Ridding Your Home of Dishwasher Odor

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There is nothing worse than noticing a smell emitting from the appliances in your home. When an unpleasant odor becomes obvious, it is necessary to address it, as it will worsen instead of going away on its own. Since it is responsible for cycling dirty water in which bits of decaying food are present, the dishwasher is a likely candidate for the development of odor. Once this odor begins, it is up to you to take charge and stop it, otherwise your dishwasher will not be functioning at its optimum level, making more work for you in the long run in addition to filling your kitchen with an unpleasant smell.

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Photo: Dishwasher Critic

In order to begin to address your dishwasher issues, you will first need to remove the spray arm as it is an obstacle between you and the strainer, which is most likely going to need some attention. To remove the spray arm, twist off the cap that holds it in place in the motor shaft. Inside of the spray arm are small holes that can become encrusted with minerals or detergent which will hamper the ability of it to function as it should; be sure to clean these out after you have pulled the spray arm free of the dishwasher.

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Photo: Consumer Affairs

Once the spray arm is out of the way, pry the strainer free and dump the contents. Inside of it there could be a collection of trapped food which will contribute to bad smells. Take both the spray arm and strainer and wash them thoroughly with a mild detergent or white vinegar. This will kill germs and odor and the process can be helped along by using a small, thin, and flexible object (such as a pipe cleaner) to get into any holes or crevices where bacteria may be collecting.

Take the same mild detergent or vinegar you used to clean the strainer and spray arm and wipe down the rest of your dishwasher. Be sure to get into the seals and beneath the door as well as in the folds of the seals. It is in places such as this that bacteria can grow and breed, leaving behind odor as evidence of their presence. Once you are satisfied that these areas are clean, reassemble your dishwasher components and pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher, then run a wash cycle. To make this even more effective, run your sink tap on hot beforehand so the water in your dishwasher will be hot from the start of the cycle.

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Photo: Wikihow

Before you conclude your dishwasher odor removal efforts, there is one last thing you should check, that being the location of your dishwasher drain hose. This should be in a location that is higher than your sink drain; if this is not the case, it will need to be fixed immediately. Having a dishwasher drain hose that is lower than your sink allows sink water to back up into your dishwasher, causing a puddle of stagnant, smelly water to form and remain constant in the bottom of your dishwasher.

If you follow these simple steps, your dishwasher odor should be gone in no time. It is possible that the odor may return over time, however, so make routine cleaning part of your plumbing maintenance. Simply follow the same steps above and run the occasion vinegar cycle for freshness. As long as an accumulation of decaying food and stagnant water is prevented, dishwasher odor will be prevented as well.

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