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Bosch Dishwasher Smells Bad: Reasons & How to Fix?

Bosch dishwashers are designed to last you a long time. If you experience a bad smell inside your Bosch dishwasher, there must be some underlying issues behind it.

In this article, we are going to discuss the reasons why your Bosch dishwasher might smell bad. We are also going to discuss the ways you can fix it.

Bosch dishwasher smells bad

One of the most common reasons why your Bosch dishwasher smells bad is food residuals being stuck at the chambers inside. In addition, if the filter malfunctions, then the dishwasher will develop a strange smell. Different kinds of smells indicate different kinds of problems. So act accordingly.

Dishwashers often develop a bad smell. And the reason behind these issues vary. It is very important to first identify the reason behind it. So then you can work according to the issue in order to solve the problem.

One of the most common reasons behind this smelly problem is food residuals. Food particles often get stuck at the bottom of the cleaning chamber. This causes trouble for the dishwasher.

In addition, the filter often catches a lot of food particles and grease. This causes the dishwasher to develop a bad smell. So it is important that you keep the dishwasher clean at all times.

Make sure to run cleaning cycles at moderate to high heat every once in a while. Run this process without any dishes in the unit. This will lessen a lot of trouble for you in the future.

If you run a cleaning cycle without dishes, it will clean the dishwasher cleaning chamber and get rid of the food particles for you.


Food particles:

Your Bosch dishwasher catches a musty smell when there are food particles stuck at the bottom of the cleaning chamber.

You will soon find that this is one of the most common issues with your dishwasher. So you will need to pay some effort into getting rid of the food particles.

Solution: Clean the food particles and grease from the cleaning chambers of your dishwasher.

Clogged filter:

Another possible reason behind this musty problem is a clogged filter. The filter may get clogged with food particles or other elements.

Solution: Clean the filter after taking it out of the lower chamber of the dishwasher. Replace it if necessary. You should change the filter of a dishwasher every once in a while.

Change the filter at least once a year. This will solve a lot of issues for you.


Fish particle:

Food particles, in particular fishy food residuals, are likely to cause a fishy smell in your Bosch dishwasher.

Solution: Clean the dishwasher chamber to get rid of any food residuals from it. Make sure that you run a cleaning cycle afterward.

Like wet dog

Water supply issue:

Dishwasher smelling like wet dog is a clear indication that there is something wrong with the water supply to the dishwasher.

If you get contaminated water supply to the dishwasher, the bacteria will eventually perish and leave a smell like wet dog.

Solution: Check the water supply. If you find that the water is contaminated, stop all supplies immediately and change the water source as soon as possible.

If you simply clean the dishwasher and proceed with the existing water supply, the problem will not be solved. The water will continue to bring back the smell.


Contaminated water:

If your dishwasher smells like sewage, then it is also an indication that the water supply is contaminated. This is very unhygienic and poses health concerns for you and your family.

Solution: Change the water supply to the dishwasher as soon as you can. After that, make sure to clean the whole dishwasher thoroughly, including the filter.

In addition, you should check the pipelines for the water supply. Check for any potential clogs in the pipeline. If you notice clogs in the pipeline, clean the pipe as well.


Food residual may be another reason why your dishwasher smells like sewage. If you leave the food particles and grease inside the chamber for too long, it will cause a more intense smell inside.

Solution: Clean the entire dishwasher thoroughly. Clean the filter as well.

Rotten eggs

Food in the bottom rack:

Food particles stuck at the bottom of the cleaning chamber at the dishwasher may be the reason behind a rotten eggs-like smell inside the dishwasher.

Check the chamber as well as the filter for any food residuals and grease.

Solution: Clean the dishwasher thoroughly. Take out the cleaning chambers and rack from inside the dishwasher and clean it thoroughly.

Then you should take out the filter from the dishwasher. Clean it using a soft brush and cleaning detergents. If you have not changed the filter in a while, this would be an appropriate time to change the dishwasher filter.

It is necessary to change the dishwasher filter at least once a year. And cleaning the filter once every month is also a necessity. Otherwise, it will develop a bad smell inside the dishwasher.

Burning plastic

Motor oil:

A potential reason behind a smell like burning plastic from inside the dishwasher is a malfunction of the motor coils. If the motor coils start burning inside the dishwasher, the entire dishwasher will start to smell.

Solution: Check the motor of the dishwasher. You will need to replace the motor coils if there are any issues with it. You might need to call for professional help in this matter.


Food and grease:

A smell like garbage from inside the dishwasher indicates that there are grease and food particles stuck at the bottom of the dishwasher. Also check the walls of the cleaning chamber.

Solution: Clean the cleaning chambers and the filter thoroughly. Use warm water mixed with cleaning soap, and a soft brush to get rid of the grease.

Like soap

Stuck soap:

If you notice that your Bosch dishwasher smells like soap, it is a clear indication that you have not been able to get rid of all the cleaning agents from your previous cleaning cycles.

It is important that you clean the dishwasher thoroughly and do not leave behind any soapy elements inside.

Solution: Run some cleaning cycles inside the dishwasher. Let it operate by itself. The dishwasher needs to clean itself in this case.

You can also clean the dishwasher using a soft brush and warm water. Do not use any detergents of soaps in this case.

Like oil


Grease settlement inside the dishwasher is likely to cause a smell like oil inside the dishwasher.

Solution: Clean the dishwasher and get rid of any grease or oil buildup from the cleaning chambers, racks, walls, and filter of the dishwasher.

Can I use vinegar to clean my Bosch dishwasher?

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean your Bosch dishwasher. In fact, vinegar is a pretty useful cleaning agent in getting rid of grease and food particles.

If you notice that your dishwasher has developed some stubborn grease and residuals, you can use vinegar in order to get rid of them.

Make sure to mix only about 1 cup of vinegar into a dishwasher proof bowl. Then place it at the bottom of the cleaning chamber of the dishwasher.

Then you will need to run a hot water rinsing cycle inside the dishwasher. This will help you get rid of stubborn grease.

How do I deep clean my Bosch dishwasher?

Let’s take a look at some steps that you can follow in order to clean your Bosch dishwasher. Read ahead to learn more about it:

Disconnect and remove standing water:

You will firstly need to disconnect the dishwasher in order to avoid any potential accidents. Now get rid of any standing water from inside the dishwasher.

Loosen the grease with vinegar:

There are a few approaches that you can take in order to clean the chambers and walls of the dishwasher. Place some vinegar on a dishwasher-safe bowl inside the dishwasher in order to lighten up the grease.

Run the dishwasher on a hot water cycle, then will help you lose the stubborn grease. 

Use a sponge to clean the chambers:

Now you can use a sponge or a soft brush to clean the chambers of the dishwasher. Use some water in the process as well.

Afterward, you should run a cleaning cycle as well. It would be ideal if you can run such a cleaning cycle after each operation.

Final Thoughts

The Bosch dishwasher smells bad for multiple reasons. One of the most likely reasons is food residuals. Besides, the water may be contaminated. There may be issues with the motor coil. The filter may need to be replaced. Identify the reason first, then fix the unit accordingly.