Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

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Written By Maria K.



A dishwasher can be a real lifesaver for many homeowners, helping them to tackle one of the most dreaded chores in the kitchen: washing dishes. But what happens when that trusty appliance starts to emit a foul odor, reminiscent of wet dog or worse? If you’re dealing with smelly dishwashers, don’t despair. There are practical, easy solutions that can make your dishwasher smell as fresh as a daisy in no time. As a home improvement enthusiast and expert, I have come across this issue more times than I can count and have tested out many different fixes. In this article, I’ll share five of the most effective methods for getting rid of that unpleasant odor once and for all. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!

Why Does Your Dishwasher Smell Like a Wet Dog?

If you’ve ever opened your dishwasher to find that the smell reminds you of a wet dog, don’t panic. While it may be an unpleasant surprise, it’s not an uncommon issue for homeowners. Luckily, there are a few potential reasons for this problem – and even better news, several simple solutions.

First, let’s explore why your dishwasher smells like a wet dog in the first place. The most common culprit is food debris that’s lingering in your machine. When leftovers and other food particles don’t get washed away completely, they stick around and start to rot. This can create a foul odor that’s difficult to mask.

Another possible explanation is mold or mildew. If your dishwasher hasn’t been cleaned properly, moisture can seep into various areas of the appliance, including the rubber seal around the door. When moisture lingers, mold and mildew can thrive, which leads to that wet dog smell.

Finally, it’s worth considering the type of detergent and rinse aid you’re using. Some detergents may have fragrances or other ingredients that don’t mix well with the moisture in the dishwasher. Similarly, if you’re using an old or expired rinse aid, it could be contributing to the unpleasant odor.

Now that you have a better idea of why your dishwasher is smelling like a wet dog, it’s time to dive into some easy solutions. Keep reading for our top five tips to fix this problem now.

Common Causes of Dishwasher Smell

A dishwasher is the ultimate kitchen appliance for convenience and time-saving, but nothing ruins the joy of that freshly cleaned and sanitized dish like a foul odor emanating from the dishwasher. If your dishwasher smells like a wet dog, it may be time to roll up your sleeves and get to the root of the problem. Here are some common causes of dishwasher smell that you need to be aware of:

1. Clogged Drainage System

The most common cause of a smelly dishwasher is a clogged drainage system. After extensive use, the dishwasher drain can become clogged with leftover food particles, soap scum, and other debris. This not only causes the dishwasher to smell bad, but it can also lead to poor performance and ultimately damage to the dishwasher.

2. Standing Water

Water that remains in the dishwasher after a cycle can create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which cause a smelly dishwasher. A dishwasher with standing water may indicate insufficient draining or a clog in the drainage system.

3. Poor Maintenance

A dishwasher that is not cleaned regularly or lacks routine maintenance can cause an accumulation of food, bacteria, and other debris. These elements can result in a smelly dishwasher and affect its overall performance.

4. Hard Water

If you have hard water, mineral deposits can build up in your dishwasher. This can lead to a smelly dishwasher, poor performance, and even damage to the dishwasher.

5. Improper Loading

Improper loading can cause food particles to remain trapped in the dishwasher, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Make sure you load the dishwasher correctly and rinse dishes thoroughly before loading them.


Knowing the common causes of dishwasher smell is only the first step to fixing the problem. It’s crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage to your dishwasher and to keep your dishes clean and fresh. In the following section, we’ll outline five easy ways to fix a smelly dishwasher and enjoy spotlessly clean dishes every time.

The Importance of Fixing Dishwasher Smell

A bad smell coming from your dishwasher can be a very alarming problem, but it’s not something you should ignore. A dishwasher that smells like wet dog can indicate that there are serious problems with the appliance that needs immediate attention.

Not only is the smell unpleasant, but it can also be a health hazard. Inhalation of the fumes released by the dishwasher can cause respiratory problems and aggravate allergies. It can also contaminate your dishes and potentially harm your family.

