Why Your Samsung Dishwasher Smells

Why Your Samsung Dishwasher Smells

A smelly dishwasher is both irritating and unsanitary. So what causes your dishwasher to smell like garbage?

Let’s talk about that and what you can do to fix it.

Why does your Samsung dishwasher smell?

A smelly dishwasher is often caused by food waste stuck on the interior walls or clogged in the drain filters.  

To remove the stench, unplug your dishwasher and clean the filter assembly in running water. Wash all removable parts such as the basket, racks, and nozzles, and wipe the interior walls.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, try the following steps:

  • Clean the interior and exterior parts of the rubber seals.
  • Check for standing water and draining errors.
  • Verify if the sink drain or garbage disposal is causing the odor.
  • Inspect if you have a hard water supply at home.

What causes your dishwasher to smell like garbage?

There are 6 common reasons your dishwasher smells.

  1. Filthy drain filter
  2. Unclean interior
  3. Dirty rubber seals
  4. Standing wastewater
  5. Clogged sink drain or garbage disposal
  6. Dirty water supply

With that in mind, here’s a quick overview of how to resolve each issue.

Filthy Drain FilterTake out the drain filter assembly and take the filters apart. Clean them in running water using a soft brush and mild soap.
Unclean InteriorRun a cleaning cycle on your dishwasher using white vinegar, a dishwasher cleaning tablet, or a chlorine-based detergent. Wipe any excess cleaning agent with a cloth.
Dirty Rubber SealsWipe the outside part of the door seals with a cloth soaked in white vinegar. Use a wet, warm cloth to clean the inner parts.

Make sure to remove any food waste stuck in the rubber seals.
Standing WastewaterCheck your dishwasher for clogs in the drain filter, drain hose, or sink drain. Test your drain pump motor for continuity and replace it if damaged.
Clogged Sink Drain or Garbage DisposalPour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda into your sink drain. Wash it off with hot water for a few seconds.

You can also snake the sink drain out for clogs or removed the P-trap and clean it.
Dirty Water SupplyRemove the mesh filter in the water inlet valve and clean it. Place a cup of vinegar on the top or bottom rack of your dishwasher while running a cycle.

You can also opt for a water softening system in your household to counter hard water issues.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what triggers these causes and discuss how to fix them in depth.

Filthy Drain Filter

One of the likeliest causes of your dishwasher having a terrible smell is an unclean drain filter.

The drain filter prevents any food residue and debris from lodging into the motor components below the dishwasher. Because of that, it becomes a home for broken-down food waste and bacteria.

Solution: First unplug your dishwasher and take out your drain filter assembly to clean it. If you don’t know how to do this, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open the dishwasher door and pull out the lower rack to gain access to the assembly.

Step 2: Hold the propeller down and rotate the filter assembly counterclockwise. Gently pull out the filter assembly.

Step 3: Detach the coarse and fine filter from the main filter.

Step 4: Wash each filter thoroughly in running water using a soft brush and mild soap. Make sure not to damage the screens.

Step 5: Clean the filter housing before reinstalling the filter assembly. Use a straightened cloth hanger or handheld vacuum to take out any dirt underneath.

Step 5: Reassemble the filters and place them back properly to avoid deforming them.

Step 6: Rotate the filter assembly clockwise to secure it. Insert the lower rack inside the dishwasher.

Unclean Interior

The drain filter isn’t the only place where food waste can get stuck. All removable components such as the baskets, racks, and spray arms are prone to dirt build-up as well.

The dishwasher’s interior walls also accumulate smell from wastewater and food residue over time if left unclean.

Solution: Running a cleaning cycle is the simplest way to tidy up your dishwasher’s interior. Read your manual and check if your dishwasher’s cleaning cycle is “Self Clean” or “Normal”.

Empty your dishwasher and use a cleaning agent of your choice. This can be a dishwasher cleaning tablet, chlorine-based detergent, or even as simple as white vinegar.

However, do not use vinegar and detergent at the same time. Also, avoid using bleach as this may cause discoloration or damage to dishwashers with stainless steel interiors.

If you want to clean the interior manually, perform the following steps below:

Step 1: Unplug your dishwasher and press any button to make sure that there is no residual power left.

Step 2: Pull out any removable components inside the dishwasher such as the basket, racks, and spray arms.

Step 3: Clean them thoroughly in warm water using a soft brush or damp cloth.

