LG Dishwasher Smells Bad? 4 Causes And Fixes

Your LG dishwasher is an appliance that interacts with a lot of grease, dirt, and debris. Because of that, it’s only natural that the inside might start to smell bad after a while. Don’t worry when that time comes, because this guide will show you how to fix it.

Some bad smells will come from your LG dishwasher when it’s brand new. They’re completely normal and will disappear after 10-20 complete wash cycles. However, bad smells can also come from an unused dishwasher, a dirty dishwasher filter, or an unclean interior. The silver lining is that you can fix any of those causes without buying products or hiring a professional.

The following sections will dive deeper into each cause of those nasty smells and what you can do to resolve them.

Why Your LG Dishwasher Smells Bad

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why your LG dishwasher might start to smell bad. Still, there’s a silver lining: you can solve all those reasons yourself without having to buy any products or hire a technician.

Here are the reasons why your LG dishwasher smells terrible and how to fix the problem:

New Dishwashing Machine

About this: When you buy a new LG dishwasher that’s fresh from the warehouse, it will have a few unusual smells that come with it. That’s the same for almost any household appliance, whether a fridge, dishwasher or anything else.

These smells are not caused by any problems with your appliance, and they’ll go away on their own with time.

How it causes smells: The ‘new appliance smell’ also happens with brand new LG dishwashers.

Again, these smells do not indicate a problem, so you don’t have to worry.

New and barely-used LG dishwashers will have those odors coming from their new motor coils and insulation materials.

Even the new heating element will produce some smells when you use them for the first time.

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How to fix it: As you read earlier, these smells are normal, nothing to worry about, and they’ll go away on their own with time. More specifically, you can expect the smells to stop after you’ve completed 10-20 complete dishwashing cycles.

Read: 5 LG Dishwasher Problems You Need To Know

Dishwasher Unused For Extended Periods

About this: When you use your LG dishwasher regularly, its compartment is ventilated often. Firstly, fresh air can enter the appliance when you open the door.

Besides that, the dishwasher also has a vent and blower that ventilates the air inside during each wash cycle.

As you continue to wash your dishes daily, these two factors keep the dishwasher well-ventilated.

How it causes smells: Your LG dishwasher will also smell bad if you’ve stopped using it for an extended period.

Remember: regular usage keeps the dishwasher well-ventilated. So, if you leave the machine unused, the air trapped inside will gradually become stale.

That air will smell a lot worse if the inside is dirty. Food bits and other stains will slowly go from bad to worse, adding to the odors.

The next time you open the dishwasher, you’ll smell all those pent-up odors that rush out of the compartment.

How to fix it: You can prevent this problem by occasionally opening the dishwasher door to let the machine ‘breathe’. Leaving the door open for a few moments will help stale air escape and fresh air replace it.

Besides that, you can also run the Machine Clean cycle from time to time, even if you’re not using the dishwasher to clean your dishes. 

That will keep the dishwasher clean from the inside, preventing any bad smells from building up.

Read: How To Fix LG Dishwasher Which Has No Power?

Dirty Dishwasher Filter (Dishwasher smells)

About this: The filter is one of the most crucial parts of your LG dishwasher. You’ll find it at the bottom of the compartment underneath the lower wash arm.

The dishwasher filter is there to trap food bits and other debris. So the dishwasher won’t redistribute those dirty bits onto your other kitchenware or clog the machine’s pumps or hoses.

How it causes smells: Suppose your dishwasher smells bad even though it isn’t new and despite you using it regularly. In that case, your LG dishwasher smells bad because its filter is dirty.

Remember: the filter traps food bits and debris. As you continue using the appliance, those trapped bits will become soggy and eventually rot. That’s where the bad smells are coming from.

The smells will only worsen with time if you don’t fix the problem quickly. That’s because more food bits will get trapped in the filter, leading to worse smells from your dishwasher.

How to fix it: You can fix this problem quickly by removing the dishwasher filter and cleaning it thoroughly. Be sure to empty the trapped food bits and debris into the trash. Then, wash the filter in your kitchen sink with dish soap to remove any trapped odors.

Lastly, let the filter air-dry thoroughly before reinstalling it in your dishwasher.

dishwasher smells

Read: How To Fix LE Error Code On LG Dishwasher?

Unclean Machine Interior

About this: Dishwashers operate in a closed environment, i.e. they’ll only begin washing dishes in their sealed compartment with the door closed. 

That’s because plenty of water, detergent, and food bits will splash around throughout the cleaning cycle.

As long as the door stays closed, none of that will splash out onto your kitchen floor.

How it causes smells: The inside of your LG dishwasher can get dirty quickly, thanks to all the splashing and cleaning that happens, as described above. However, that’s not a problem because the splashing water removes any stains on the inner panels.

Unfortunately, food bits, debris, and grease can get trapped in the narrow gaps within the dishwasher. Anything that’s trapped like that won’t get washed away with the water. Instead, they’ll stay where they are and slowly rot, leading to the nasty smells you sense coming from your dishwasher.

How to fix it: When the bad smells in your LG dishwasher come from food bits trapped in the machine’s narrow gaps, you’ll have to do more than just run the Machine Clean cycle.

Instead, you’ll have to do some hands-on cleaning with a cloth or brush to ensure that the narrow gaps inside the dishwasher compartment are clean and dry.

Once you do that, you can run another Machine Clean cycle to wash away any remaining odors.

Read: How To Reset CL Error Code On LG Dishwasher?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Preventing bad smells in your LG dishwasher is pretty straightforward if you know how. Here are a few more questions and answers to help you do that;

Can I Use Vinegar In My LG Dishwasher?

Yes, you can use white vinegar in your LG dishwasher. First, pour 7-10 ounces of white vinegar into a shallow bowl and place it on the top rack. Then, run an Auto Cycle without any dishwashing detergent.

Are You Supposed To Air Out A Dishwasher?

Although it’s not a must, opening the LG dishwasher door and airing it out can be an excellent idea. That way, the steam and air can escape the dishwasher much faster, allowing any odors to escape.

Read: What Means NE Error Code On LG Dishwasher?

How Do You Use An LG Dishwasher For The First Time?

After installing your brand new LG dishwasher, running an empty cycle from start to finish is always an excellent idea. Not only will that help you ensure everything is working correctly, but it’ll also remove some of the new smells inside the machine.

How Often Does A Dishwasher Filter Need To Be Cleaned?

You must clean the dishwasher filter in your LG unit once every 6 months. However, if you often load heavily soiled dishes into the appliance, you’ll want to clean the filter more frequently.

Is There A Dishwasher Deodorizer?

Yes, you can purchase dishwasher deodorizers from third-party manufacturers. Although they’re not necessary, you can use them to help remove the bad smells from your appliance.

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