Moreover, the smell can indicate the presence of mold and bacteria, which can cause various diseases and health conditions. By failing to take action, you risk exposing yourself and your family to potential health risks.

However, the good news is that the problem is usually easy to fix and prevent. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your dishwasher runs efficiently, preventing the buildup of mold and bacteria, eliminating bad odors, and preventing further damage.

Furthermore, by maintaining your dishwasher regularly, you will save money in the long run by having to replace parts less frequently and avoiding the need for costly repairs.

In conclusion, a dishwasher that smells like wet dog is not something to ignore, but it is also not something to panic about. By taking appropriate measures to tackle the issue and maintain your appliance, you can ensure that it runs smoothly, smells fresh, and protects the health of you and your family.

Quick and Easy Fixes You Can Try

Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

If your dishwasher smells like wet dog, don’t panic. There are some easy and simple fixes that you can try to get rid of the odor.

1. Clean the Dishwasher Interior

One of the most common reasons why your dishwasher smells like wet dog is the buildup of food debris and grease inside the appliance. You should clean the interior of your dishwasher regularly to prevent the odor. To do this, remove the racks and clean them with warm water and soap. Then, wipe the walls and the base of the dishwasher with a cloth or sponge.

2. Check the Drain

Another reason why your dishwasher smells like wet dog is because of the clogging of the drain. When the drain is blocked, food particles and debris accumulate, leading to a foul odor. To check the drain, remove the bottom rack and look for any visible debris or clogs. If you find any, remove them and run the dishwasher again.

3. Use Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can help eliminate unpleasant smells. Therefore, if your dishwasher smells like wet dog, try running an empty cycle using a cup of white vinegar. This will clean and freshen up your dishwasher, removing all bacteria and debris that cause the odor.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective solution for getting rid of a foul odor in your dishwasher. Simply sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run an empty cycle. The baking soda will help neutralize the odor and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh.

5. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural deodorizer that can help remove foul smells from your dishwasher. Pour a cup of lemon juice into the dishwasher detergent dispenser and run a normal cycle. The lemon juice will disinfect the interior of the dishwasher and leave it smelling like fresh lemons.

In conclusion, a dishwasher that smells like wet dog is not only unpleasant but also unsanitary. Try these quick and easy fixes to get rid of the odor and ensure that your dishwasher is always fresh and clean.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher is an important task that should be done regularly to keep it running smoothly and to prevent bad smells from developing. Follow these easy steps to give your dishwasher a thorough cleaning and get rid of any unpleasant odors.

1. Empty the dishwasher: Begin by removing all dishes, utensils, and any other items from the dishwasher. Check the dishwasher filter and empty it if necessary.

2. Prepare the cleaning solution: Mix a cup of vinegar, a cup of baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap in a bowl. Stir the solution until it is well combined.

3. Apply the cleaning solution: Pour the cleaning solution into the bottom of the dishwasher. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the inside of the dishwasher, including the walls, racks, and door. Make sure to pay extra attention to areas that are often overlooked, such as the corners and the rubber gasket around the door.

4. Run a cycle with hot water: Once you have scrubbed the dishwasher, run a cycle with hot water. Set the dishwasher to the hottest cycle and let it run for a full cycle. This will help to rinse away any remaining residue from the cleaning solution.

5. Remove any remaining odor: For particularly stubborn odors, you can add a cup of white vinegar to the dishwasher during the rinse cycle. This will help to neutralize any remaining smells and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean.

6. Dry the dishwasher: After the cycle has finished, open the dishwasher and let it air dry completely. You can also use a clean, dry towel to wipe away any remaining moisture.

With these simple steps, you can easily clean your dishwasher and keep it smelling fresh and clean. Regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure that your dishwasher continues to run smoothly and efficiently, making clean-up a breeze.

