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How to Clean a Smelly Household Appliance – 6 Top Tips

Tips to Clean a Smelly Household Appliance

This may be a cringe-worthy topic for many, but let’s begin by accepting that no one wants to talk about weird kitchen smells. Smells that are hard to ignore and exceptionally difficult to get rid of. Animal and food smells in your kitchen stay for longer. Some of us decide to constantly use air fresheners and deodorants to ward off smell but that hardly ever works. Air fresheners only work to mask odors. After some time, the odor reappears. In most households, it usually the kitchen area that reeks of a particular smell when accessed.

Household appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and dryers that are not cleaned at proper intervals exude a bad smell. The appliance feels rotten and doesn’t appear in good shape. Continued usage and a lack of general maintenance and care cause home appliances to stink. Even after cleaning, the moisture that sits in dishwashers and dryers causes the growth of mildew and mold in closed dishwashers and continuously used washers/dryers.

Everyday maintenance tips help keep your household hygienic and smell-free. If your household appliances show signs of damage, reach out to appliance repair services in Bethesda, MD, for speedier appliance repair.

Find a few handy tips to clean your smelly household appliances.

1. Activated Charcoal for Smelly Refrigerators

Tried and tested to remove stubborn food smell from your refrigerator, activated charcoal works wonders for household appliances. If you smell rotten food items every time you open your refrigerator, know that you need to replace food items immediately. Once you’ve removed these food items, place a tray of activated charcoal in your refrigerator to get rid of the disgusting odor. The solution works for smelly freezers equally well.

Even when refrigerator repair in Bethesda involves changing refrigerator filters, you should keep your food covered at all times. Also, maintain the refrigerator’s temperature to prevent food rotting and mold formation.

a refrigerator with fruits and veggies

2. Deep Cleaning is Key!

If you’re looking for the perfect timing to deep clean your smelly household appliances, know that there’s no such thing! If your dishwasher or dryer has started to smell weird, you can deep clean them when you’re not using them. But that’s not the case with your refrigerator! You will have to drag each edible out and deep clean your refrigerator for it to not smell of rotten food.

3. Disinfect the Walls of Your Appliances

Whether they are the walls of your oven or your refrigerator, they need a thorough cleaning. Oven walls become so full of dirt sometimes that it reeks the moment you open it! Cleaning stubborn and grime is a must for a non-smelly household appliance. Use appliance-specific scrapers each time you decide to clean the walls of your freezer.

If your oven’s making noises when working, oven repair services need to be called in immediately. Do not leave food leftovers in your oven. Ingredients like melted cheese stick to the oven floor, making it hard to remove during the deep cleaning.

an oven

4. Use Hot Water to Get Rid of Food Smell from Your Dishwasher

Hard-sitting dirt and food particles make it difficult to get rid of the smell from the dishwasher. The cleaning chore may become equally frustrating if it doesn’t rid your dishwasher of embarrassing, unhygienic smells.

The best dishwasher tip here is to pour some hot water into your dishwasher before you begin with the detergent. Scrub the dishwasher grills to force food leftovers and dirt out. Not only does hot water help clean the dishwasher, but it’s also exceptional with clogged drains as well. There should be no water standing in appliance drains for any cleaning method to work. This water then hosts bacteria and microbes!

For cleaning your dryer, use vent cleaning brushes.

5. Add Vinegar and Baking Soda to Your Cleaning Routine

A major reason why your household appliances smell is bacteria! Bacterial growth is what releases obnoxious odors making household appliances difficult to use. For your dishwasher:

Step 1:  Run a normal cycle just with water.

Step 2: Use distilled vinegar before you run a cycle this time.

Step 3: The third time around, use baking soda to run another cycle

By the third cycle, your dishwasher should be odor-free. Always clean the utensils before you add them to the dishwasher. Do not immediately close the washer after a washing run. Keep it ajar for a minute or two before shutting it.

6. Anti-Microbial Properties of Vinegar

Using vinegar for your monthly cleaning cycles can greatly help with bacterial growth and microbe build-up. Vinegar assists with yeast growth as well. Not only does it cleanse and rinse your household appliances, but it also helps combat bacterial growth and infections.

Bacteria sitting in dishwasher drains can be an added problem for smelly household appliances. If your dishwasher drains are clogged, you need a dishwasher repair team to help you repair your dishwasher drains in time. Call repair services in your vicinity when you spot a problem with the dishwasher’s functioning.


Household appliances that are cared for and repaired in time go a long way. If you’re located in Washington, DC, S & E Appliance Repairs offers a 10% discount on its oven repair services. They also offer dishwasher repair and dryer repair services in Fairfax, VA  and Alexandria, VA. Their same-day services come with no extra charges on weekends and evenings.

Visit the website here.

About the Author

The author is affiliated with S & E Appliance Repairs. They blog about effective housekeeping strategies and home organizing strategies. Their blogs have been featured in several housekeeping and lifestyle magazines. Apart from writing, the author loves reading comics.  

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