My Dishwasher Smells Like Eggs: Causes and What You Can Do About It

When your dishwasher starts emitting a nauseating smell, it’s definitely a cause for concern.

Fortunately, in most cases, there’s an easy fix. So what’s causing your dishwasher to smell like eggs? And more importantly, how can you make it stop?

When your dishwasher smells like eggs, it’s often caused by bacteria buildup, dirty waterlines, or food particles that have been left in the machine.

Causes of Egg-Like Smells from a Dishwasher

While it’s annoying and frequently causes panic, it is also easy to fix. You can get rid of that foul odor as long as you know what’s causing it.

Bacteria Buildup

Dishwashers are warm, moist environments in which bacteria can thrive. The culprit is usually slimy black buildup around the door or other parts of the machine. This kind of buildup occurs when:

  • Food and grease particles aren’t getting washed away properly.
  • You’re not running the dishwasher often enough, causing food to sit and rot in the machine.
  • The dishwasher’s filter isn’t cleaned regularly.
  • The seal around the door is damaged and allowing air to get into the machine, which can cause a buildup of bacteria.

Dirty Waterlines or Drain Hoses

Hard water is often the culprit when it comes to smelly dishwashers. The minerals in the water can cause a buildup of scum and residue on the inside of the machine.

This gunk will then release an unpleasant odor when heated up. If your dishwasher is running slowly, has low water pressure, or leaves spots on dishes, it’s likely that your water lines are dirty.

Additionally, clogged hoses may cause water to flow out of the dishwasher and into your kitchen sink, creating a smell that may be hard to pinpoint.

Food Particles Left in Dishwasher

If there’s leftover food on the dishes that you run through your machine, those particles can become trapped in hard-to-reach places inside of the dishwasher and eventually rot, causing a nasty odor to spread throughout your kitchen.

Ensure you scrape off any leftover food or grease before loading the dishes into the dishwasher. You should also avoid overloading the machine, as this will prevent water and detergent from reaching all of the dishes effectively.

How to Get Rid of a Dishwasher’s Egg-Like Smell


Once you’ve determined what’s causing your dishwasher to smell like eggs, it’s time to take action. Here are a few tips for getting rid of the smell:

Clean the Dishwasher

The first step is to clean your dishwasher. This means wiping down all of the surfaces inside and outside of the machine, as well as cleaning out the filter and rinse aid dispenser.

You can use a vinegar-and-water solution or a special dishwasher cleaner to do the job.

If you have a self-cleaning cycle on your dishwasher, be sure to use it at least once a month. This will help remove any built-up bacteria and grime. Regular cleaning will also help extend the life of your machine.

Clean the Drain Hose and Water Line

Another common cause of a foul odor is dirty water lines or hoses. To clean them, you’ll need to disconnect both hoses from the dishwasher gently.

Next, use a wet-dry vacuum (or something similar) to suck out any debris that’s been trapped inside them. Once they’re clean, reattach them and run the dishwasher on a hot cycle.

You can also purchase a dishwasher drain cleaner to help with this issue.

Use a Detergent With Enzymes

Enzyme-based detergents can help keep your dishwasher clean by getting rid of leftover food particles that could lead to bacteria buildup. These types of cleaners are typically labeled as “bio,” “enzyme,” or “digestive.”

If your dishwasher doesn’t have a built-in water softener, you may want to consider using a detergent that contains them. Hard water can cause residues to build up on the inside of the machine and create an unpleasant odor.

Deodorize with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can help eliminate bad smells in your dishwasher. To use it, sprinkle some baking soda onto the racks and run an empty wash cycle on a hot setting.

Use Lemon or Orange Peels

Citrus peels are also known for their deodorizing properties. You can toss them into the bottom of your machine to get rid of any lingering smells.

Leave the Door Open After Use

Once you’ve finished running the dishwasher, leave the door open to allow it to air out. This will help prevent any bad smells from building up. Proper ventilation and air circulation are key to keeping your dishwasher smelling fresh.

Try a Commercial Deodorizer

If all else fails, you may want to try using a commercial deodorizer designed explicitly for dishwashers. These products can be found at most major retailers.

Commercial deodorizers work by releasing a strong odor that overpowers any bad smells in the machine. It also targets bacteria that can cause odors to form.

Final Thoughts

A dishwasher that smells like eggs is never a pleasant surprise, but it’s also not uncommon. By taking the time to inspect your machine and figure out what’s causing the smell, you can get rid of it in no time at all!

If you’re still having trouble getting rid of your dishwasher’s egg-like smell, no matter how squeaky clean you keep it, calling a professional to inspect your machine may be the best option.

Sometimes, the problems lie beneath the surface and are difficult to diagnose without the proper tools.