The Best Natural Cleaners to Eliminate Dishwasher Odors

Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

If you’re an avid user of natural cleaning solutions, you’re in luck – there are plenty of options for eliminating unpleasant dishwasher odors without the use of harsh chemicals. Here are some of the best natural cleaners to try:

1) Baking Soda: Baking soda is a popular natural cleaner that has many uses around the home. For your dishwasher, sprinkle a cup of baking soda in the bottom of the unit and run a cycle on the hottest setting. This will help to eliminate any lingering odors in your dishwasher.

2) Vinegar: White vinegar is another natural cleaner that can be used to eliminate dishwasher odors. Pour a cup of vinegar into a dishwasher-safe container and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run a cycle on the hottest setting to help eliminate odors.

3) Lemon: Lemon is a natural deodorizer that can help to freshen up your dishwasher. Cut a lemon into quarters and place the quarters in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run a cycle on the hottest setting to help eliminate odors.

4) Borax: Borax is a natural cleaning solution that can help to eliminate dishwasher odors. Sprinkle a cup of borax in the bottom of your dishwasher and run a cycle on the hottest setting to help eliminate odors.

5) Essential Oils: Essential oils such as lavender, lemon, or tea tree can be added to your dishwasher to help eliminate odors. Simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a dishwasher-safe container and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run a cycle on the hottest setting to help eliminate odors.

Using natural cleaners to eliminate dishwasher odors is a safe and effective way to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean. Give these natural cleaners a try and see which one works best for you!

Using Vinegar to Clean Your Dishwasher

Vinegar is the magical solution to a lot of household cleaning problems, and cleaning your dishwasher is no exception. It not only cleans and sanitizes your dishwasher, but it also helps in eliminating any foul odors. Follow these easy steps for a fresh-smelling dishwasher in no time.

1. Run an empty cycle – First, empty your dishwasher, remove all the dishes and utensils. Now you have to run the dishwasher on empty, without using detergent or any other cleaning solution. Start your dishwasher on the hottest setting possible.

2. Add Vinegar – Once the dishwasher has started, pause it after a few minutes, and add two cups of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher. Vinegar is the best odor and stain remover and can quickly eliminate the bad smells in your dishwasher.

3. Let it run – After adding the vinegar, it is time to close the dishwasher door and let it run until it completes its full cycle. This can take more than an hour, but it is necessary to eliminate any odors and stains inside the dishwasher.

4. Wipe down – When the dishwasher cycle is completed, you will find it sparkling clean and fresh. Use a sponge or a damp cloth to wipe down any remaining residue.

5. Monthly maintenance – Now that you have a fresh-smelling dishwasher, it is important to keep it clean to avoid any bad smells from returning. A monthly cleaning with vinegar will ensure that your dishwasher is always in top condition.

Overall, vinegar is an easy and inexpensive way to clean and deodorize your dishwasher. It is safe to use, eco-friendly and effective. Try using this method to clean your dishwasher, and you will be amazed at the results.

The Benefits of Baking Soda for Dishwasher Odors

Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

If your dishwasher smells like wet dog, you may be looking for quick and easy solutions to eliminate the smell. One effective way to get rid of unpleasant odors in your dishwasher is by using baking soda.

Baking soda is a versatile and affordable household staple that has been used for centuries for cleaning and deodorizing purposes. In addition to its use in baking, baking soda can be a powerful tool for neutralizing odors and removing stains.

To use baking soda to eliminate dishwasher odors, start by sprinkling a generous amount onto the bottom of your dishwasher and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. The baking soda will work to absorb the odors that have accumulated in the machine over time. You can also mix baking soda with water to create a paste and use it to scrub the interiors of your dishwasher.

Another way to use baking soda for dishwasher odor control is to add it to your regular dishwasher detergent when washing a load of dishes. This can not only help deodorize your dishwasher, but also leave your dishes looking and smelling fresh.

One of the greatest benefits of using baking soda for dishwasher odor control is that it is a natural, safe and non-toxic alternative to harsh chemicals. Unlike some commercial cleaners, baking soda doesn’t leave any harmful residues behind that can damage your dishwasher or negatively impact your health.

In addition to its odor-neutralizing properties, baking soda can also help prolong the life of your dishwasher by protecting it from corrosive substances and mineral build-up that can accumulate over time.

So, if you’re looking for an easy and effective way to eliminate odors from your dishwasher, look no further than the humble baking soda. It’s a simple but powerful solution that can help keep your dishwasher smelling fresh and operating at its best.

Using Lemon Juice for Dishwasher Smell

If your dishwasher smells like wet dog, there’s an easy and natural solution that you can try. Simply use lemon juice to deodorize and freshen up the inside of your dishwasher.

Lemon juice has natural antibacterial properties that can help to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria in your dishwasher. Additionally, the citric acid in lemon juice can break down any leftover grease and grime that may be contributing to the smell.

To use lemon juice for dishwasher smell, start by cutting a lemon in half and squeezing the juice into a small bowl. Then, place the bowl on the top rack of your dishwasher and run a hot cycle.

Alternatively, you can place a few lemon slices in the cutlery basket of your dishwasher. This method works just as well and will leave your dishwasher smelling fresh and citrusy.

If you want to take your lemon juice treatment to the next level, you can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil to your dishwasher detergent. This will help to infuse your dishwasher with a fresh lemon scent and boost the cleaning power of your detergent.

Overall, using lemon juice is a simple and effective way to freshen up your dishwasher and eliminate any unpleasant odors. Give it a try and say goodbye to that wet dog smell for good!

Why You Should Avoid Commercial Dishwasher Cleaners

Commercial dishwasher cleaners can be tempting to use when your dishwasher starts to emit unpleasant odors. However, it’s important to understand the potential harm they can cause. Many commercial dishwasher cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can damage the interior of your dishwasher and even harm the environment.

Firstly, these cleaners can wear down the rubber gaskets and seals, leading to leaks and even more expensive repairs down the line. Additionally, the chemicals in these cleaners can damage the plastic components of your dishwasher, including the spray arms and racks.

Furthermore, many commercial dishwasher cleaners contain ingredients that can be harmful to the environment. These chemicals can end up in waterways and harm aquatic life, as well as contribute to air pollution.

Instead of reaching for commercial dishwasher cleaners, consider using natural alternatives such as baking soda and vinegar. These natural cleaners are not only safe for your dishwasher, but also provide effective cleaning and odor-eliminating properties.

Using a mixture of baking soda and water, scrub the interior of your dishwasher and let it sit for a few hours before running a cycle with vinegar. This approach not only cleans and deodorizes your dishwasher, but also helps to break down any buildup and residue.

In conclusion, using commercial dishwasher cleaners may seem like a quick solution, but it can lead to long-term damage to your appliance and the environment. Opt for natural alternatives, such as baking soda and vinegar, in order to maintain a clean and fragrant dishwasher without sacrificing your health or the planet’s.

How to Replace Your Dishwasher Filter

Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

One of the most common reasons for a dishwasher smelling like a wet dog is a dirty or clogged filter. A filter is responsible for capturing any food debris or other particles that are left behind after a wash cycle. Over time, this debris can build up and cause a musty smell in your dishwasher. Here’s how you can replace your dishwasher filter:

Step 1: Locate your dishwasher filter. Depending on the make and model of your dishwasher, the filter may be located on the bottom of the dishwasher, inside the door, or in the back of the machine.

Step 2: Remove the filter. Most dishwasher filters can be easily removed by twisting or detaching them from the dishwasher. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the filter or the dishwasher.

Step 3: Clean the filter. Rinse the filter under hot water to remove any food debris or other particles that are stuck to it. If the filter is extremely dirty or discolored, soak it in a mixture of hot water and dish soap for a few minutes before rinsing it.

Step 4: Replace the filter. Once the filter is clean, reattach it to the dishwasher following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that it is securely in place.

Step 5: Run a cycle. After replacing the filter, run a cycle with your dishwasher to make sure that everything is working properly and that there are no new smells.

