I have been trying to troubleshoot a smelly dishwasher for a few months now. Here is what I observed:

  • Dishwasher does not smell normally
  • Dishwasher smells almost immediately after a wash cycle starts
  • Sink drain smells almost immediately after a wash cycle starts
  • Dishwasher smells very bad after a wash cycle
  • Plates smell bad after a wash cycle
  • Dishwasher filter seems to need to be cleaned very often, about every week
  • Dishwasher is about 3-4 years old. Do not remember this issue coming up until about six months ago. The dishwasher also broke and needed its pump replaced maybe a year or two ago.

Here is what I have fixed:

  • Replaced drain hose (it was very dirty)
  • Confirmed drain hose has proper high loop
  • Used a wet vac to completely clean all accessible parts of inside and outside of dishwasher, including parts underneath it.
  • Clean the dishwasher filter almost every time we wash
  • Tried several cleaning solutions (baking soda, Affresh & other products)
  • Really been careful to get all food chunks of any size off dishes
  • Had an appliance repairman come check out the machine. He replaced the drain hose and did a very intense cleaning of the machine. He couldn't find any issues.


  • Added picture under sink

under sink

  • 4
    Can you upload a picture of the undersink area showing the dishwasher hose, sink drain, trap, disposal (if you have one), etc.? Sep 27, 2020 at 0:14
  • yeah, I also think this may be a plumbing problem.
    – Jasen
    Sep 27, 2020 at 2:44
  • 1
    Check the vent stack for blockage, which can cause sewer gas to back up into house from any drain. Sep 27, 2020 at 4:00
  • Have you tried running a couple of empty loads with a cup of bleach?
    – JimMSDN
    Sep 27, 2020 at 12:11


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