How Do You Clean a Stinky Dishwasher?

updated Jun 5, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We don’t run our dishwasher every day or every other day, for that matter. Since we cook for two and hand-wash quite a few things, our dirty dishes sit in the dishwasher for several days. And whoa, does our dishwasher stink when we open the door…

That’s not our dishwasher above, by the way, so no theories on cats causing odors, please. We actually have a dishwasher that looks like this:

And yes, we do rinse our dishes. Not squeaky clean (that’s the dishwasher’s job) but clean enough that there are no huge hunks of food. Still, the odor that comes out of there when we open the drawer is pretty strong, and it often lingers after we’ve run a cycle.

We’ve read about a couple of remedies: running the dishwasher with powdered lemonade in the detergent cup is one. Another is running it with white vinegar or baking soda. We’re wondering who’s tried either of these techniques—or has another. What are your suggestions for freshening up a dishwasher?

Related: Kitchen Keeping: Don’t Use Too Much Dishwasher Soap

(Images: Flickr member bob.os, licensed for use under Creative Commons; Elizabeth Passarella)