishwasher’s spray arms, filters, and drains for clogs, and clean them out thoroughly.
B. Next, run a cleaning cycle with a dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Follow the instructions on the cleaner or use one cup of vinegar and a half cup of baking soda. Run the dishwasher on the hottest setting possible to help dissolve any remaining buildup.
C. If the odor persists, try running a cycle with bleach. Fill a cup with bleach and place it in the top rack of the dishwasher, then run a normal cycle on the hottest setting.
D. To prevent odor from returning, make sure to clean the dishwasher regularly and maintain it properly. Run hot water before starting the dishwasher to ensure that the water entering the machine is hot. Also, make sure to scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
E. Consider using a dishwasher freshener or placing a bowl of baking soda in the dishwasher between cycles to absorb odors. Additionally, make sure to keep the dishwasher door open when not in use to allow for proper ventilation and prevent moisture buildup.