The dishwasher stinks? You can do that!

The dishwasher stinks? You can do that!
The dishwasher stinks? You can do that!

If the dishwasher stinks, it’s very uncomfortable. The bad smell can even stick to the dishes. We’ll tell you the best ways to get rid of the stench.

We usually don’t think twice about the dishwasher. It is simply fully loaded, then it rinses and is unloaded again. This cycle repeats itself until the dishwasher suddenly stinks. Now, at the latest, it gives us a headache, especially if it still stinks after idling or cleaning.

In the worst case, it can even go so far that the dishwasher stinks of rotten eggs. This stench can then stick to the dishes that have already been washed. Then at the latest, action must be taken. We’ll tell you what it can be like if the dishwasher stinks and what you can do about it.

Why does the dishwasher stink?

The dishwasher comes into contact with a lot of leftovers. Sometimes these are not washed away with the wastewater. They are then deposited in the sieve, in the cutlery basket, in hoses, seals or on the bottom of the dishwasher. It is often placed that you cannot see at first glance.

Also, Eco programs often do not rinse hot, so that grease residues can also remain in tubes and even on the walls.

If these food residues are not removed, they will start to rot and cause a bad smell in the dishwasher.

Dishwasher stinks: the problem areas

Before you try to fix the stink with cleaners or home remedies, you should make sure that you find the cause of the stink. Otherwise, you just try to fight the symptoms and the stench will come again and again. It’s best to do the following first:

  • Empties and cleans the sieve.
  • Also, take a close look at the cutlery basket and check whether there are leftovers in it.
  • Inspects the seal of the door, here too, food residues can accumulate unnoticed.

After you have done that, you can devote yourself to the cleaning measures.

Does the dishwasher stink? The best home remedies


Sometimes the simplest means are still the best. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the lemon juice into the machine. Optionally, you can also rub the walls of the dishwasher with the lemon halves beforehand. Then you simply put the bowls in the cutlery basket.

Then starts the dishwasher at idle. The best thing to do is not to use the Eco mode, but let them rinse hot.

The citric acid eliminates the bacteria and therefore bad smells. However, it is particularly nice that citric acid is environmentally friendly and exudes its pleasant fragrance.

Baking soda

Soda works against fungi and bacteria. If the dishwasher smells musty, sprinkling two teaspoons of baking soda into the dishwasher can help. Then let it run hot once. If the dishwasher still stinks afterward, you can put a little more of the powder into the machine the next time.


Vinegar can also be used in the dishwasher to prevent stench. It has an antibacterial and limescale-removing effect. But be careful with the dosage and do not use vinegar essence. Otherwise, hoses and seals can be attacked by the acid.

Add half a cup of vinegar to the next rinse. Vinegar can also remove deposits on dishes. You can also use it with a full dishwasher.

However, vinegar and baking soda should never be used at the same time. Usually, the effects cancel each other out because you mix an acid with an alkali.

Does the dishwasher stink? This helps

As good as home remedies can be, sometimes you can’t get past conventional cleaners. An example of this: dishwasher salt.

Dishwasher salt has an important function and should therefore always be refilled properly. It softens the water in the dishwasher. This way, no lime is formed in the hoses, which would favor food deposits. Dishwasher salt, therefore, plays an important part in ensuring that the dishwasher doesn’t stink.

Incidentally, it cannot replace conventional salt. Table salt contains iron or carbonates, which can make water harder. Also, table salt is a finer granule. It could block the dishwasher’s water softening system and break it.

If all home remedies do not help and the dishes continue to smell like a wet dog, there are also special hygiene cleaners for dishwashers. These are added to an empty rinse cycle. Most of the time, even when used with a hygienic cleaner, all seals and the sieve must first be cleaned.

Then the dishwasher with hygiene cleaner runs once at least 60 ° C. Special dishwasher cleaners are available as powder, gel or tabs.

Tips so that the dishwasher never smells again

So that no bad smells can spread in the dishwasher, you should take some preventive measures.

  • Cleans the drain strainer and cutlery basket about twice a month.
  • As important as the eco mode is: rinses now and then in the regular washing program (min. 60 ° C). Eco mode often doesn’t run hot enough to kill all bacteria and fungi.
  • It doesn’t always wait until the dishwasher is jam-packed. Let it go sometimes when it’s not full. This means that the dishwasher does not have to cope with so many food scraps at once and food residues can be washed out more easily.
  • Let the dishwasher run dry about once a quarter.
  • As a precaution, place a few lemon peels in the cutlery basket when idling.
  • Heavily soiled dishes should be rinsed under running water before you put them in the dishwasher.

Does dishwasher stink despite cleaning?

Sometimes the dishwasher stinks even after a thorough cleaning. Then the bad smell can also have technical causes. For example, the sewage hose may not have been connected before the siphon. Then the sewage can collect in the U-shaped pipe and cause a nasty stench.

It is also possible that the device has been damaged. If the sewage hose is kinked, sewage can collect there and cause a stench.

If all cleaning measures do not help, the only thing left to do is call the installer. If you are satisfied with the performance of the dishwasher, this is also worthwhile. A repair is then cheaper than a new device. If, on the other hand, it is an ancient dishwasher, a new device may make more sense.

Written by Editorial Staff

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