Replacing your dishwasher filter is a quick and easy fix for a smelly dishwasher. Doing this regularly can also help to prevent future odors. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning or replacing your filter every 3-6 months, so be sure to mark your calendar and keep up with your dishwasher maintenance routine!

The Importance of Regular Dishwasher Maintenance

Your dishwasher is one of the most important appliances in your home. It saves you time and energy by cleaning your dishes quickly and efficiently. However, over time, your dishwasher can develop problems that can lead to it smelling like wet dog. The best way to avoid this unpleasant odor and keep your dishwasher running smoothly is to perform regular maintenance.

Regular maintenance of your dishwasher is important for many reasons. First, it helps to prevent clogs and blockages that can cause water buildup and mold growth. Second, it helps to ensure that the dishwasher is running efficiently, which can help save you money on your utility bills.

One important aspect of regular dishwasher maintenance is cleaning the filters. Filters are an essential part of your dishwasher because they catch food particles and other debris that can clog the drain or cause odor. If you don’t clean your filters regularly, they can become clogged and cause your dishwasher to smell.

Another important aspect of maintaining your dishwasher is checking the spray arms. The spray arms are responsible for distributing water evenly throughout the dishwasher, which ensures that all of your dishes get clean. If the spray arms are clogged or damaged, they won’t be able to do their job properly, and your dishwasher will not work efficiently.

It’s also important to clean the interior of your dishwasher regularly. Food particles and other debris can accumulate in the corners and crevices of your dishwasher, which can cause odor and even mold growth. Wiping down the interior of your dishwasher on a regular basis can help prevent this.

Finally, be sure to check your dishwasher’s gasket for signs of wear and tear. The gasket is the rubber seal around the door of your dishwasher, and if it’s damaged or cracked, water can leak out and cause odor. If you notice any signs of damage, be sure to replace the gasket as soon as possible.

In conclusion, regular maintenance is essential for keeping your dishwasher running smoothly and smelling fresh. By cleaning the filters, checking the spray arms, cleaning the interior, and checking the gasket, you can avoid the unpleasant odor of a wet dog and ensure that your dishwasher is working efficiently.

How to Know When to Replace Your Dishwasher

Knowing when to replace your dishwasher can save you from the hassle of repeatedly repairing an old, outdated model. Here are some signs that it might be time for a replacement:

1. Age: Like all appliances, dishwashers have a lifespan of around 10-13 years. If your dishwasher is reaching the end of its expected lifespan, it might be time to consider replacing it.

2. Repairs: If you find yourself constantly calling a repairman to fix your dishwasher, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to replace the appliance. Repairs can add up quickly and the cost may be more than the value of the appliance.

3. Energy Efficiency: Newer dishwashers are generally more energy-efficient than older models. Energy-efficient dishwashers save both money and power, as they use less water and electricity to clean dishes.

4. Water Damage: If you notice water damage around or underneath your dishwasher, this could be a sign of leaks or other major problems. Leaks can indicate a failing dishwasher and should be taken seriously.

5. Performance: If your dishwasher is no longer cleaning or drying dishes effectively, it might be time for an upgrade. Newer models have improved technology and features that provide better cleaning and drying results.

Replacing a dishwasher may seem like a daunting task, but it can save time and money in the long run. Consider these signs to determine if your dishwasher needs to be replaced. Consult with a trusted, experienced appliance professional for assistance in selecting the best replacement dishwasher for your home.

Consulting with a Professional-When to Seek Help

Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

As a home improvement enthusiast and expert, it’s natural to want to tackle any household problem on your own. However, there may come a time when you need to seek the help of a professional, especially if you’ve tried all the DIY solutions and your dishwasher still smells like wet dog. So, when should you seek professional help?

If you’ve tried all the DIY solutions mentioned in this article and your dishwasher still smells like wet dog, it may be time to call in a professional. They can diagnose the problem quickly and efficiently, saving you the hassle of spending time and money on solutions that may not work.

