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How to Get Rid of Dishwasher Smell


To get the smell out of a dishwasher, you have to scrub the crevices where tiny bits of food, grease, and soap scum accumulate.

It might seem redundant to clean a machine that cleans things, but every time you run your dishwasher soap scum, grease, and tiny bits of food particles are left behind. Here are surefire steps to a fresh smelling dishwasher.

  1. The first thing to do is to take a small scrub brush (like an old toothbrush) dipped in hot soapy water and clean around the door making sure to get in the cracks in the seal and around the hinges. A soft abrasive cleaner like Soft Scrub® might make the job easier.
  2. Next use a hot, soapy sponge to remove whatever grime you stirred up with the small brush. Also, wash the door and any other areas where food particles have accumulated.
  3. Then, take out the bottom rack and clean around the drain area. A plugged drain can damage the pump or scratch your dishes.
  4. Finally, fill a dishwasher safe cup with white vinegar and run the dishwasher through a cycle with the cup on the top rack. If you do not have vinegar, you can use a packet of unsweetened lemonade. This will sanitize and deodorize the dishwasher. You can also sprinkle a cupful of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a cycle to deodorize and brighten it.



“Cleaning.” ISU Extension Calendar of Events – Search Form. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2010.

“odors.” Utah State University Extension – N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2010.

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