ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get Rid of Bad Odors Coming from Your Dishwasher

Updated on November 18, 2018

When a bad stench started coming from my dishwasher, I had no idea what to do. I had called a repair person about another issue and he recommended the dishwasher cleaning product Dishwasher Magic which comes in a pack of two. According to him, that would solve the problem. After I used the first one the bad odor was still there. So I used the second. There was still no noticeable reduction in the smell. Some dishes also had either a white film or dried in grime after being washed. In fact, some actually came out dirtier than they went in. I did finally figure out how to resolve these problems. This is an explanation of how I did it. All I needed was a bucket, dishwashing liquid, a toothbrush, a cleaning sponge, a utility cloth, and a dishwasher cleaning product.

There are multiple brands and models of dishwashers. Mine is a GE and it's only a few years old. So, I can't tell you exactly where to look for problems with your dishwasher, but hopefully I can give you a good idea. With my dishwasher the smell was caused by a sticky gunk building up over time. I always rinse off dishes before putting them into the dishwasher, but between what's left behind and soap scum gunk builds up and it needs to be cleaned out every so often.

Look inside your dishwasher, especially at the bottom. Check to see if there's a filter that needs to be cleaned. Be careful taking parts out. Take note of where they go for when you have to put them back. If there's a removable cover at the bottom of the dishwasher, see if you can take it out. The picture below may give you an idea of what you can remove. These are the four item I can remove from mine.

The filter, cover and two plastic screws I can remove from my dishwasher. I clean the sticky gunk off them using dishwashing liquid.
The filter, cover and two plastic screws I can remove from my dishwasher. I clean the sticky gunk off them using dishwashing liquid.

To clean the parts I can remove, I fill a bucket with hot water and dishwashing liquid. The pieces are covered in a very sticky gunk that creates a big mess. It's easier to clean the bucket than cleaning the sink. The large round piece in the picture above is the filter. This is actually pretty hard to clean because there are a lot of tight spaces. I have to use a toothbrush to get as much gunk off as possible.

The silver cover is kept in place using two plastic screws. My dishwasher was filthy and I didn't know it because that cover was hiding the mess. When I removed it I was shocked to see a bunch of gunk sandwiched between that cover and the bottom of the dishwasher. I used a sponge and a utility towel to thoroughly clean the inside, then put the washed parts back in place.

To make sure the dishwasher was as clean as possible, I ran an empty cycle using Dishwasher Magic. I recommend doing this because it will help to clean out any gunk that's left behind but it also cleans parts you can't take out like the spray arms. It kills bacteria and removes limescale and detergent build up. It's disinfecting properties kills germs like E Coli and Salmonella Choleraesus that can live in your dishwasher.

Some dishwashing products use a wax plug that's supposed to melt from the high heat in the dishwasher. That plug never melts in mine so I poke a small hole in it. It isn't ideal but it gets the job done.

To help keep your dishwasher clean, consider using Finish Dishwasher Cleaner. This is a cleaning tab you can use on a regular basis. Unlike some other products, which requires an empty cycle, you can use this product when you're washing dishes. According to the description, it cleans hidden grease and grime, hidden parts, the spray arms and the filter. It also removes hard water stains and limescale build up.

This is the sticky gunk in the filter of the dishwasher that has to be scrubbed off. If too much builds up, the dishwasher will start to smell
This is the sticky gunk in the filter of the dishwasher that has to be scrubbed off. If too much builds up, the dishwasher will start to smell

How to Fix a Smelly Dishwasher


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)