Why do my dishes smell after being washed in the dishwasher?

Written by michael roennevig Google
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Why do my dishes smell after being washed in the dishwasher?
Rinse your dishes and don't overload your machine. (Buccina Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images)

When it comes to kitchen appliances, few things are more disappointing than opening a dishwasher at the end of a cycle to met by an offensive aroma, especially when entertaining. You can reduce the chances of worrying whiffs emanating from your machine by keeping it in good working order and watching what you put in it.

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Your clean dishes could be giving off and unpleasant pong if your machine's blocked up with old scraps of food. If your washer can't drain properly, it could be redistributing dirty water and food debris over your dishes before the end of a washing cycle, leaving your load smelling less than desirable. Clean the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher. You should do this at least once a month to make sure your machine's running well. It may also be necessary to replace the drainage tube that disposes of your washer's waste water if this has become blocked.

Empty load

Before loading your dishwasher for the first time after unblocking its filter and replacing its waste pipe, run an empty wash, much in the same way you would with your washing machine if it was performing poorly. Throw in a cup of white vinegar prior to running a hot and long cycle to freshen everything up, in order to make sure you've got rid of any nasty aromas that may be lurking in nooks and crannies you couldn't reach while cleaning your filter.


Buying cheap dishwasher tablets can be a massive false economy, according to MailOnline's Amanda Cable. Low quality tablets often perform poorly, meaning that you either have to run multiple washes or are left with dirty and smelly dishes that need finishing off buy hand. If you want a sparkling clean wash without having to run your washer repeatedly or retreat to your sink, consider paying a bit more for premium tablets.


Give your plates a good rinse under a tap after you've scraped off any food residue into a bin. Scraping alone may not remove all the food particles on your dishes. These can block your washer and affect its performance. Be careful not to overload your dishwasher. Cramming in too many plates, glasses and cutlery can also impact on your washer's efficiency, potentially leading to dishes that are still grubby and smelly at the end of a cycle.

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