If your GE dishwasher smells bad, it might be time to wash it. Fortunately, this is an easy task. If you do it regularly, there is no need to be afraid of weird odors. Simple but regular cleaning prevents blockage and helps to avoid costly repairs. Follow these step by step instructions. Check around the pump inlet on the back right hand side of the tub bottom. Remove any paper, plastic or other debris that may be blocking the inlet to the pump. Check the spray arm jets. If any jets are blocked, use a small object such as a paper clip to loosen the debris blocking the jets. Be careful not to damage the jets in any way as that will affect wash performance. After performing the above operations, run the dishwasher with a full cup of detergent and nothing else inside. This should flush out the machine and eliminate the cause of food residue odor. To prevent this from reoccurring, scrape off plates before placing them in the dishwasher. Remember, the dishwasher is not a food disposer. Dirty water building up in the dishwasher between uses is an installation problem caused by an improperly installed drain hose. The installation instructions require either an air gap or a high drain loop. When this problem is observed, the drain hose was installed without either a high drain loop or an air gap. If there is no high drain loop, check your Installation Instructions or check with the installer (or plumber). During initial use you may detect a distinctive smell that is attributed to tub material, chlorine bleach in detergent and the smell of rinse aid. This is normal and the smell will tend to dissipate during normal use. Mildew can be wiped from the interior or gasket of the dishwasher with a damp cloth. Running the dishwasher at least once a week can usually prevent mildew, especially if food residue is present. If there is mildew, use the instructions below.
- Mix one gallon of water with 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach, OR mix one gallon of water with 1/2 cup of ammonia. CAUTION: Mixing chlorine bleach and ammonia together will cause toxic fumes. DO NOT mix them together.
- Wipe out the interior with a cloth or sponge.
- Run the dishwasher through the rinse cycle to remove any residue before loading dishes.
Running the dishwasher at least once per week can usually prevent this odor, especially if food residue is present.