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It’s Not Just You! Here’s Why Your Plates Sometimes Smell Like ‘Wet Dog’ After a Dishwasher Cycle

July 12th, 2017

It happens all the time: You run the dishwasher, expecting sparkling-clean, odor-free dishware and cups, only to have everything come out smelling faintly of wet dog. Yuck.

Did you think it was only you? That maybe you were imagining the smell? In actuality, the phenomenon is very common, with many folks talking about the weird “wet dog” smell on their favorite coffee mugs in forums and blogs online.

So, what’s causing this doggone smell? It’s highly likely that the odor is due to mildly contaminated water within your dishwasher which, as the lingering bacteria dries, activates a strange, faint “wet dog” odor. This can be caused by leftovers remaining in the machine, or just stagnant recycled water that’s been leftover!

While the scent probably doesn’t present much of a health risk (after all, everything has been washed at high temperatures and with detergents), the odor may deter you from using your plates, forks and cups… and we don’t blame you.

But don’t fret! There are plenty of ways to eliminate this lingering “wet dog” smell:

1. Add a little bleach to the tub below the dish rack after a full cycle, close the dishwasher and wait an hour before removing the dishes. Rinse them with cold water and dry thoroughly by hand.
2. Run a cleaning cycling with some white distilled vinegar in the unit to clean out any lingering odors and bacteria.
3. Make sure the dishwasher is running properly. You can also use rinse aids to increase the clean quality.
4. Clean out all filters and make sure no food particles or grime buildup is present at the bottom of the unit.
5. As a preventative measure, rinse your dishes and cups with cold water before inserting them into the dishwasher.

Also, be sure to clean out the dishwasher after the cycle is complete, which allows its contents to air out properly.

If the problem persists, don’t hesitate to call a qualified appliance repair company. As always, Immediate Appliance is here to provide same-day service, 365 days a year!