As much as you may want it to, closing the door of a smelly dishwasher won’t make the odor go away. What do you do when your GE dishwasher smells bad? Cleaning the interior and filter and removing odor-causing clogs are the best solutions. Learn how to clean a GE dishwasher with the right methods and tools to dispel bad smells.

Maintenance Tips and Tricks: How to Clean a GE Dishwasher

Cleaning is not only effective in battling odor, it’s essential to maintaining your dishwasher’s function. We’ll detail how to clean a GE dishwasher at the most likely sources of odor. But, first, we’ll answer the question, “Why does my dishwasher smell?”

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Bad?

Though detergent and water flush away most food particles and residue, some remnants usually stay behind. While our dishwasher loading tips can reduce remaining debris and fix a dishwasher not drying dishes, some particles inevitably remain. Typically, they cling to interior walls, become trapped in the filter, or create a clog in the drain or other areas. In the dishwasher’s warm, moist environment, these particles quickly break down and develop mold, mildew and bad smells.

The following tips detail how to clean a smelly dishwasher to effectively remove odor. We also recommend using them on a monthly basis to keep odor at bay.

how to clean a ge dishwasher

How to Clean GE Dishwasher Interior

What is the best way to clean the inside of a dishwasher? Using basic household ingredients like vinegar and baking soda can destroy the mold and mildew that clings to interior surfaces. 

Here’s how to clean a GE dishwasher interior:

  • Place a small bowl of white vinegar in the top rack of an empty dishwasher.
  • Set and complete a regular wash cycle with hot water.
  • Remove the bowl of vinegar and sprinkle a handful of baking soda directly on the base of the dishwasher.
  • Run a second wash cycle with hot water.

*Optional step for persistent mildew: Pour 1 cup bleach in the base of an empty dishwasher and run a 3rd wash cycle with hot water. To avoid permanent staining, skip this step if your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior.

How to Clean GE Dishwasher Filter

A dishwasher filter collects larger food particles to prevent them from clogging the drain and pump. Without regular filter cleanings, these particles can accumulate and create a bad odor as they break down and develop mold. 

These steps detail how to clean a GE dishwasher filter to remove smelly clogs:

  • Remove the bottom rack.
  • Twist the GE dishwasher Ultra Fine Filter counterclockwise and lift up to remove.
  • To remove the Fine Filter, turn the retaining posts at the back of the dishwasher base counterclockwise before lifting the filter up.
  • Wash each filter separately with a sponge and warm soapy water.
  • Reposition the Fine Filter and turn the two retaining posts clockwise to secure in place.
  • Replace the Ultra Fine Filter and twist clockwise to secure.

how to clean a smelly dishwasher

Removing Dishwasher Clogs

Knowing how to clean a GE dishwasher also involves locating and dispelling odor-causing clogs. 

Here’s how to remove smelly blockages where they’re most likely to occur:

  • Run the garbage disposal: If you have a garbage disposal, run it for at least 10-20 seconds before beginning a wash cycle. This can remove any smelly food remnants clogging the common drain the disposal and dishwasher share.
  • Clear out the air gap: If you have an air gap near the kitchen faucet it can also collect smelly food remnants that clog the dishwasher. Before a wash cycle, take off the cap and clear the air gap of any visible debris.
  • Flush drain clogs: To flush dishwasher drain clogs, mix a solution of 2 Tbsp vinegar and 1 Tbsp baking soda and pour it down the drain. Allow to sit for 10-15 mins. Flush with hot water to dispel the solution and clog before running a normal wash cycle. For persistent drain clogs, contact a professional dishwasher service.

While knowing how to clean a GE dishwasher is helpful in dispelling odors and maintaining proper function, breakdowns may still occur. When they do, call Moore Appliance Service for a fast and professional repair!