Another reason why you may want to consult with a professional is if your dishwasher smells consistently, no matter how often you run it. This could be a sign of a larger issue that needs to be addressed. An experienced technician can easily identify the source of the problem and fix it for you.

Moreover, if you’re not comfortable working with electrical components, it’s best to consult with a professional. Dishwashers are powered by electricity, so if you’re not careful, you might cause more damage to your appliance or even injure yourself in the process.

Lastly, if your dishwasher is still under warranty, seeking professional help is advisable, as any DIY fixes may void the warranty.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you’ve exhausted all the DIY solutions and your dishwasher still smells like wet dog. An experienced technician can quickly diagnose the issue and fix the problem for you, saving you the hassle and potential danger of trying to fix it yourself.

Troubleshooting Common Dishwasher Problems

As a home improvement enthusiast and expert, I believe that every homeowner deserves to have a fully functional kitchen with all appliances working perfectly. However, one common problem that many people face with their dishwasher is a terrible smell that resembles that of wet dog. Not only is this smell unpleasant, but it can also indicate a deeper issue with your dishwasher.

Fortunately, there are five easy ways to fix your dishwasher and eliminate that foul odor for good. But before we get to those solutions, let’s discuss some troubleshooting tips to help you diagnose the problem.

First and foremost, it’s essential to determine the root cause of the smell. While it could be a simple issue like a dirty filter or gasket, it could also signify a more significant problem such as a clogged drain or a malfunctioning motor. Therefore, it’s best to inspect your dishwasher thoroughly before you start applying any solutions.

One common and easy troubleshooting solution is to check if there are any remnants of food or debris stuck on the dishwasher’s interior or any of its parts. This can include the spray arm, nozzle, and filter. If there is a build-up, remove it and give the dishwasher a thorough cleaning.

If this doesn’t solve the issue, you should check the dishwasher’s drain. Firmly attach it to the sink’s drain to ensure that water leaves the dishwasher correctly. Additionally, make sure the dishwasher’s garbage disposal is clean and functioning correctly. A malfunctioning disposal can prevent water from draining, which could lead to the bad odor.

Lastly, if these troubleshooting tips don’t work, it’s time to call in the experts. Sometimes, the smell could be a result of a more significant issue, like a faulty motor or pump. In such situations, it’s best to turn off the dishwasher and seek the help of a qualified technician.

In conclusion, while a dishwasher smelling like wet dog can be frustrating and unpleasant, it’s not a problem without a solution. Troubleshoot the issue by examining the dishwasher’s interior, its drain and garbage disposal system. Apply these five easy solutions, but if they don’t work, seek professional help. Keep your kitchen fresh and clean, and always be proactive in preventing future issues.

What to Do If the Smell Persists

Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

If you have tried all of the above solutions and your dishwasher still has a persistent odor, then it’s time to delve a little deeper.

First, check the garbage disposal if your dishwasher is connected to it. The garbage disposal can be a prime culprit in causing bad odors. Run the disposal for a minute and ensure that it is draining properly.

If your dishwasher uses a filter, check to see if it is clogged. A clogged filter can cause water to stagnate, resulting in an unpleasant smell. Clean the filter with warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush.

Next, inspect the drain hose for any kinks or clogs. If the hose is damaged or clogged, it will prevent water from draining properly and leave standing water in the dishwasher, resulting in an odor. Clear any blockages and replace the hose if necessary.

If none of the above steps work, it may be time to call in a professional. There could be an issue with the plumbing or ventilation system that is causing unpleasant odors. A plumber or HVAC technician will be able to diagnose and fix the issue.

In addition, it’s always a good idea to regularly clean and maintain your dishwasher to prevent future odors from occurring. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance, and consider running a dishwasher cleaner through a cycle once a month.

In conclusion, there are several easy ways to fix a dishwasher that smells like wet dog. If the odor persists, check the garbage disposal, filter, and drain hose, and consider calling in a professional if necessary. Regular maintenance and cleaning are also important in preventing future odors. With these tips, your dishwasher will be smelling fresh and clean in no time.

