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I have a Whirlpool dishwasher that we bought about 5 yrs. ago that has a gawd-awful odor when the dishes are clean. All glass or ceramic has an off odor. My husband says it reminds him of fish. I literally have to air out the glass tumblers, coffee mugs, etc. for a couple of days before I put them in the cupboard. Plastic doesn't have an odor, nor stainless steel.

I use the little Cascade power squares that include the Dawn dishwashing liquid, Jet Dry in the dispenser. I found Peko lemon deodorizers, but they haven't helped. I've sprinkled baking soda, actually dumped half a box in there and ran a rinse cycle thinking it would at least cut the odor for a short time, to no avail. Oh and I've used the dishwasher deodorizer powder that you can buy at the grocery store in one-time use packets. There is no food (that I can see, anyway) on the floor of the dishwasher. The machine is new enough where it grinds up any leftover food and sends it down the drain. Our water is softened and and has a high lime content.

I don't put the cat dishes in the dishwasher, they are washed separately, because I thought that's where the odor was originating, but it's been long enough where, had it been their dishes, it would have rectified itself by now. :?

Any ideas? Thanks for your input!
 

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Have you tried pouring some bleach into the dishwasher?

Have you or your husband been able to disassemble the dishwasher to see if there is not anything stuck in the drainage system that may not have been ground up and/or flushed out?
 

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The dishwasher repairman that fixed my sis dishwasher said non liquid soaps build up in the drain part like Donald said. He clean it out cuz there was all sorts of junk stuck down there. He said to use the liquid type soap and not as much as they say on the bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Donaldjr1969 said:
Have you tried pouring some bleach into the dishwasher?

Have you or your husband been able to disassemble the dishwasher to see if there is not anything stuck in the drainage system that may not have been ground up and/or flushed out?
Never thought of bleach. Aren't most detergents ammonia-based? Short of doing some serious investigation, I'd be really leery about pouring bleach down a drain that has any kind of ammonia residue.

Haven't disassembled the dishwasher either. It's a built-in. About the closest I can get to it is a drain pipe going through a cabinet.

Mitts & Tess said:
non liquid soaps build up in the drain part ... He said to use the liquid type soap and not as much as they say on the bottle.
I'll try that this weekend. I've always used the little power squares because they're handy.

... have to remember to add the liquid dishwasher detergent to the grocery list ...


Thanks so much for your suggestions!
 

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There are usually a few screws down each side that hold the dishwasher onto the cabinets. If you undo those you can slide and 'walk' the dishwasher out to work on it. :wink:
 

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Junk can also collect in the bottom of the dishwasher. There is usually a strainer-type thing that you can pull out and clean.
 

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If you pull out the bottom tray you can disassemble the screens that lead to the drain from there. You will have to chip away at any hardened dishwasher soap that has caked on the drain area. Give that a try.
 

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or when in doubt, do a wash with tang in the detergent holders, empty load of course. the citrus breaks through any residue and leaves it smelling great. old trick
 

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This is from a KitchenAid forum FAQ:

Question: We have a frequent odor to the dishes after washing. We have used a variety of combinations of detergent, drying aid, sani wash etc. Nothing works consistently. Any ideas?

Answer: Chemicals in the incoming water, type of detergent being used, old food particles built up in the drain line or in the pump and drain area inside the unit are a few things that can cause odors in the unit. To eliminate odors we recommend pouring two gallons of cold water into the tub and adding one cup of vinegar (two cups of vinegar if product is not porcelain or stainless finish) into the water and then running through the light wash cycle. Using vinegar can contribute to premature deterioration of the protective surface on the stainless steel so this method of cleaning should be held to a minimum.
 

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When I HAD a dishwasher :? , I would open the door and let them air-dry and that seemed to eliminate the odor.

I actually read on line tonight that running a cycle with Tang eliminates odor. 8O
 

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Interesting -- I never thought of Tang. Thought I had done the vinegar rinse, but don't remember when (or whether or not it was even this dishwasher) ... I'll give those a try. Something has to work!

Thanks!!
 
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