My house is 7 years old. I live alone and decided it was easier to just wash what dishes I use rather than waiting for enough to run the dishwasher. Now there is a bad smell coming from around the sink area.

I looked underneath the sink. Everything is nice and dry. But the water hose attached to the dishwasher is clear and I can see gunk in it. I've tried using the baking soda and vinegar method to clean the drains but it doesn't go through that hose.

The hose is running through a hole in the cabinet under the sink to the dishwasher. Am I going to have to remove the dishwasher to replace the smelly hose?

I have run the dishwasher with a cup of vinegar to help clean out the gunk, but it's still there.

Not My Hose

  • Might need to run bleach though it a couple of times. Probably better if you can leave it soak for a bit first.
    – crip659
    Mar 29, 2022 at 22:15
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    Any sink or water outlet should be run at least monthly. There will be a "trap" in there - a J-hook bent pipe that entraps water in the bottom of the J, to be a "plug" to keep out sewer gas. If the water evaporates, it becomes a superhighway for sewer gas. Mar 29, 2022 at 22:40
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    A correctly plumbed dishwasher empties above the sink trap in the sink. Often the top of the disposal, as appears likely the case here based on a cropped picture. It does not have a direct path to the sewer and sewer gas is contained by the sink's P-trap. Any stink associated with the dishwasher is purely from what's in the dishwasher and hose itself.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 30, 2022 at 0:52
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    How about a picture (or two if needed) of the rest of the drain plumbing? I'm suspecting that the dishwasher might be innocent.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 30, 2022 at 1:04
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    OT but (also mainly living alone, cooking from scratch but in batches) I use the dishwasher to save energy and water compared to frequent washing up by hand. Probably 3-4 loads per week, while washing up by hand would mean at least 9 bowls of hot water (daily, more at weekends). Each bowlful would hold nearly as much water as one dishwasher load, plus the water wasted while the hot takes its time to come through
    – Chris H
    Mar 30, 2022 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


Take a bowl and set it on the top rack face-up. Then pour some vinegar into it (about half to 2/3 full). Now run the dishwasher. If you have any "extra heat" options, use them.

The vinegar should help kill the smell without need of any harsh chemicals like bleach.

Your drain hose will usually have some water in it (it's designed to run uphill). Running it periodically should help with any smells there as well.

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