Preventing Dishwasher Smell in the Future

After successfully eliminating the wet dog smell from your dishwasher, the next logical step is to prevent it from happening again in the future. Here are five easy ways to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean.

1. Use the Right Detergent

Using the right detergent is crucial to keeping your dishwasher smelling fresh. Choose a high-quality detergent specifically designed for dishwashers. Avoid using regular dish soap, which can create excess suds that will leave behind a residue that can accumulate and cause nasty smells.

2. Clean Your Dishwasher Regularly

Regular cleaning of your dishwasher is a simple yet effective way to prevent bad smells from developing. Clean the interior of the dishwasher, including the door, gasket, and racks, using a mild cleaning solution. You can also use vinegar or baking soda to clean your dishwasher, which are both inexpensive and readily available.

3. Rinse Dishes Before Loading Them

Rinsing dishes before loading them in the dishwasher can help prevent food particles from accumulating and causing unpleasant smells. By removing any food residue before loading, you can minimize the amount of work your dishwasher has to do, reducing the potential for odors.

4. Run Your Dishwasher on Hot

Running your dishwasher on hot will help eliminate bacteria and prevent mold growth. Opt for a high-temperature wash cycle whenever possible, and consider running an empty load with white vinegar or baking soda once a month to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh.

5. Let Your Dishwasher Air Out

After each use, leave your dishwasher open for a few minutes to allow it to air out. This will help prevent moisture buildup, which can encourage the growth of bacteria and lead to foul odors. Make it a habit to leave your dishwasher open after each cycle, and consider running a fan or opening a nearby window to promote airflow in your kitchen.

By following these simple steps, you can prevent your dishwasher from developing unpleasant smells and keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Not only will this keep your kitchen smelling fresh, but it will improve the overall function of your dishwasher, ensuring it lasts for years to come.

Best Practices for Dishwasher Use and Maintenance

Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

Having a dishwasher at home is undoubtedly a great convenience for any homeowner. It saves time, water, and detergent compared to hand-washing which makes it an ideal appliance for those who value efficiency and cleanliness in their homes. But like any other household appliance, a dishwasher will require some care and attention to ensure its optimal performance.

Here are some best practices for using and maintaining your dishwasher properly:

1. Load your dishwasher correctly

The proper loading of your dishwasher is essential for efficient cleaning. Always load dishes in the direction recommended by the manufacturer’s manual. Do not overload your dishwasher as attempting to clean too many items at once can lead to partial cleaning, improper rinsing, and moisture accumulation that can cause bad smells.

2. Pre-rinse heavily soiled dishes

While most modern dishwashers come with powerful cleaning capabilities, heavily soiled dishes may need a little extra attention to remove excess food particles. Pre-rinsing with a steady stream of hot water can help loosen any stuck-on food and also prevents food buildup within your dishwasher.

3. Use the right detergent

A common cause of unwanted dishwasher odours comes from using the wrong detergent or wrong amount of detergent. Consider consulting your user manual and use only the recommended detergent brand, and the proper amount recommended for your dishwasher model for maximum efficiency.

4. Check and clean your dishwasher regularly

The best way to prevent dishwasher odours and maintain your dishwasher’s optimal performance is to check and clean it periodically. Take out the removable interior parts – the racks filters and spray arms – and wash them with soap and water. Check for any debris and buildup and remove if necessary.

5. Run your dishwasher regularly

Frequent use of your dishwasher reduces the likelihood of stagnant water and unwanted odours. As such, it is recommended to run your dishwasher every few days, even if it is not full, to keep your dishwasher fresh and working efficiently.

By following these simple best practices, you can ensure that your dishwasher works correctly and efficiently, leaving you with sparkling clean dishes and a fresh appliance at all times.


Dishwashers are supposed to make our lives easier by keeping our dishes clean and sanitized. But, sometimes they can develop a funky odor that can be unpleasant and embarrassing. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to fix a dishwasher that smells like a wet dog.

