Eradicating Dishwasher Odor

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Sooner or later, you are bound to experience an unpleasant smell emitting from your appliances, especially those that cycle water and decaying food such as your dishwasher. Anytime odor is present, action is required. If your dishwasher smells, there is something going on that is likely preventing it from doing its job at an optimum level and it is up to you to get in there and do something about it.

Due to the way most dishwashers are made, you will need to remove the spray arm to get to the strainer. The spray arm has holes in it that can become encrusted with minerals or detergent, causing it to function improperly in addition to becoming odorous. Remove the spray arm by twisting off the cap holding it into the motor shaft. While you are working in this area of your dishwasher, go ahead and remove the strainer by prying it free and dump out any trapped food items. Wash both the spray arm and strainer in your sink at the same time with mild detergent and/or vinegar to kill any odors trapped in them. Using a thin but sturdy object such as pipe cleaner, ream out the holes in your spray arm before replacing it and your strainer.

With a rag and some mild detergent, wipe around your dishwasher door, playing close attention to the seals and the area beneath the door. There are folds in the seals of your dishwasher and bacteria can get between them and grow, so pay close attention to these areas and clean them thoroughly. Once you are confident that your seals are clean, pour one cup of white vinegar in the bottom of your empty dishwasher and run it through a cycle. To achieve optimum cleanliness, run your sink tap on hot beforehand. When your sink water is at its hottest, start your dishwasher; this immediately fills your dishwasher with a burst of hot water that will get it cleaner, faster.

Last but not least, check the location of your dishwasher drain hose. You want it to be higher than your sink drain. If this is not the case, you need to adjust this immediately. If your sink drain is higher, water from the sink can back up into your dishwasher. This will create a constant source of stagnant water collecting in the bottom of your dishwasher, breeding bacteria and creating odor.

Following these tips should have your dishwasher smelling good as new. To keep it that way, engage in a routine cleaning via wash cycle with vinegar and periodically take the components apart for cleaning, especially the strainer. If nothing is allowed to accumulate in the dark recesses of your dishwasher, odor cannot make a home there either.

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