How to Clean an LG Dishwasher That Smells Bad

How to Clean an LG Dishwasher That Smells Bad


When your kitchen has a foul odor, pinning down the source is usually the first priority. But what can you do when you find your dishwasher is the root of the problem? We’ll detail how to clean an LG dishwasher filter, tub, and spray arms to banish odor and prevent its return.

Eliminating Odor: How to Clean an LG Dishwasher Quickly and Effectively

Knowing how to clean an LG dishwasher involves targeting odor at its source. Our dishwasher cleaning hacks address odor where it begins with the right tools and methods. But are you wondering, “Why does my LG dishwasher stink?” Before we discuss how to remove offensive odors, here’s what causes the problem.

Why Does My LG Dishwasher Stink?

While a typical wash cycle flushes most food particles and debris down the dishwasher’s drain, some can stay behind. Oftentimes, these particles collect in an LG dishwasher filter or on the tub walls or spray arms. As they decay, they generate a smelly bacteria that multiply rapidly in the dishwasher’s warm, moist environment. 

Without regular cleanings, this bacterial odor can quickly grow out of control. Here’s how specific cleaning steps for the filter, tub and spray arms can effectively eliminate bacteria and odor at each location.

Dishwasher Filter Cleaning

While some model dishwashers have a self-cleaning system, most require regular cleanings based on the number of loads you run per week. Rinsing and/or scraping dishes before loading them can also affect how often you need to clean the filter. Refer to your user manual for the exact recommendations for your model dishwasher and your pre-rinsing practices. 

Here’s how to perform an LG dishwasher filter cleaning:

  1. Remove the dishwasher’s bottom rack.
  2. Turn the cylindrical filter counterclockwise.
  3. Take out the filter by lifting upwards, removing the stainless steel mesh filter as well.
  4. Rinse the filters under warm running water, scrubbing gently with a non-abrasive cloth or brush as needed.
  5. Replace the stainless steel mesh filter, followed by the cylindrical filter. Twist the filter clockwise to lock in place.

how to clean an LG dishwasher

Clean the Dishwasher Tub

Food particles that stick to tub walls and in crevices can also result in an LG dishwasher that smells bad.

Follow these steps to clean the tub using basic white vinegar:

  1. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe bowl.
  2. Place the bowl in the top rack of an empty dishwasher.
  3. Run a Machine Clean cycle. If your dishwasher doesn’t have this cycle, run a Normal wash cycle.

Commercial dishwasher cleaners are also effective at removing dishwasher tub odor. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for your specific cleaner and run a Machine Clean or Normal wash cycle.

Clean Dishwasher Spray Arms

How often you clean the spray arms also depends on how much you pre-wash your dishes prior to loading. Rinsing and scraping dishes before loading may mean you only need to clean the spray arms every six months. No pre-washing may require bi-monthly cleanings.

Here’s how to clean the spray arms quickly and effectively:

  1. Remove the lower spray arm by lifting upward. Unscrew the upper spray arm by turning the nut counterclockwise and pulling down.
  2. Use a pin or sharp metal tool to dislodge any visible particles that are trapped in spray armholes.
  3. Run the spray arms under running water, making sure water flows freely through the holes.
  4. Replace the bottom spray arm by pushing down until it locks into place. Twist the upper spray arm’s nut clockwise to secure it in place.

If your dishwasher has a top spray arm, it can be disassembled by removing the hook from the bracket. After rinsing, make sure the retainer clip is engaged when replacing.

Dishwasher Odor Prevention Tips

Performing regular cleanings with the above methods can help prevent LG dishwasher smells.

These additional tips can also help avoid odor:

  • Clean the tub on a monthly basis.
  • Only use dishwasher detergent in the dishwasher dispenser and follow the manufacturer-recommended amounts.
  • If you don’t run the dishwasher on a daily basis, run a rinse cycle to remove lingering food particles in between cleanings.

While knowing how to clean an LG dishwasher can help prevent odor, sometimes repairs are unavoidable. When you need a dishwasher repair service, look no further than Lake Appliance Repair.