First, make sure to clean the dishwasher’s interior and exterior surfaces regularly using a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Additionally, regularly cleaning the dishwasher’s filter and removing any food debris can help prevent odors from forming.

Second, consider using vinegar or baking soda to help neutralize any remaining odors. Both of these natural products have powerful deodorizing properties that can help eliminate even the toughest of smells.

Third, try running your dishwasher on a hot cycle to help sanitize and deodorize the dishwasher. This will kill any bacteria or mold that may be causing the odor and leave your dishwasher feeling and smelling fresh.

Fourth, check to make sure that your dishwasher is draining properly. If water is sitting in the bottom of your dishwasher, it can cause unpleasant odors to form.

Finally, if all else fails, consider calling in a professional to inspect and repair your dishwasher. There may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed in order to completely eliminate the smell.

In conclusion, a dishwasher that smells like a wet dog can be frustrating and embarrassing, but it doesn’t have to be. With the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can easily fix your smelly dishwasher and get back to enjoying clean and fresh dishes every time.


Dishwasher Smells Like Wet Dog: 5 Easy Ways To Fix It Now

1. “Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Like Wet Dog?” by Alexandra Lim-Chua Wee, The Spruce, updated on August 16, 2019

2. “How to Clean a Dishwasher: A Step-by-Step Guide” by Jessica Bennett, Real Simple, updated on August 22, 2019

3. “The Best Ways to Deodorize a Dishwasher” by Mary Marlowe Leverette, The Spruce, updated on September 25, 2020

4. “5 Common Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Smells Bad” by Nina Huang, Taste of Home, updated on September 18, 2020

5. “5 Quick & Easy Dishwasher Tips to Keep Your Dishwasher Running Like New” by DwellingDecor, Dwelling Decor, accessed on April 29, 2021

As an expert in home improvement, it is important to conduct thorough research on the topic at hand to provide accurate and helpful information to readers. The above references offer valuable insights into the common causes of a dishwasher smelling like wet dog and provide tips and tricks on how to rectify it.

The Spruce offers a comprehensive guide on why dishwashers can develop unpleasant odors and how to prevent them, while Real Simple provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on how to clean a dishwasher. Taste of Home highlights the common reasons why dishwashers can smell bad and offers solutions on how to eliminate those odors. Additionally, DwellingDecor offers quick and easy tips to keep a dishwasher running like new.

By utilizing these references, readers can gain a better understanding of the problem at hand and can implement effective solutions to eliminate undesirable odors from their dishwasher. It is important to note that every dishwasher is unique and may require different methods of cleaning and maintenance. Therefore, it is important to consult the manufacturer’s instructions and seek professional advice if necessary.


In some cases, despite taking all preventative measures, your dishwasher may still emit an unpleasant wet dog smell. Here are a few additional steps you can take to ensure your dishwasher stays odor-free:

1. Run a hot water cycle with vinegar: Fill a dishwasher-safe container with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. Run a hot water cycle to allow the vinegar to circulate and eliminate any lingering odors.

2. Clean the dishwasher filter: Food particles and debris can accumulate in your dishwasher’s filter, causing unpleasant smells. Remove the filter and soak it in warm, soapy water. Use a soft brush to gently clean any remaining debris, then rinse and dry the filter before placing it back in the dishwasher.

3. Check the garbage disposal: If you have a garbage disposal, it may be contributing to the wet dog smell in your dishwasher. Run the disposal and ensure it is clean and free of any trapped food particles.

4. Use baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher and let it sit for several hours or overnight. The baking soda will absorb any odors and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh.

5. Consider a professional cleaning: If the smell persists despite your efforts, it may be time to hire a professional to thoroughly clean your dishwasher. A professional cleaning can eliminate any deep-seated odors and help prevent them from returning.

By following these simple steps, you can eliminate any wet dog smells from your dishwasher and keep your kitchen smelling fresh and clean. Remember, regular maintenance is key to preventing unpleasant odors and ensuring your dishwasher operates at peak performance.

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