How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher- A Thorough and Effective Guide

Smelly Dishwasher Cleanin

Washing dishes is one of the most annoying and tedious household chores unless you have something on the list others don’t! Thanks to the dishwasher for lending a helping, they are the real heroes!

A dishwasher enables you to quickly manage your kitchen counter and keep your sink free from food residue’s smell.

But how does it feel if your dishwasher smells like sewage? Doesn’t it feel annoying and embarrassing?

Dish Washer

This foul-smell feels weirder and dirtier than unwashed dishes; moreover, who would like to wash the dishes in such a smelly dishwasher?

Hence, cleaning the stinking dishwasher is essential as a priority. There are numerous short cuts to clean the acrid dishwasher, but deep cleaning is necessary and useful.

Before we move to instructions on how to get rid of the fishy smell in the dishwasher, let’s look at the reasons for the smelly dishwasher.

Why Does My Dishwasher Stink?

  • Dirty residual water in the dishwasher
  • Keeping the doors closed for an extended period
  • Accumulated food particles in the drain filter, spray arm, or drain hose
  • Stuck strong-smelly food particles like egg or fish

These stated reasons can cause stinking dishwashers, but fortunately, you can get rid of this odor by following a few effortless and straightforward steps.

Dishwasher Stink

Tips on How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher- Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Clean the Drain Filter

The first step is to clean the drain filter as a clogged drain signifies a common cause of dishwasher smell.

Clean the Dinner Filter

The drain filter is probably at the bottom rear of the dishwasher tub. The following are steps to clean the stuck filter.


  • Unfasten the filter of the dishwasher
  • Get some hot soapy water to clean the filter.
  • Wash the filter in your kitchen sink with hot soapy water
  • You can take a bottle brush to clean all the crevices of the filter.

Before refixing the filter, investigate if food particles are removed. If you still find any gunk, use a sponge to wipe it.

Step 2: Clean the Spray Arm

The second reason for stinking the dishwasher could be holes in the spray arm, as they often get jammed after some time and create an intolerating smell.

Cleaning Spray Arm

These choked holes of spray arms could create an unpleasant and bothersome smell.

Quick steps to clean spray armholes.


  • Remove the spray arm.
  • Hold them over the kitchen sink.
  • Dislodge food particles from holes with a toothpick or wire
  • Flow water through the holes to ensure the channel is clear
  • Reinstall the dishwasher components after appropriate cleaning

Arm Spray Cleaning

Step 3: Clean the Inside of the Dishwasher

If your dishwasher gives off an unpleasant odor, wash the inside of the dishwasher because, over time, grime and soap scum accumulate on the dishwasher’s walls and door.

Inside of the Dishwasher

Ways to clean inside of dishwasher


  • Scrub the inside of the dishwasher
  • Run hot soapy water after scrubbing
  • Reuse a cloth or scrub brush for thorough cleaning
  • Then rewash it with water to get a huge difference.

Note: You can also wipe out the door gaskets and racks as they get mildew and molds with time.

Step 4: Run Empty Dishwasher Cycles- Vinegar and Baking Soda

After cleaning the filter, spray arm, and inside of the dishwasher, here comes a final yet the most effective step.

You can also use it as a first step by skipping all the above because many times, simply these cycles eliminate the odor.

Use baking soda and white vinegar- natural yet powerful cleansers to remove your dishwasher’s reeking and offensive odor, which is worse than a nightmare.

Here are two cycles of this step;

  • First cycle: Put a bowl full of instilled vinegar on the overhead rack of the dishwasher.
  • The second cycle: Pour a cup of baking soda at the bottom portion of the dishwasher.

Run Empty Dishwasher Cycles

These two cycles- vinegar and baking soda will prove successful in diminishing the lingering smell.

So, here the more easy yet worthier guide gets finished. You will get amazed by getting prompt results from these hacks.

Prevention is always better than cure, so isn’t it right to follow the tops to prevent our dishwasher smell priorly, in the future.

Prevent Future Dishwasher Smells- Prior Measurements

Congratulations, as you now have an odor-free dishwasher, but now onward, you can use the given preventive tips to avoid irritating smell;

  • Rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher
  • Keep clearing the drain periodically to prevent a clog.
  • Make a habit of running occasional baking soda or vinegar cycles – these useful yet budget-friendly cycles don’t let your dishwasher stink.

Always Take Safety Precautions- No New Experiments

When you are cleaning your dishwasher at home, don’t try anything new or unusual.

  • Don’t mix vinegar with chlorine, as it will create toxic fumes.
  • Many times detergents contain chlorine in their formula. So, read the detergent label carefully to avoid any mishap.

Safety Precautions Dishwasher

If you feel these above cleaning steps are strenuous, tiring, and complicated, then relax, don’t clean your stinky dishwasher on your own, do contact a competent cleaning company.

Schedule House Cleaning Services with Eco Cleaning

Better to contact a reliable, professional, and skillful cleaning company to make your work quick, more comfortable, and accurate.

If you want to hire a reputable and reliable house cleaning company that owns all your burden and delivers you all kinds of house and office cleaning services, choose Eco cleaning without bringing second thought in mind.

Eco cleaning is a certificate of safe, dependable, and efficient cleaning services.’

To sum it up, it’s essential to keep your dishwasher clean to avoid disagreeable odors polluting your kitchen. It won’t take much time to do it yourself, but you can hire professional services as well! But whatever you do, keep your dishwasher clean and odor-free!



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