How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher




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Is your dishwasher emitting a foul odor every time you open it? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with some simple and effective solutions to clean that smelly dishwasher!

First, start by removing any food scraps or debris from the filter and spray arm. Take a moment to inspect these areas for any clogs or buildup that could be causing the odor.

Next, mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spritz this mixture onto the interior walls and racks of the dishwasher, paying close attention to any visible stains or grime. Let the vinegar solution sit for about 10-15 minutes to work its magic.

While waiting, grab an old toothbrush or a small cleaning brush and dip it into the same vinegar solution. Gently scrub the crevices, corners, and rubber seals of the dishwasher to remove any hidden dirt or mold.

Once the vinegar has had time to work, run a hot water cycle with a cup of vinegar placed on the top rack. This will clean and deodorize the dishwasher thoroughly.

Finally, sprinkle some baking soda onto the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short hot water cycle. The baking soda will neutralize any remaining odors and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean.

With these simple steps, you can banish those nasty odors from your dishwasher and ensure that every time you open it, you’re greeted with a pleasant aroma.


  • Run a hot water cycle with vinegar
  • Clean the filter
  • Remove and scrub the racks and utensil holders
  • Use baking soda to eliminate odors
  • Wipe down the interior with a damp cloth


  • Use bleach
  • Leave food particles in the dishwasher
  • Use strong chemical cleaners
  • Ignore the door seal
  • Overload the dishwasher

Step 1

Clean the filter: Start by removing the bottom rack of the dishwasher and locating the filter. Clean it thoroughly by removing any debris or build-up.

Step 2

Remove and clean the spray arms: Take out the spray arms and rinse them under hot water to remove any dirt or residue.

Step 3

Clean the drain: Check the dishwasher drain for any clogs or blockages. Use a pipe cleaner or small brush to remove any debris.

Step 4

Run a vinegar cycle: Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher and run a hot water cycle to remove any stubborn odors.

Step 5

Regularly clean and maintain: To prevent future smells, regularly clean the dishwasher by wiping down the interior, using a dishwasher cleaner, and running hot water cycles with baking soda.

Final thoughts 💭

If you have a smelly dishwasher, don’t worry! Cleaning it is a simple process that can be done using common household ingredients. Start by removing any food debris or residue from the dishwasher and its filter. Then, place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run a hot water cycle. Finally, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run another hot water cycle. This will remove any lingering odors and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh. Remember to regularly clean and maintain your dishwasher to prevent future smells. Happy cleaning!

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