How Do You Clean a Dishwasher and Prevent Odor Build-Up?

Keep a dishwasher clean by flushing the drain at the bottom of the dishwasher, by running the dishwasher with white vinegar in a cup and by sprinkling baking soda along the bottom. Odors can be eliminated by cleaning the garbage disposal and the drain filter.

Dishwasher drains often contain leftover particles that block proper drainage as well as cause damage to the dishwasher. Dishwashers also use filters, which should be cleaned with warm, soapy water. By cleaning the drain and filter at least once a month, the dishwasher can be kept clean and smelling fresh.

White vinegar and baking soda are odor neutralizers. A small cup of either can be placed on the top rack of an empty dishwasher before the appliance is run on a normal cleaning cycle. Sliced lemon peels in a cup can also be used to eliminate odors.

Garbage disposals and dishwashers share the same central hose, and leftover particles in the disposal can eventually back up into the dishwasher's drain hose and cause foul odors. The central hose can be disconnected from the garbage disposal and cleaned with a stiff brush and clean damp cloth. Multiple cloths may be needed for especially dirty garbage disposals.