How to Clean and Eliminate Odor from Your Dishwasher: Expert Tips and Step-by-Step Guide

by | Jun 7, 2023 | Kitchen Cleaning

A Complete Guide to Revitalizing Your Dishwasher and Eliminating Odors

Ah, the dishwasher – it’s supposed to jazz up your cleaning game, not leave your plates reeking of eau de unwashed. If your dishwasher throws a tantrum, give it some much-needed TLC with this spiffy guide to scrub-a-dub-dubbing and maintain the ol’ dish doohickey.

Sprucing up the Dish Doodad

There’s a smorgasbord of commercial dishwasher cleaners out there. For most of ‘em, you plunk the whole bottle on the empty dishwasher’s rack and let ‘er rip with a regular cycle. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, but harsh detergents can wreak havoc on your pipes and Mother Nature. So, why not try an eco-friendly alternative? Plop a dishwasher-safe bowl filled with white vinegar on the bottom rack and run a hot cycle. Et voilà! Your dishwasher will sparkle without damaging your pipes or the environment. Pro Tip: Microwave next in line for some sprucing up? You betcha!

De-funk-ifying the Dish Contraption

If your dishwasher smells like a sewer, then it’s hollering for a good scrubbing. The stench likely stems from gunk in the trap or filter, or maybe a drain roadblock. Give the following methods a whirl, and if the funk lingers, phone a plumber.

Scouring the Dish Doodad Filter

The most common question of many dishwasher owners is how to clean a dishwasher filter. So, it’s time to cope with this task. With its superhero powers, your dishwasher filter stops food debris from jamming the drains. But, it’s up to you to clean the filter at least once a month. Find it on the dishwasher floor under the spinny spray arm. Twist off the filter (following its printed guidance) and give it a good rinse. Then, dunk it in a mix of water and white vinegar or dish soap. Rinse the filter with hot water and pop it back in the dishwasher.

Purging the Dish Doodad Drain Hose

While the filter’s taking a bath, inspect the drain for blockages. Swipe around the filter casing with a damp microfiber cloth to grab any gunk. Don’t use your bare mitts; broken glass shards might be lurking. Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. After 10-15 minutes, flush with hot water to clear the drain and hose.

As for the gazillion-dollar question: how often should you clean your dishwasher? It depends on the frequency and pre-rinse preference. The more often you use it, and the less you rinse beforehand, the more often you should clean the filter and trap. Look for gunk buildup on the filter to determine a cleaning schedule. Pro Tip: Ready for more cleaning? Glass-top stove, here we come!

Dish Doodad Cleaning FAQ

How can I revitalize and deodorize my dishwasher?

Our Pros go gaga for white vinegar. It’s a double-whammy of cleaning and deodorizing. The intense vinegar aroma dissipates quickly, taking yucky smells along for the ride. If vinegar isn’t your bag, opt for citric acid tabs or put 1-2 tablespoons of food-grade citric acid powder in the detergent holder during an empty hot cycle.

What’s the ultimate method for dishwasher interior spiffiness?

The best method is whichever one tickles your fancy. Use readily available cleaners to make dishwasher-cleaning a breeze – be it vinegar, baking soda, citric acid, or other cleaning tablets. Avoid using harsh detergents or chemicals – they can gum up the works over time.

Can I run an empty cycle to cleanse my dishwasher?

An empty cycle is better than nothing, but it packs more punch with a cleaning solution on board.

How can I de-clog my dishwasher?

Start by cleaning the filter and drain trap. Baking soda and vinegar might coax out the clog (although it could take several treatments). Flush hot water between each attempt. If your dishwasher’s still clogged, summon a plumber. Pro Tip: Give your other cleaning machines some love! See how to spiff up a washing machine.

Related to this blog: 14 tips to boost the performance of your dishwasher.

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