Baking soda is a natural way to lift the smell out of a dishwasher. Pouring between 1 and 2 cups of baking soda into the dishwasher's basin and running a hot cycle purges most unpleasant odors. It is important to check the basin for lingering food or objects before starting.
For particularly potent odors, Kudzu recommends alternating a baking soda cycle with a cycle featuring two cups of vinegar. Borax and unsweetened lemonade mixes also help remove odor when baking soda is not available. The Finish brand also offers a commercial dishwasher cleaner if the vinegar smell is a problem. A scrub of baking soda paste inside the basin also cleans tough stains and deodorizes the area.