What Does It Mean When Your Dishwasher Smells Like It’s Burning?

Do you ever get that peculiar smell coming from your dishwasher when it’s running? What does it mean? Is your dishwasher about to burst into flames? Don’t worry! While it’s not normal, it’s not a sign that your dishwasher is about to malfunction.

The burning smell is actually caused by a build-up of lint and grease in the machine, paired with water in the heating element.

This is what causes the smell, and while it isn’t necessarily dangerous, it is something that should be addressed.

Other Reasons Why Dishwasher Smells Like It’s Burning

While there are a few reasons why your dishwasher smells like it’s burning, as mentioned earlier, the most common reason is that a thin layer of lint and grease has built up in the dishwasher.

If you don’t regularly clean your dishwasher, it will start to smell like it’s burning. This is because the water is heating the grease and food particles that have built up in the dishwasher as part of the washing process.

Some other reasons why your dishwasher might be emitting this smell include:

  • A clogged drain hose
  • Leaking water heater
  • Clogged spray arm or filters

Many of these problems can be solved relatively easily, so it’s worth checking to see if any of these might be the cause of your dishwasher’s burning smell.

How to Fix a Burning Smell from Your Dishwasher

If you’ve determined that the burning smell is coming from your dishwasher, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem.

Regularly Clean Your Dishwasher

The best way to prevent a burning smell from your dishwasher is to clean it regularly. This means wiping down the machine’s interior with a hot, soapy cloth, and cleaning out the filters every few months.

You should also make sure that you don’t let food build up in the dishwasher – this will only create more problems.

Run the Dishwasher With Vinegar

Vinegar is a fantastic cleaning agent, and it’s great for cleaning out your dishwasher. To clean your dishwasher with vinegar, pour about a cup of distilled white vinegar into the bottom of an empty machine and run it through a cycle.

You’ll want to do this once or twice a month to help keep your dishwasher clean and free of smells.

Use Lemon or Baking Soda

If you don’t have vinegar on hand, lemon or baking soda can also be used to clean your dishwasher. To do this, sprinkle about a cup of baking soda into the bottom of your dishwasher and pour in half a cup of lemon juice. Run the dishwasher through a cycle and then rinse with hot water.

Check Filter and Hose

If you’ve tried all of these methods and your dishwasher still smells like it’s burning, there might be a more serious problem. The most likely culprit is the filter or drain hose, which can become clogged over time. To check if this is the case, remove the filter from the dishwasher and clean it out. If the hose is clogged, you’ll need to remove it and clear the obstruction.

Note: Before you try any of these methods, be sure to unplug your dishwasher and discharge any residual water by running it through a cycle on the hot setting. Also, be careful when dealing with water heaters – they can be dangerous.

Final Thoughts

While it’s not normal for your dishwasher to smell like it’s burning, it’s usually nothing to worry about. The most common reason for this smell is a build-up of lint and grease in the machine. Cleaning the machine usually does the trick – but if you feel like you’re dealing with a more serious issue, calling an appliance repair expert should be the first thing on your to-do list.