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If you’ve been called on-site to repair a smelly dishwasher, it’s essential to know that it’s often a sign that there are food particles trapped within the dishwasher that need to be removed. While this isn’t a traditional appliance repair issue, for many homeowners, it’s something that they don’t know how to resolve on their own and will often contact a technician to repair. When it comes to repairing a smelly dishwasher, there are a few simple steps that appliance repair technicians can take to resolve this basic household dilemma. At Uncle Harry’s, you can learn how to repair household appliances easily and become an appliance repair technician through our Platinum Program – Technician Training Edition that comes with a fully-loaded 15-inch laptop. In the meantime, we can walk you through these simple steps to repair a smelly dishwasher in any household.


dishwasher repair


Appliance Repair Step #1: Identify the Source of Bad Smells

For any newbie or experienced appliance repair technician, your first step will always be to identify the source of bad smells within the dishwasher. For busy homeowners, they might not clean their plates before placing them into the dishwasher thoroughly. This can result in food particles, grease, and other organic materials becoming trapped within the dishwasher. This will often emit a rotten smell that is easily identifiable. Once you’ve got a general idea of what the dishwasher is dealing with, you can proceed with the following steps to address and eliminate the cause of foul odors in a dishwasher.

Clean Out the Filters, Drain, and Spray Arms

Take a look at the inside of the dishwasher, ensuring that all dishes have been removed from the machine. Next, you’ll want to remove the lower dishwasher track to access the filters, drain, and spray arms. Eliminate any debris you may see clogged within the filters and drain upon first sight. Then, proceed to soak the filters in warm water to help cleanse any additional residue that may remain trapped. Before inserting the filter back into the dishwasher, you’ll want to ensure that there are no remaining food particles trapped around or within eyesight of the drain. Then, grab the spray arms and soak them in a sink filled with warm water to eliminate any particles trapping water from freely flowing. Reattach the spray arm once all food particles are removed.

Run the Dishwasher for a Short Cycle

Lastly, you’ll want to run the dishwasher for a short cycle with one cup of white vinegar placed upright on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. The white vinegar can serve as a rinse for any residual odors trapped within the dishwasher during a short cycle run with hot water. After the short cycle, remove the white vinegar cup from the dishwasher. If the smell persists, you’ll want to check the drain hose. A drain hose issue can usually be identified by standing water located at the base of the dishwasher following a cycle. You can pull the dishwasher out from the back to check on the hose. If the hose isn’t kinked and is damaged, it’ll need to be completely repaired or replaced. Interested in learning more about appliance repair? Uncle Harry can help you professionally learn through our Appliance Repair School!


You can learn how to professionally repair appliances with the help of Uncle Harry. If you’re interested in becoming an appliance repair technician or learning how to run a successful appliance repair business, our repair school has a heavy focus on business ownership. Our Platinum Program 2021 features over 200+ videos that can walk you through appliance repairs in real time with real customers. By choosing Uncle Harry’s repair school, you can rest assured knowing you’ll always have a great support network behind you to assist you when you need it. Call today or contact us to learn more and get enrolled!

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