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Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Bad—Like a Wet Dog?

If you have a dog for a pet, you know how bad he or she can smell on a hot summer day after getting wet from a rain shower or playing in a pool. For a variety of reasons, your dishwasher can have that same wet dog smell. While the odor isn’t a health risk, because everything was cleaned with detergents at high temperatures, the wet dog smell may stop you from wanting to use your dishes. Luckily there are many ways of eliminating this lingering odor.

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Like Wet Dog?

One of the primary reasons for bad smells, including the wet dog odor, in the dishwasher is from decaying food particles. The food on your dishes has to go somewhere, and, if it is too big to go down the drain, it remains inside the dishwasher where it is humid and moist.

Getting rid of bad smells is just as easy as shampooing your dog with these useful tips and suggestions.

How to Get Rid of Bad Dishwasher Odor

Here are some useful tips and suggestions to eliminate bad smells from your dishwasher just as easily as shampooing your dog:

  • Clean the dishwasher’s filter: Most modern dishwashers have a removable filter located in the base of the unit. Simply pull out the bottom rack and locate the filter under the lower sprayer arms.
  • Clean the dishwasher’s screens. The screens on the bottom of the dishwasher may also be removable, similar to the filter, for easy cleaning. If not, use a wet sponge and wipe gently, making sure not to push any particles into the screen holes. In case the screens are non-removable, use a toothpick to remove any food particles trapped in the holes.
  • Clean the sprayer arms. Wipe down the sprayer arms and check that the spray holes are not obstructed with food particles. If there are any, carefully remove them with a toothpick.
  • Wipe and clean around the door seals and lip. Over time, food particles, grease, and grime can accumulate around the door lip and seals. Wipe them down every few wash cycles to prevent smells.
  • Use an approved dishwasher cleaner once a month. Even with regular cleaning, it’s essential to give your dishwasher a thorough cleaning once a month. Dishwasher cleaners help remove bacteria, mold, mildew, and other unpleasant odors. Most cleaners are easy to use and require running a normal wash cycle.
  • Leave the dishwasher door slightly ajar in between cycles. After each cycle, there may be a small amount of water left in the bottom of the dishwasher. By leaving the door slightly open, the water will evaporate, preventing mold, mildew, and bad smells.

Even with Regular Dishwasher Care, It Still Smells—Now What?

In some cases, the source of unpleasant odors in the dishwasher may not be the appliance itself, but rather related to your plumbing system. If the plumbing lines are dirty or clogged with grease, hair, or food particles, the odors can travel up the dishwasher drain and into the appliance.

Additionally, pouring hot grease down your drains or using your garbage disposal frequently without cleaning it can also contribute to unwanted smells in your dishwasher. Have you cleaned your dishwasher regularly but still notice persistent odors? It may be time to schedule plumbing repair service with a skilled plumber from MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning.

Contact us online today or call us at 281-599-3336 for assistance.

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