How to Eliminate a Dishwasher Odor

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
Image Credit: Yurdakul/iStock/GettyImages

If your dishwasher smells strong or you're detecting a sulfur-like egg odor, then you most likely have food caught somewhere in the drain filter or door gasket, or there's leftover water sitting.


A smelly dishwasher can not only make your kitchen smell foul, but it can permeate your entire household. Although the smell may be overpowering, and you think you might be in for a cleaning fight, it's super easy to get rid of a strong dishwasher odor.

Video of the Day

My Dishwasher Smells

The first line of attack if your dishwasher smells, is to clean the door gasket. In your dishwasher, you'll notice a black rubber seal that lines the opening of the dishwasher. This is the door gasket. A door gasket is helpful because it has a magnetic strip that holds onto the dishwasher door frame, and it prevents water from spilling out when you run a cycle.


Although it prevents water from leaking out, sometimes leftover food can get stuck on the sides of the gasket. To prevent food from getting stuck here, try to make sure you're not leaving big food particles on your dishes. If you do end up getting food in the gasket, all you have to do is wipe it down with warm water.

Other Dishwasher Odor Areas

Another area where food can pile up is in the drain filter. If food is building up in the drain filter, then that is most likely why your dishwasher smells. This usually is a cause for that rancid odor.


To clean the drain filter, all you have to do is wipe it with warm, soapy water and a sponge. Make sure to keep an eye out on how often you have to clean the drain filter. If you're doing it more than once or twice a month, and you're noticing that your filter is always clogging up or smelling like sulfur, it is time to change it.

If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, then it is using the same hose as your dishwasher. If your dishwasher smells and the smell isn't coming directly from your dishwasher, disconnect the hose from the garbage disposal. You'll know instantly if the odor is coming from there instead of your appliance. To clean the garbage disposal, remove the hose and clean it out with a stiff wire and a thin, damp cloth.


Dishwasher Odor Neutralizer

An inexpensive way to clean your dishwasher is to use vinegar and baking soda to remove the smell. Measure out 1 cup of white vinegar and pour it into the bottom of your empty dishwasher, then choose a deep cleaning cycle and run the dishwasher. If you want a more deodorizing effect, take 1 cup of baking soda and put it into the bottom of your dishwasher, leaving it there overnight. In the morning, run a cycle, and your dishwasher odor should be gone entirely.


Another way to make sure your dishwasher doesn't smell is not to leave any leftover water in the washer. The remaining water can cause a stinky smell, so make sure you leave your dishwasher open sometimes and let it air dry.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...