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Video: Bad Dishwasher Smell - How To Eliminate It Forever?
Once considered a luxury, nowadays a dishwasher is standard in most homes. This appliance greatly facilitates the maintenance of the kitchen and that is why the slightest problem with its operation can cause a real heart attack in most women (and some men). For example, a bad dishwasher smell can quickly turn from an unpleasant affair into a real conundrum, or even into a total disaster that gives you headache to solve. Yes, whoever has never faced this problem knows that getting rid of the unpleasant odors emitted by this essential household appliance is not as easy as it seems. How then to go about it?
Why does the dishwasher smell bad?
In order to be able to eliminate bad odors in the dishwasher one must first find the why, right? It may seem counterintuitive that an appliance designed for washing itself one day becomes messy. In the end, you run hot water and detergent in it every time you run a cleaning cycle! However, think about your bathtub or your shower cubicle … You are clean after taking a shower or a bath but the dirt, hair and soap residue remain there and it is up to you to clean them from time to time, no ?
Likewise, small pieces of food and grease particles washed off your plates and pots sometimes remain inside the appliance even after the cleaning cycle is complete. And these accumulated projectiles can start to rot and, as a result, stink. So what causes a bad dishwasher smell? Food debris decomposing! But where do all these smelly particles accumulate? The most popular hiding places are:
Detect the source of the bad dishwasher odor
- the drain filter and the grid
- the openings of the spray arms and the hand shower
- the lower seal around the inside of the door
In proportion to the frequency of use of your dishwasher and the usual degree of dirtiness of your kitchen utensils, these more or less problematic areas should be cleaned once a month to once every 2 or 3 months in order to avoid the recurring risk of a smelly dishwasher. If the stench of your dishwasher has been lingering for a while and you've never cleaned the strainer, spray arm ports, and the inside of the door sill, beware: it won't look good nor to see, nor to feel. In fact, it will be downright disgusting. But once you know what to do and how to do it, horror images will be stuck in the past just like the bad dishwasher smell that haunted you.
Bad dishwasher smell? Here are the steps to eliminate it
Some models of dishwashers are equipped with self-cleaning filters which are a kind of hard food particle crushers. However, filters that require cleaning by hand are more common and yours is likely of this type. If you are not sure, consult the manual or search online for the make and model of your device. Of course, you might as well take a look at the machine itself. Remove the lower basket and locate the filter which will be recessed somewhere in the bottom. If it has a cylindrical shape and arrows indicating the direction in which to unscrew it, it can be cleaned by hand.
Cleaning the drain filter is the first step to take
To do this, first remove the cylindrical filter as shown by the arrows and then, if possible, the flat grid below. Some filters are lined with micro-filters which can be detached in turn. Wash each item in lukewarm soapy water, using a bottle brush or an old toothbrush to get into the fine mesh and any crevices where microscopic food residue may hide. Rinse thoroughly and let dry. Use a damp cloth or sponge to clean any debris in or around the dishwasher siphon before replacing the filters and screwing them in. If the step is enough to eliminate the bad dishwasher smell, all the better. Otherwise, follow the steps below before putting it back to work.
How do I clean the ports of the spray arms?
Food scraps and other dirt can also settle in the small holes in the spray arm. This can not only cause the dishwasher to smell bad but also hinder its work overall. Remove and inspect the lower spray arm and, if applicable, the upper spray arm for any debris. Then simply wash them in lukewarm soapy water and inspect the doors where the water normally spouts out for blockages. Remove food particles with a toothpick, tweezers, or other small sharp object. Put them back and go to the next step!
Bad dishwasher odor and bottom seals
The last place miniature food scraps can collect is the gap where the dishwasher door meets the bottom of the basin and the bottom seals in particular. In order to clean them, open the door fully and wipe down the rim between the door and the dishwasher body thoroughly using a damp microfiber cloth or soapy sponge.
Why and how to put white vinegar in the dishwasher?
Using vinegar and baking soda to neutralize stubborn odors is a great idea, including talking about the smelly dishwasher. However, be careful! Don't use them at the same time or you'll have an erupting sci-fi volcano in your machine! Simply fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with about 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and place it on the top rack in an otherwise empty dishwasher. Putting the vinegar directly into the rinse aid tub works just as well. However, many contemporary models do not have it. Without adding dishwasher tablets or liquid detergent, run a high temperature wash cycle. Once the cycle is complete, remove the bowl and voila!
Deodorize a dishwasher with baking soda
Finally, if the white vinegar method didn't do the trick, sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda inside the smelly appliance. Run a second high temperature wash cycle without adding detergent and you are ready to go! This miraculous combination will also cut any greasy film covering the interior walls of your dishwasher and remove lime deposits caused by hard water. Practice this cleansing once a month and say "Goodbye!" to the bad dishwasher smell once and for all!