Why is my dishwasher smelly and not cleaning the dishes well?

DishwasherIf your Dishwasher

    • Smells bad
    • Takes hours to wash dishes that still come out dirty
    • Is growing slime inside

blame the US Department of Energy not the manufacturer.

The DOE developed energy usage standards that all new dishwashers follow.

While these settings are great for saving energy and water, they’re also perfect for growing mold and slime, and for not cleaning your dishes and there’s nothing you can put in your dishwasher that will fix this.

  • Not magic detergent.
  • Not pods.
  • Not powder.
  • Not gel.
  • Not liquid.
  • Not vinegar.
  • Not baking soda.

Nothing will make the slime go away until the cause of the slime is fixed.

Happily, it can be fixed. Maybe for free!

Try this first: “Turn on everything”.

  • Does your dishwasher have a “heavy soil” setting? Use it!
  • “Sanitize?” Yep! Turn it on!
  • “Heated Dry?” Absolutely!

If you turn on the heaviest wash, sanitize and heated dry, your dishwasher should get and stay nice and clean and non-smelly and your dishes will look great! It will probably take several hours to wash, but the cleaning and sanitizing will be on par with the dishwashers of 30 years ago that actually cleaned well. When you take the dishes out, they will be clean and your dishwasher will be clean too!

Are your dishes sparkling clean? Is your dishwasher starting to smell better?

Great! Leave it set this way and enjoy your nice clean dishes!

Still not doing a great job? – It’s fixable!

The problem with mold and slime is that it gets into everything including the temperature sensor, overfill switch and soil level sensor and makes them all stop working, which makes the dishwasher’s computer use “safe but filthy” settings.

Terry’s Appliance Service can fix it!

Just setup a service call and we’ll stop out and take care of it. It may need sensors or a board or a heater, but we can fix and make it work correctly and make your dishes clean and shiny!


If you bought Cascade Dishwasher cleaner and when the cycle finished, the bottle was still full, this is a sure sign that your dishwasher is not cleaning properly and needs service. The dishwasher cleaner bottle is designed to open up around 150°F. If your dishwasher doesn’t get this hot, the bottle won’t open, and the dishwasher definitely needs service.