It's only a matter of time until your dishwasher acquires an unpleasant odor. Trapped food scraps, grease and oil buildup, or standing water can cause bacteria growth and mildew. While we love the smell of clean dishes, we are less partial to an eggy or a burning smell. Let's get your dishwasher back to normal.
Another similar issue is a dishwasher not cleaning. Follow that guide here.
Dirty Drain Filter
The filter lives at the bottom of the dishwasher and needs periodic emptying and cleaning. Remove and scrub the filter and screen with soap before replacing. Remove any other large chunks of food from the bottom of the machine.
Food Particles in Soap Scum
Soap scum can act as an adhesive for food particles. Running a cleaning cycle in your dishwasher with distilled white vinegar can neutralize the odors. Add two cups of white vinegar into a dishwasher safe bowl onto the bottom rack of the empty dishwasher. Let the machine air dry at the end of the cycle.
Clogged Spray Arm
The spray arm may have become clogged with food particles. Unclog the holes, and wash with soap. Make sure to clean both upper and lower spray arms. Check the spray arm gaskets and replace if necessary.
Sewage and Mildew Smell
Mold and mildew can live in the folds of the constantly wet gasket seals. Inspect and clean these seals regularly, especially with the presence of an odor.
If standing water has formed, or dishwasher isn't draining, check downstream filters and hoses for clogs. If you have a garbage disposal, make sure to run it momentarily before the dishwasher's cycle.
Plastic Close to Heating Element
Some pieces of plastic should be run on top shelf only to avoid proximity heating. Additionally, your plastic dishes may have fallen from the top shelf mid-cycle. Pause the cycle and remove the plastic object.
A short circuit may have caused the burning smell. Check the heating element for blisters or raised sections, or if it snapped in half. A multimeter can be used to check for continuity (Ω). If there is negative continuity, replace the heating element.
In the event of a power surge or component failure, the control board can short out. Inspect the board for burn marks, and replace if burnt.
Overheating cords can melt the coating on the wires. Verify connections on ends of wire are tight and haven't melted or burnt. In the event of damage, unplug machine and replace connections or cord.
Your dishwasher was designed to run with a specific soap, and will periodically need cleaning. Performing a routine dishwasher cleaning will help it run in top shape.