To remove unpleasant odors from your dishwasher, start by removing any food debris or residue from the filter, racks, and interior surfaces. A stinky dishwasher not only ruins the clean dishes but can also be a nuisance in your kitchen. There are simple and effective ways to tackle this issue and get your stinky dishwasher smelling fresh again.

Clean the Dishwasher Screen

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How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter So Your Dishes Sparkle

To get rid of dishwasher odor, start by cleaning the dishwasher screen. Over time, debris and food particles can accumulate, causing unpleasant smells. Remove the screen, rinse it thoroughly, and scrub away any stubborn residue. Regular cleaning of the dishwasher screen will help maintain a fresh and odor-free dishwasher.

Clean the Dishwasher Sprayer Arm Ports

How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher
How to Clean your Dishwasher Spray Arms

When seeking to eliminate dishwasher odor, don’t forget to clean the sprayer arm ports. Clogged or dirty sprayer arm ports can hinder proper water circulation, leading to smelly dishes. Use a toothpick or small brush to clear any blockages, ensuring that water flows freely through the ports. This simple step will contribute to a fresh-smelling dishwasher.

Clean the Dishwasher Door Lip

How To Clean A Dishwasher
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A frequently overlooked area when combating dishwasher odor is the door lip. Food particles and grime can accumulate along the door’s edges, causing unpleasant smells to linger. Clean the door lip with a sponge and mild detergent regularly. This easy task will help keep your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh.

Add a Cleaner

How to clean a Dishwasher using Dishwasher Cleaner
How to Clean a Dishwasher

To combat stubborn dishwasher odor effectively, consider adding a high-quality dishwasher cleaner to your routine. These specially formulated cleaners target odor-causing residues, leaving your dishwasher smelling pristine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal results.

Further Steps to Get Smell out of Dishwasher

How to Clean a Stinky Dishwasher - Molly Maid
How to Get Rid of Dishwasher Smells

1. A Fresh Dishwasher and Disposal Cleaner

Consider using A Fresh Dishwasher and Disposal Cleaner, a highly recommended once-a-month solution for dishwasher and disposal odor. This product stands out as the only nationwide available cleaner that effectively removes stubborn odor from both your dishwasher and garbage disposal. It combines powerful cleaning agents with special ingredients to neutralize, dissolve, and eliminate odors that can build up inside your dishwasher and disposal.

2. Easy Application of A Fresh Cleaner

Using A Fresh Cleaner is a breeze! With just a few simple steps, you can ensure a fresh and odor-free dishwasher and garbage disposal.

  • Open the dishwasher and remove all items. Ensure the dishwasher is empty before proceeding.
  • Add one A Fresh tablet to the main detergent tray, then close the tray door securely.
  • For enhanced cleaning, place a second tablet in the pre-wash tray or the bottom of the dishwasher and close the dishwasher door.
  • Run the dishwasher on the most heavy-duty high-temperature cycle to activate the cleaning power.

3. Special Attention to Dishwasher Empties into Disposal

If your dishwasher empties into your disposal, take extra care to ensure a thorough clean:

  • Place a third A Fresh tablet in the disposal.
  • Turn on the hot water to a slow flow, and run the disposal and water for 15 seconds.
  • Turn off the disposal and water. Avoid flushing the disposal completely with water, as water from the dishwasher will clean it out effectively.

4. Disposal-Only Cleaning

For disposal-only cleaning, follow these steps:

  • Place an A Fresh tablet into the disposal.
  • Turn on the hot water to a slow flow, run the disposal and water for 15 seconds, and then turn off the disposal and water.
  • Wait for 30 minutes, then flush the disposal with hot water.

5. Repeating Application for Stubborn Odor

In case of severe odor, you may need to repeat the A Fresh Cleaner application for a fresher and cleaner dishwasher and garbage disposal.

6. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Apart from A Fresh Cleaner, you can also try a natural remedy using baking soda and vinegar:

7. Care Tips for Your Dishwasher

Show your dishwasher some love with these quick and easy care tips:

  • Regularly clean the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher to prevent odor buildup.
  • Soak the filter and filter tray in warm soapy water for about 10 minutes to keep them clean and odor-free.
  • Consider using A Fresh Cleaner once a month to maintain a fresh-smelling dishwasher.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I use A Fresh Cleaner for my dishwasher and disposal?

It is recommended to use A Fresh Cleaner once a month to keep your dishwasher and garbage disposal smelling fresh.

Can I use A Fresh Cleaner for all dishwasher and garbage disposal brands?

Yes, A Fresh Cleaner can be used in all dishwasher and garbage disposal brands, including GE, Bosch, Frigidaire, Kenmore, and InSinkErator.

Will vinegar and baking soda remove dishwasher odor effectively?

Yes, vinegar and baking soda can be a natural and effective remedy for removing dishwasher odor. However, for a more comprehensive solution, consider using A Fresh Cleaner.


A fresh and odor-free dishwasher is just a few simple steps away. By using A Fresh Dishwasher and Disposal Cleaner or a combination of vinegar and baking soda, you can keep your dishwasher smelling fresh and running smoothly. Don’t forget to give your dishwasher some TLC by cleaning the filter regularly and following our care tips. Enjoy your sparkling clean dishes and a delightful kitchen experience!

Key Notes and Important Points

  • A Fresh Dishwasher and Disposal Cleaner is the recommended solution for dishwasher and disposal odor.
  • Easy application of A Fresh Cleaner involves using tablets in the main detergent tray and pre-wash tray or bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Pay special attention to dishwasher emptying into disposal and use a third tablet in the disposal.
  • Baking soda and vinegar can also be used to remove dishwasher odor naturally.
  • Regularly clean the filter to prevent odor buildup and consider monthly use of A Fresh Cleaner for best results.

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