Your dishwasher is supposed to make your kitchen smell BETTER, not worse. And when the machine is taken care of properly, it will keep your home more hygienic and clean-smelling. Like anything else in your home, though, if you neglect it it will get dirty and make no mistake: When a dishwasher gets dirty, they get REALLY dirty.

Is your dishwasher starting to smell? Boydco Plumbing can help you with that. Just follow these guidelines and steps to see if that will clear up your smelly dishwasher problem.

Related: Why Does my Kitchen Sink Smell and What Should I Do?

Hard Water

The leading cause of “stinky” dishes is a dishwasher full of “hard” water. The water in your machine can get smelly if there’s particles of food trapped inside it. These pieces of leftover food can get caught in the drain filter or stuck in the crevices of the dishwasher. So long as these “stowaways” are in their hiding places, your dishwasher will continue to smell.

Clean your drain filter

If you smell strange odors coming from your washer, check out your filter and clean it first. In most cases that should fix your smelly problem. This is the place where food particles get trapped most often. Since the drain filter is a warm, moist environment, it makes it a breeding ground for bacteria who feast on the food trapped in it.

Your drain filter will usually be a detachable, cylindrical device. You can access it by removing the bottom rack of the washer so you can twist out the filter. Wash the filter with hot water and soak. It can be hard to reach all of its interior sections, so you may want to use a bottle brush instead of a rag to clean it off.

Don’t Bleach It

Resist the urge to reach for the bleach bottle when you smell something foul in your dishwasher. Bleach has a very corrosive effect on metal parts and it won’t solve the root problem. You’re better off using dishwasher cleaners and disinfectants. Run a full cycle with your cleaner and disinfectant without any dishes or dishwashing detergent.

Nooks and Crannies

If using cleaners and disinfectants and cleaning the drain filter doesn’t work, there are a few other avenues worth exploring. It could be coming from grease trapped on the strainer screen at the bottom of the machine. You can remove the screen and clean it by rinsing it off and soaking it in hot water and soap.

Another area that could be contaminated with food particles is the ports of your dishwasher’s sprayer arm. This is a fairly easy area to access, so inspect it regularly and wipe down and rinse off any trapped food parts. Also be sure to check out the bottom edge of your washer’s door. That edge and the metal lip area that sits below the door can build up a surprising amount of crud. Rinse and wipe down this area. If it hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, you may have to use a degreaser on it.

Related: Get Rid of the Smell in Your Garbage Disposal

For more information about our services, give Boydco Plumbing a call at 602-335-0323.