Why LG Dishwasher Smells Like Burning Plastic?

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Your dishwasher handles dirty plates and food bits daily. So, it’s normal for the appliance to give off harmless smells. Still, you should never ignore certain smells, especially that of burning plastic.

Your LG dishwasher will give off unusual smells when it’s brand new. Those smells will go away on their own after 10-20 wash cycles. However, burning plastic smells can also result from trapped rubber or plastic items around the heating element, burning electrical wires, or lingering odors from recent repairs.

Take a few minutes to read this guide. You’ll learn what causes those burning plastic smells and how you can get rid of them.

Why Does My LG Dishwasher Smell Like Burning Plastic?

The smell of burning plastic from your appliance isn’t always a bad sign. The root cause could be something harmless that doesn’t affect your machine’s operation.

However, you should never delay troubleshooting the smell and finding its source.

Here are the reasons your LG dishwasher smells like burning plastic and the most practical ways to deal with them:

New Unit Smell

About this: All household appliances give off smells when they arrive in your home. That’s true, especially with machines that have closed compartments, like fridges and dishwashers.

The smell of a new LG dishwashing unit will gradually fade away after you use it for 10-20 wash cycles.

Why it smells: If your dishwasher is brand new, that burning plastic smell will likely not come from any actual plastic. 

Instead, the root cause is the new motors heating up during normal operations. That heat coming from the motor will also raise the temperature of your dishwasher’s insulation, adding even more to the smell you’re sensing.

How to fix it: When the burning plastic smell you noticed is due to the dishwasher being new, there’s nothing much to do to remove the smell. As mentioned above, it’ll fade away on its own after 10-20 wash cycles.

You can help make that process a bit more efficient by opening the door for a few minutes after using the dishwasher. Doing that will ventilate the air inside more and help the smell fade away sooner.

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Read: 5 LG Dishwasher Problems You Need To Know

Trapped Plastic Or Rubber Items

About this: At the bottom of every LG dishwasher, you’ll find the spinning lower wash arm and a heating element. 

Besides that, you’ll also notice that both the lower and upper racks have openings to allow your kitchenware to be washed easily from the top and the bottom.

During normal operations, the placement of those parts mentioned above will ensure that each of your dishes and other kitchenware is cleaned thoroughly.

The spinning wash arms will spray each item with water. Meanwhile, the heating element will ensure the water is hot enough to clean and sanitize those items.

Then, any grease, food bits, and other impurities will simply fall through the racks and land at the bottom of the compartment.

Why it smells: Another reason you notice a burning plastic smell coming from your dishwasher is plastic or rubber items have fallen to the dishwasher’s bottom. Those could be small plastic cups, plastic or rubber accessories, and more.

More specifically, those items have fallen on or near the heating element, exposed to plenty of direct heat.

As a result, those items get burned by the heating element, causing the smells you notice.

How to fix it: Solving this problem will require you to carefully clean the burnt items. So, you must remove the dishwasher racks to inspect the heating element for any trapped plastic or rubber items.

You must remove all traces of those items from your dishwasher. Then, you must clean any burnt plastic or rubber from the heating element.

Of course, wait until the power supply is disconnected and the heating element has cooled down before you start cleaning.

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

Burning Wires

About this: Your LG dishwasher has countless electrical, electronic, and mechanical components to function correctly. That includes everything from the main control board to pumps and valves.

All components are connected to the main control board through wires. These wires or wire harnesses carry electrical power and signals to control how each component behaves.

Why it smells: Unfortunately, anything powered by electricity can suffer from electrical faults. Common examples include short circuits and power surges that can permanently damage the components mentioned above.

Those electrical faults can also cause another significant problem: they can cause the wires to overheat so much that they burn. When that happens, the heat will burn the wire’s insulation and any other insulation inside your dishwasher.

That will produce the burning plastic smell you sense coming from your LG dishwasher.

How to fix it: When you suspect your dishwasher wires are burning, you must immediately shut the appliance off at the power source. Then, the solution is to remove the machine’s panels to figure out which wires are burning and replace them. 

Of course, the entire machine must be checked to find out what caused those wires to burn in the first place.

This is not the repair you’d want to do yourself. So, it’s best to let a qualified technician handle it for you.

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

Leftover Odors

Why it smells: Unfortunately, any kind of smell can linger in your LG dishwasher for a long time, including burning plastic.

Remember: the inside of your dishwasher is not well-ventilated. Therefore, the air is exchanged only when you open the door or when the ventilation fan runs during a wash cycle.

Besides that, dishwashers have plenty of narrow gaps inside where smells can get trapped. Unfortunately, the water and detergent from a wash cycle don’t always get into those gaps, which is why the smell is never removed.

How to fix it: Firstly, you must rule out all the other causes listed above. Then, once you’re sure the dishwasher is in excellent working order, you can remove lingering odors in a few ways:

  • Open the dishwasher door more often: Doing this helps to ventilate the lingering odors more often, so they fade away quicker.
  • Clean the dishwasher, especially the narrow gaps: Washing the narrow gaps around the doors and inside the compartment ensures those smells won’t stay trapped and get stronger.
  • Use white vinegar or a deodorizer: You can purchase dishwasher deodorizers at your local supermarket. Alternatively, pour a bit of white vinegar into a shallow bowl and place it on the top rack. Then, run an empty wash cycle. The vinegar will circulate in the dishwasher and clean away the burnt plastic smell.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Troubleshooting a dishwasher can be quite challenging. Here are a few more pointers to help you out:

How Do I Remove Bad Odors From My LG Dishwasher?

You can remove bad odors from your dishwasher by opening the door and ventilating it more often. Besides that, wash the filter thoroughly and do not let any food bits build up inside it.

Read: What Means NE Error Code On LG Dishwasher?

How Often Should I Clean An LG Dishwasher Filter?

You should clean your LG dishwasher filter once every six months. However, cleaning it regularly will prevent any bad smells from collecting in your appliance.

Can Plastic Go Through A Dishwasher?

Yes, but you should only use dishwasher-safe plastics. Those will not get warped or melted in the dishwasher’s hot water.

Should Plastic Be In The Top Or Bottom Dishwasher Rack?

You should place your dishwasher-safe plastic on the top rack, far away from the heating element.

How Do You Know If Plastic Plates Are Dishwasher Safe?

Plastic kitchenware is labeled when they’re dishwasher safe. The symbol or icon for dishwasher-safe plastic typically consists of kitchen utensils in a square box.

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