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Dishes Stink in the Air: Causes and What You Can Do

If dishes stink in the air, this can have various reasons. With home remedies, these unpleasant smells can be eliminated and also avoided.

Dishes stink in the air: That could be the reason

Dishes often stink when they come out of the dishwasher. You will hardly notice this phenomenon with hand-washed dishes. Various causes are responsible for the unpleasant smell:

  • Leftovers: If the dishes are heavily soiled, a lot of leftovers quickly collect in the machine. In such a case, the contents quickly smell foul, especially when it comes to fats, dairy products, and eggs. Food debris releases sulfur that smells like rotten eggs and settles on surfaces.
  • Stagnant water: If you don’t use your dishwasher regularly, the residual water in the machine drain will start to smell due to the growth of bacteria and mold. If you then use the device again, these residues mix with fresh water, and unpleasant odors are produced.
  • Temperature: If you frequently use a program with a temperature below 50 degrees Celsius, bacteria and mold will form in the dishwasher. This also creates a stench.
  • Cleaning: Dirt, mold, and bacteria settle especially in the seals, in the area of ​​the filter, and in the compartments for detergent and rinse aid.
  • Tip: Some cleaning tabs already smell unpleasant. For example, if your dishes smell like a wet dog, try a different cleaner. Most of the time the problem is already solved.

Avoid smelly dishes: The best tips

You can take various measures to prevent odors from forming in the dishwasher in the first place:

  • Remove large bits of food before putting the dishes in the machine and do not leave dirty dishes in the appliance for several days.
  • Empty the filter at least twice a month and clean the dishwasher filter thoroughly.
  • Regularly use a cleaning program of at least 70 degrees Celsius or higher to kill bacteria.
  • Leave the door ajar after the wash cycle so that the interior can dry.
  • Regularly wipe out the rubber seals and filling areas for detergent and rinse aid. At least twice a year, remove all detachable parts and thoroughly clean the dishwasher.
  • Tip: Use a dishwasher cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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