Did my dishwasher make that smell?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tessynae, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. Tessynae

    Tessynae Well-Known Member

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    My dishes stink! They smell like a cross between a wet dog and a dead fish. Yummy! I have a dishwasher and have tried adding bleach but that doesn't seem to have any effect. It is very strange because sometimes I open the dishwasher after a load and it just wreaks!! But other times I can't find the smell on any of the dishes or the dishwasher. Our tap water doesn't stink (it often times smells like chlorine) and it doesn't ALWAYS happen. I would think that if it was the dishwasher it would ALWAYS stink. I would say 3 out of 5 times it stinks. :shrug:

    There is so wonderful to grab a nice cold glass of milk or water and having it smell of wet dog and dead fish. Or making a nice juicy steak and not being able to really enjoy it do to the foul odor.

    Does anyone have any idea as to what the problem might be? Or what I could try? :help:
     
  2. Marsh

    Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Tessynae,
    When you find out, Let me know. This happens to us every few washes as well. I hate dishes smelling like dog :flame: I have heard that it can be food from the dishes stuck in the fliter :shrug: I do know if your dishwasher stains with pasta sauce inside. That lovely orange color, you can use some tang drink mix in the cycle and that removes it. I have tried the tang and also tried adding vinegar to the cycles and that doesn't always work with the smell either. Hardest part is the doggie smell doesn't come in every wash. I use store brand automatic dishwasher soap :shrug:
    Marsh
     

  3. Tessynae

    Tessynae Well-Known Member

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    I asked someone at Lowes and they said it was because we didn't have a trap in the drain hose. From how the gentleman explained it there is supposed to be a loop in the hose to keep the water from backing up into the dishwasher. We don't have one. My DH is going to try to fix that when he gets a free minute. I will let you know if that works. But it seems odd that it would only do it some of the time.
     
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  4. Tessynae

    Tessynae Well-Known Member

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    My DH fixed the air trap and I ran a few loads but it still stinks! :shrug:

    So tomorrow he is going to call the manufacturer to see if there is some sort of filter we can change or something.

    Will let you know if we find anything out.
     
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Pull out the lower rack and look inside the machine to see if there is a filter where the water drains out. Mine has one.

    Sounds like you aren't cleaning your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Yeah, I know that doesn't sound logical, but you must remove all the food and food liquids and bits and stuff before you put them in the dishwasher. Otherwise, you wind up with compost in your dishwasher.
     
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  6. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    Try opening up the door flat and taking a rag or paper towels with cleaner vinegar or disinfectant on it and go under the lip/overhang of the door. If you stand to the right side so dishwasher side is in front of you (and counter to your right), when you open it flat on the right/bottom edge of door on the INSIDE there is an overhang. Food/slime can get caught here and can stink if left over time. That was my experience with our old one.
     
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  7. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    You need a loop in the drain line coming from the dishwasher to your drain pipe. The top side of the loop should be fastened to the under side of your countertop or cabinet, as high as possible.

    Drain pumps on dishwashers don't run until the dishwasher is empty, they only run long enough to get a siphon going up around that loop and into the drain, then they let the siphon suck out the dirty water....if your dishes aren't getting clean or the rinse water is dirty ( open the door and check during the rinse cycle ) this is often why..I had a loop in ours and it fell down after a year or two, it wasn't until my wife complained that the dishwasher wasn't cleaning anymore that I looked under the cabinet and noticed the loop had come down....I put it back up, presto, clean dishes again.
     
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  8. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We NEVER clean dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Only had that problem once, and it was a clogged filter. Friend had the same model and got the stench only when the loop fell.
     
  9. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I missed that, we never clean our dishes either ( before putting them in the dishwasher I mean ). All that debris goes out after the wash cycle if all is working properly.

    I read somewhere that your glasses/dishes can end up cloudy from the soap attaching itself to the surface of the glasses/dishes to well if you don't leave some food, etc on the dishes and glasses for the soap to attach to instead.
     
  10. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hammer4,

    Not trying to hijack the thread, but where would I find this loop with a built in dishwasher? I've looked under the sink and all I can see is the drain hose coming out at the bottom of the dishwasher, straight to the drain pipe. Am I going to have to pull the whole d/w out to find it? I have a bank of drawers on the other side, and the cats have learned to open the bottom drawer and access the area back behind the drawers, which is good for discouraging any mice from taking up residency back there, but I'm thinking they may have knocked down that loop you were talking about. I don't think I can reach the area myself. I'm thinking that the reason my dishes haven't been getting clean might have something to do with this. In my case, our water pressure isn't great, and I'm getting food left all over the dishes, as well as the insides of glasses looking like they didn't get enough water spryed up inside them to remove the chocolate milk dregs, etc. I tried adding extra hot water to the bottom of the d/w with each cycle in case there wasn't enough water getting to the machine to wash properly, but it didn't seem to help. If it's the loop, how to I get to it? If it's not the loop, what else might it be? I don't mind washing dishes by hand, but since the house came with a dishwasher, it would be nice to be able to use it! :shrug:
     
  11. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ah--you may have another problem entirely. If your water pressure is too low, the dishwasher will NOT fill properly. Too little water equals dirty, stinky dishes. We had the repair folks change out a sensor and valve once so that we could get more water into the machine with low water pressure. Fixed the problem. You probably do not have a loop problem. Also, there is a difference in one installed to a disposer and one that just goes into the line. Disposer problems can send smell into a dishwasher.
     
