Troubleshooting dishwasher odors

Does your dishwasher have bad breath? You open the door after it runs and instead of exhaling a delightful odor of clean dishes, it reeks. Ugh! And you’ll be using your dishwasher in overdrive since Thanksgiving is a few days away!

Your dishwasher should smell like the detergent that you used in it. We checked in with a local appliance store owner to get the scoop. He said that the most common reason for an odor in your dishwasher is an improperly installed garbage disposal! The disposal water line may allow food from the disposal to be thrown into the dishwasher line. If you’ve recently installed a disposal, that could be the culprit.

There are other possibilities that you might track down if a new disposal is not the cause. Check to see if the rubber door gasket that forms the lower seal has started to disintegrate. This could cause its own odor. Also, the heating element might be burned out, which would give off an odor when it cycles on and off.

Or, gunk could have accumulated in the area between the lower front of the dishwasher and the door. We can actually help you with this one! Clean that area carefully with a toothbrush and Red Juice. Call in a professional to help with any of the other possibilities.

Once you’ve solved the problem, run the dishwasher with a quarter cup of white vinegar to help remove any lingering odors. Start the dishwasher empty of dishes or soap. When it fills with water for the first time, open the door, add the vinegar, and let the cycle complete itself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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