Helpful Tips For Cleaning Your Dishwasher

If you have noticed an odd odor lingering in your kitchen, you might be surprised to learn the source. Most homeowners look to the trashcan and then the garbage disposal when a sour or foul smell is wafting in the kitchen. But in some cases, that awful odor is coming from the machine that you entrust to get your dishes sparkling clean. Most of us never think to look at this appliance because it gets a pretty thorough cleaning each time you run a wash cycle. But it is not uncommon for bacteria and other funky grime to build up inside your dishwasher and create a very unappealing aroma. Fortunately, a few simple tricks can help you eliminate that stench or know what is causing it and the right pro to call to get it corrected quickly and cost-effectively.

A Little TLC And Scrubbing

Yes, your dishwasher gets washed along with each load of dishes. But after that hot shower, there is much humidity created. And when bits of food remain in the strainer of the dishwasher drain, that debris can begin to smell like rubbish very quickly. So the first step in eliminating the odor is eliminating any food waste in the strainer inside the dishwasher. Then get some hot soapy water and a sponge to scrub the inside, including the racks. Also, check the water nozzle to ensure there is no mineral buildup impeding the spray of water to rinse your dishes.

Now To Deodorize

Once the inside is clean and free of odor-causing food waste, it is time to eliminate that lingering smell. Place a cup of vinegar in a bowl. Put the bowl in the top rack of the dishwasher and run the hottest wash setting, a sterilization cycle, or a self-cleaning mode. The combination of the acid in the vinegar and the hot water will kill any remaining bacteria and help to remove the stale odor. When the cycle is finished, open the door immediately to allow the dishwasher to dry entirely and let the vinegar smell dissipate. Follow this cleaning process every month or two to ensure that you never walk into the kitchen and discover that foul odor rolling out of your dishwasher.

A More Concerning Issue

If you discover that the musty or stinky odor returns shortly after cleaning and sanitizing your dishwasher, there could be a bigger problem. The same is true if you could not rid the dishwasher of the musty or mildew smell, even after a steam cleaning. First, check around the base of the dishwasher for any signs of a water leak. If the unit is next to your sink, carefully inspect the hoses and water supply lines for the dishwasher.

The odor you have discovered in most cases is due to a water leak and possibly mold and water damage under the dishwasher. The most common indications of water damage include:

  • Bulging flooring
  • Staining or discoloration on the floor
  • Soft or moist drywall or cabinetry around the dishwasher or under the sink
  • A sour or mildew odor under the sink
  • Unusual bug activity under the sink or dishwasher

If you see any of these signs of water damage or a water leak near your dishwasher, call (701) 402-6643. The licensed plumbers at A-1 Plumbing will respond quickly to determine if there is a leak at or near your dishwasher and provide you with a detailed price quote for any necessary repairs. This is a free, no-obligation quote. And if you choose to have our team make the recommended repairs, we back the work with a complete warranty on all parts and our labor.