Appliance Repair Blog
Thoughts and commentary about appliance repair topics including common failures and repairs, plus links to frequently used parts, industry news, along with information to help you better understand your appliances. Resources available for the technical professional and the do-it-yourselfer. Over 650 Posts

dishwasher FAQ

My dishwasher has an odor

Is there a new plastic smell?

• This is a normal smell and should dissipate with time. Run a white vinegar rinse to reduce the odor:

• Wash and rinse dishes. Do not use a heated dry option. Use an air-dry or an energy-saving dry option. Remove all silverware or metal items.

• Put 2 cups (500 mL) of white vinegar in a glass or dishwasher-safe measuring cup on the bottom rack.

• Run the dishwasher through a complete washing cycle using an air-dry or an energy-saving dry option. Do not use detergent. The vinegar will mix with the wash water.

• Run the dishwasher through a normal cycle with detergent after cleaning the interior.

Are dishes washed only every two or three days?

• Run a rinse cycle once or twice a day until you have a full load.

Is there a petroleum smell?

• This is a normal smell. Some models have sound-deadening material that smells like petroleum.

Is there a varnish smell?

• This is a typical motor smell. Some motor windings are treated with a varnish. This smell will wear off in approximately one month.

Is there a burnt plastic smell?

• Possible cause: Plastic parts have fallen onto the heating element during a cycle.

• Solution: Remove plastic parts from heater after it has cooled. After a few cycles, the excess plastic will burn off.

• Possible cause: Plastics washed were not dishwasher safe.

• Solution: Wash only dishwasher-safe plastics in the dishwasher.

Is there a musty, spoiled smell?

• Standing water in the dishwasher can cause this smell. See also “Why isn’t my dishwasher draining.”