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  Bad Smells From A Dishwasher

If your dishwasher stinks, here's the causes and how to solve the problem

If there are malicious odours from the dishwasher at the end of the cycle then here are the main causes of it.

This will most likely be particularly noticeable if the door is opened while there is still steam in the dishwasher.

Bad smells and stinking dishwasher

Bad smell after a few days or overnight can also indicate that backfilling from the kitchen sink's waste could be a problem.

Usually the result of:

Decomposition of food during the washing and drying cycles
Remains of food in the filter system.

Allowing dirty tableware to remain in the closed dishwasher for more than a day without performing a rinse and hold cycle.

  Cause & Prevention Of Dishwasher Smells


Unpleasant or bad smells from a dishwasher leading to it often being regarded as a "smelly dishwasher" are normally caused by the decomposition of food in the machine.

The bad smell is far more noticeable when the door is opened and the machine is still hot, i.e. when there is steam in it.

It is essential that the dishwasher is cleaned on a regular basis using a commercial dishwasher cleaner, such as Affresh dishwasher & waste disposal cleaner which is available in our store from this link or by running regular maintenance washes. Glisten of course is far stronger than running a maintenance wash and has been developed to clear out any residues in the dishwasher and, it does a good job of it.

On dishwashers installed directly to a spigot on the sink waste trap it is very common to get bad smells due to backfilling from the kitchen sink as it is emptied. This allows dirty, contaminated water to enter the dishwasher through the waste pipe leading to a bad smell.


Run a "maintenance wash" cycle with an enzyme containing detergent such as Fairy Active Bursts. To do this make sure that the machine is empty, has no dishes or cutlery in it and run on an intensive wash cycle with detergent only.

Alternatively clean using commercial dishwasher cleaners, such as this one available in our store on a fairly regular basis to ensure optimum performance from your dishwasher. If you are in a hard water area then we would recommend using dishwasher descaler to remove the deposits and, this may be required once a year or so.

When cleaning the dishwasher make sure than you clean the door seals, especially the lower ones, as water does not reach these and food deposits can build up in this area. Neat dishwasher cleaner is highly effective for cleaning the seals.


Always perform a rinse and hold cycle if the load is not to be washed within a day.

Ensure that the filters are clear, see link below for details of regular dishwasher maintenance requirements

Use a good quality enzymatic dishwasher detergent, we recommend Fairy Active Bursts for the best results and performance. The enzymes help decompose food more quickly and thus reduce the possibility of partly decomposed food in the dishwasher.

Do not open the door during the cycle.

  Affresh Dishwasher & Waste Disposal Cleaner

Affresh dishwasher and waste disposal cleanerThis stuff is brilliant, especially if you have a waste disposal and a dishwasher.

It's been formulated to break down food waste and grease so it clears out the parts that you ordinarily can't get to in a dishwasher or a waste disposal. In our opinion it does a pretty good job of it as well, better than any other product we've tried. It's also ludicrously simple to use as well, no mucking about with it or silly bottles, just chuck one tablet in the disposal, two in the dishwasher and use a hot program on the dishwasher or do as above on a garbage disposal and you're done. Easy, simple and not really much you can do wrong.

It's great stuff for a dishwasher alone but, of course the really good news is that, if you happen to have both a dishwasher and a waste disposal it's utterly brilliant as it's one cleaner for both machines which, apart from being much more convenient for those of us that really don't want any hassle, it saves money as well.

That's why we sell it and recommend it. You can buy Affresh dishwasher and waste disposal cleaner from this link.

Modern BOSCH, SIEMENS.etc.. have a funny little grey plastic cage device in the floor.This lifts up to reveal a cylindrical mesh filter. Scum on this comes away easily with soapy water. BUT the grey plastic cage has concealed inner surfaces. Gently pop it apart and be prepared for gummy stinking deposits. Scrub away and bleach and put back together.Worked perfectly for me. Tzzzk!
terry bacon
Whirlpool dishwasher model ADG7460. Starts, runs for 1 minute then stops and green control light flashes, and will not reset. Would like any ideas please
Kenneth Watt
Yes, the Affresh replaces Glisten.Only one tablet at a time is recommended.
Does this product replace Glisten? I can't find Glisten for sale anywhere online.I'm also wondering if using 2 of these instead of 1 would create too much foam in the dishwasher?

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