  12. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    Get a flashlight and clear some room under the sink. :)

    If you look at the drain line where it comes out of the dishwasher, it should go up near the bottom of the countertop, then make a loop down to the drain. If not, twist a loop in it and duck tape it up there good and run a load in the dishwasher and see if that helps...

    Make the loop big and loose, you don't want the hose kinked.

    If that fixes the problem, get a piece of strap of some kind and screw the loop in place, just make sure you screw it to something solid and don't use so long a screw it comes out thru the top of the countertop...

    I don't think you need to pull the dishwasher out, I fixed mine without moving the dishwasher at all.

    We had the same problems you describe, food all over dishes, food blasted up into the bottom of glasses, all of that mess.

    I don't think water pressure is a big deal, as long as you have enough in there to cover the heating element in the bottom and are getting a good spray of water it should be enough.
     
  13. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    Does your machine have a dial to set it ?
    Please note :
    There is always water in the bottom in the off cycle to keep seals lubricated.
    The fill cycle is timed.
    If you don't set the dial exact you may miss the "pump out the old water" cycle or miss part of the fill cycle.

    Also, the drain line should go to an Air Gap that sits above your sink before it goes to your disposal. This line is often clogged or restricted.Easiest way to check it is to disconnect at the disposal and stick your finger in the hose and the hole you took it off. If you have the Air Gap, pull off the chrome cap and unscrew the plastic cap and inspect it.
    Try running a cup of white vinegar thru an entire cycle and see if you can smell it after your done.( put it in as soon as you hear the first wash cycle start)
     
  14. Tessynae

    Tessynae Well-Known Member

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    Well DH and I took out the filters and cleaned them. They were a little slimey but not too bad. We bleached all the inside also. I cleaned out the slime that was at the base of the door in the bottom corners. (OK that was way gross!!!) Hopefully that will cure the problem.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  15. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

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    Funny - I don't even HAVE a dishwasher other than my own two hands, and there is NEVER EVER any sort of stinky nonsense when I wash dishes.
     
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  16. Marsh

    Marsh Well-Known Member

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    tessynae,
    What brand name is your dishwasher? I am curious if we have the same breand dishwasher. Do you have well water? What do you use for detergent in it? I cleaned mine from top to bottom inside outside, the works and still get it every now and again. Less but still get it. Maybe the hose just isn't high enough up on ours. But to get the dishwasher out from the counter (its built into the counter so to speak) is an all day project. The house only travels a 1-2 feet to the sink. And we can't put the house up any higher.
     
  17. Tessynae

    Tessynae Well-Known Member

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    I have a GE Profile dishwasher. I do not have well water. I use Cascade Complete when it's on sale (or just Cascade other times) Ours is also built into the counter and we have tried everything we have seen here in this thread. My DH has put in an air trap, He has cleaned out the screens. I have cleaned out the sludge around the door and cleaned the whole thing with vinegar then with bleach. DH has also moved the hose! Nothing seems to work. Maybe doing them by hand would work but I have no interest in that since I have 3 eating machines (that never seem to stop eating) and then 3 of us that eat normal. That's a LOT of dishes to keep up with. :)

    So if you find out anything that works let me know PLEEEEEEEASE. :shrug:

    I'll do the same.
     
  18. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Do a google search on "dishwasher smell." I got some interesting ideas from there. Here's the high points.

    1. Slow draining septic line. Call a plumber.

    2. Gunk in the garbage disposal. Run two packets of Lemon Koolaid and ice through it.

    3. Buy and install a dishwasher smell killer. http://www.naturalcollection.com/natural-products/Dishwasher-Smell-Killer.asp?bID=3271694

    4. Add baking soda to each cycle.

    5. Do not use gel formula dishwasher detergents.

    6. Run the dishwasher more frequently.
     
  19. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    Our dishwasher did that too. It did quite a few other annoying things too - our fault, I'm sure, for letting little things get caught in the bottom, not cleaning dishes off ahead of time, etc.

    But we moved and don't have one. And I do not miss it! I got my first dishwasher 10 years ago when I had a baby and needed to wash bottles. And since then I've had this mental block against hand-washing, thinking I needed a dishwasher. But a strange thing happened when I had to live without it again. It is QUICKER to wash dishes by hand. It's quieter. It uses less water. And the dishes always smell just fine. We'd planned to get a dishwasher in here when we sold our old house, but I don't think we will! The only thing I do miss is that dishwashers are awesome at removing coffee and tea stains, and sterilizing dish scrubbers.

    Sorry to hijack the thread...I hope you figure it out and get it working right.
     
  20. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Baking soda on your dishrag will remove the coffee and tea stains easily.