Dishwasher Smells Bad? How to Clean a Maytag Dishwasher

While certainly unpleasant, dishwasher odor can also indicate a functional problem, like a clogged drain or filter. What can you do when your dishwasher smells bad? Cleaning the tub and filter eliminates odor at these common sources and ensures they operate properly. Learn how to clean a smelly dishwasher and address odor-causing clogs with the right supplies and techniques.

Obliterate Odor When Your Dishwasher Smells Bad:
How to Clean a Maytag Dishwasher

Wiping down the interior or washing more dishes won’t do the trick for persistent smells. Targeted cleaning of specific components is the best way to eliminate odor when your dishwasher smells bad. But before we discuss the most effective cleaning methods, here’s how dishwasher odor originates and quickly overwhelms.

maytag dishwasher smells bad

What Causes Dishwasher Odor?

Though knowing how to load a dishwasher can ensure that food particles and grime are drained away, some can still be left behind. Most collect in the dishwasher’s filter and on the interior walls, while others accumulate in the drain, causing clogs. As these particles linger and break down, they develop smelly mold and mildew that quickly multiplies in the dishwasher’s warm environment. 

How Do You Clean a Smelly Maytag Dishwasher?

The first step in how to clean a Maytag dishwasher is to figure out what is causing the bad smell. If your dishes are not coming out clean, there may be food particles and grease build-up on the spray arm or in the filters. If this is the case, you will need to clean these dishwasher parts.

If your dishwasher smells bad, but the dishes are coming out clean, it is probably due to a build-up of soap scum, grease, or food particles in the tub. To clean these areas of the dishwasher, you can use a vinegar and water solution or a commercial dishwasher cleaner. Keep reading to find out how to clean a Maytag dishwasher.

How to Clean the Dishwasher Tub

What is the best way to clean the inside of a dishwasher? Basic household staples like vinegar and baking soda can remove dirt and grime that cause bad smells.

Follow these steps to clean the dishwasher tub with vinegar and baking soda:

  1. Place a small, dishwasher-safe bowl of white vinegar in the top rack of the empty dishwasher.
  2. Run a regular wash cycle with hot water.
  3. Remove the bowl of vinegar and sprinkle a handful of baking soda in the base of the empty dishwasher.
  4. Run a second wash cycle with hot water.
  5. For persistent mildew, pour 1 cup of bleach in the dishwasher’s base and run another wash cycle. Skip this step if your dishwasher’s interior is stainless steel, as it can be permanently stained by bleach.
how to clean a dishwasher filter

How to Clean Your Dishwasher Filter

When your dishwasher smells bad, a clogged filter is often responsible. This filter screens out larger food particles to prevent them from clogging the drain. Without regular cleanings, these particles will accumulate and break down, causing odor and risking drain clogs. 

Here’s how to clean a dishwasher filter to eliminate bad smells:

  1. Take out the bottom rack and locate the filter in the dishwasher’s base.
  2. Rotate the filter to unlock and remove it from its compartment.
  3. Wash the filter with warm, soapy water, scrubbing it gently with an old toothbrush to remove stubborn particles. Rinse under running water.
  4. Replace the filter in its compartment and twist to lock in place.
dishwasher smells bad
Image Source: Maytag

What to Do if Your Dishwasher Is Clogged

Dishwasher clogs are a common source of bad odor, as most consist of accumulated food particles or one large remnant. Water that doesn’t drain and backs up into the dishwasher can also leave behind smelly mold and mildew. Are you wondering, “How do I unclog my Maytag dishwasher?”

These tips can dispel clogs in the disposal, air gap, and drain and eliminate odor:

  • Clear the disposal: The dishwasher and disposal often share a common drain. Always run the disposal before starting the dishwasher to clear it of any food remnants that can cause clogs.
  • Clean the air gap: An air gap prevents sink water from backing up into the dishwasher. Clean the air gap regularly by taking off the cap and removing any visible blockages.
  • Break up drain clogs: Food particles that are trapped in the dishwasher drain can cause odor and backups. Here’s how to clean a dishwasher drain trap to break up clogs:
  1. Mix a solution of baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain.
  2. Let the solution sit for 10-15 minutes to dispel the clog.
  3. Flush the solution and any lingering food remnants with boiling water.

What Is the Best Way to Deep Clean a Maytag Dishwasher?

The best way to deep clean a Maytag dishwasher is to use Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner. This cleaner is specifically designed to remove build-up and odors from your dishwasher without damaging the interior or components of your unit.

how do you get water spots off glassware
Image Source: Affresh on Maytag

To use Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner:

  1. Add the cleaner to the bottom of an empty dishwasher. Do not add dishes or detergent.
  2. Run the dishwasher on the normal cycle.
  3. To keep your dishwasher clean and odor free, repeat the process once a month.

How Do You Get Water Spots Off Glassware?

If you’re seeing water spots on your glassware, it is likely due to a build-up of minerals in your dishwasher. This can be a sign of hard water.

To prevent water spots on your glassware:

  • Ensure that the dishwasher is clean by following the steps above.
  • Use a rinse aid in your dishwasher. Rinse aids help to prevent water spots by causing the water to sheet off of dishes and glassware during the final rinse cycle. Fill the rinse aid dispenser according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you notice that your dishes are still not coming out crystal clear, try switching to a detergent made for hard water.

While these cleaning tips can do the trick when your dishwasher smells bad, a lingering odor may require professional service. For the best in dishwasher repair, call Capital City Appliance Service.

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