When plastic falls to the bottom of a dishwasher, the heating coils will melt it. Once the plastic melts, it will create an unpleasant burnt plastic smell in the dishwasher. After you remove the burned plastic, the smell may still linger. Instead of replacing your dishwasher, you can deodorize it to remove the smell. Since plastic is porous, the burned smell will penetrate the interior of the dishwasher. The odor can even penetrate the dishes inside. Common household items will help remove the smell so that you no longer have to deal with it every time you wash dishes.
Pour 2 cups of white distilled vinegar into a dishwasher-safe glass. Place the glass on the top rack inside the dishwasher and set the appliance to the hottest water setting. Run the empty dishwasher, through a cycle, to allow the water to mix with the vinegar. Set the dishwasher to the air-dry or energy-saving setting to avoid using the heat option.
Sprinkle baking soda inside the dishwasher to cover all areas. Allow the baking soda to sit in the dishwasher overnight. Run the dishwasher on the hottest water setting to remove any lingering odors.
Fill the detergent compartment of the dishwasher with bleach. Run the dishwasher on the hottest setting then run it one more time to rinse away the bleach residue. Bleach will kill any lingering bacteria and deodorize the dishwasher.