Step 4: Inspect the tiny holes in the spray arms and make sure that there is no food waste inside. Use a small pin or needle to clean the nozzle holes.

Step 5: Wipe the interior walls and the dishwasher base with a damp cloth soaked in white vinegar. Clean any excess detergent or cleaning agent left in the tub.

Dirty Rubber Seals

The rubber seals prevent water from getting out of your dishwasher door during the washing and draining cycle.

However, because they’re made of rubber, it is easy for food waste to stick to the seals, making them harder to drain. Their composition also causes them to dry out longer.

Mold and mildew form in areas that are warm, wet, and have food particles. This makes the rubber seals prime suspects for your dishwasher’s terrible odor.

Solution: Soak a cloth in white vinegar and use it to wipe the area around the door seal. Make sure to clean both the interior and bottom parts of the rubber seals as well.

Replace the rubber seals if they are damaged. Install the new seals and align them properly to avoid gaps in your dishwasher door.

Standing Wastewater

Another likely cause of your dishwasher‘s unpleasant smell is standing wastewater in the base of your tub.

Standing wastewater is commonly due to a draining error. Here are the common causes of Samsung dishwasher draining issues and how to troubleshoot them.

Clogged Sink Drain or Garbage DisposalClear the sink drain or garbage disposal from blockages caused by food waste or other debris.

Make sure that the garbage disposal cap has been removed. If not, detach the drain hose and knock out the cap using a screwdriver and a hammer.
Faulty Drain HoseRemove the drain hose from both ends and run some water in between to test it for clogs. Remove the cause of the blockage and reinstall the drain hose.

Avoid twisting the drain hose. Attach it tightly to avoid gaps in the connections.
Clogged or Damaged Filter AssemblyPull out the dishwasher assembly and clean each filter gently in running water. Be sure to place them back properly to avoid damaging the screens.
Faulty Drain Pump Component Test all drain pump components for continuity. Replace the entire assembly if the impeller, solenoid, or motor is damaged.

Clogged Sink Drain or Garbage Disposal

If the smell hasn’t disappeared even after cleaning the interior of your dishwasher, it is likely that the source is coming from the sink drain or garbage disposal.

Food waste and other debris could get stuck inside the garbage disposal or in the P-trap of the sink drain. This usually happens if they are not cleaned regularly.

Solution: The easiest way to clean your sink drain or garbage disposal is by using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. To do this, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Pour half a cup of baking soda into the opening of your garbage disposal or sink drain.

Step 2: Pour in a cup of white vinegar and let it sit for more than 10 minutes.

Step 3: Run hot tap water in your sink for a few seconds to wash off the mixture.

You can also clean your sink drain manually by removing the P-trap. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Prepare a bowl and place it underneath to catch the spilled water in the P-trap.

Step 2: Hold both ends of the P-trap and carefully turn the lock on one end counterclockwise to loosen it.

Step 3: Loosen the other end by turning the lock in the same direction.

Step 4: Remove the P-trap and pour the water into the bowl.

Step 5: Clean it thoroughly and make sure that there is no food waste and mold left in the trap.

Step 6: Reinstall the P-trap back in place.

Dirty Water Supply

If both the sink drain and dishwasher are clean, it is possible that your water supply itself is causing a musty odor.

This is usually the case if your home is getting a hard water supply. This quality of water carries dissolved compounds of magnesium, calcium, iron, and other elements.

Hard water causes your dishes to become spotted, opaque, or covered in a white film. 

Although most minerals are sifted by the mesh filter in your water inlet valve, it won’t be able to filter everything.

Moreover, these minerals will slowly damage some components in your dishwasher, affecting its ability to clean your dishes properly. Unclean dishes result in a smelly dishwasher.

Solution: First, remove the mesh filter in your water inlet valve to clean it. Disconnect the water supply hose from the valve and use a pair of pliers to pull out the mesh filter.

Clean the filter in running water and reinstall it properly.

Put 1 or 2 cups of white vinegar in the bottom rack and run your dishes through a cycle without using a detergent.

Remove the vinegar and rewash your dishes using a dishwasher detergent designed for hard water.

You can also install a water softening system in your household to combat hard water issues. Although this is quite expensive, it will help prolong the lifespan of all your water-using appliances at home.

Beat your smelly dishwasher by following the steps above. If the stench doesn’t disappear even after performing all troubleshooting methods, it’s best to call an expert for help.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *