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How to Get Rid of Smelly Dishes

POPSUGAR / paid for by / Cascade

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Lipoff

Your dishwasher is a big help when it comes to keeping your kitchen clean. That's why we partnered with Cascade for this post.

If you have a dishwasher, you totally appreciate all the hard work it does, which makes it frustrating when it betrays you with bad smells. It is so gross to open a freshly-run dishwasher and inhale a stale smell and it's really wasteful to wash loads more than once. And the culprit is probably your dishwasher filter. Yes, it is gross, but giving it a deep cleaning will save you from icky smells and money going down the drain. And it only takes a few minutes to make your dishwasher better.

What You'll Need:

  • Large bowl
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Paper towel


  1. Start by locating the filter in your dishwasher, which is usually at the bottom where the water drains. Try not to look at the gunk stuck to it and move on to step 2.

  1. Remove the cover and filter and give both a gentle cleaning using dish soap and hot water. Let both soak while the grime and gunk is dissolved.

  1. Rinse the cover and filter and use a paper towel to remove any lingering food bits or residue.
  2. Then take a closer look at the drain of your dishwasher and wipe clean using a paper towel, removing any mold or residue from the area. Use a small amount of warm, soapy water to wipe clean around the door and bottom hinge, which is also a hiding place for food bits.

  1. Rinse the filter and cover and replace. Your dishwasher is ready to leave your dishes sparkling and free of smells! Run using a premeasured dishwasher pack and refill your rinse aid levels. Set a calendar reminder for three months to follow up with a dishwasher cleaner and you can say goodbye to bad smells.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Lipoff
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