x
Breaking News
More () »

STINKY! How to clean your dishwasher, washer & garbage disposal

Most dishwashers have a filter that needs to be washed....do you know if your machine has one?

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It happens to all of us from time to time: We search high and low to find where a yucky smell is coming from. Is it the trash can? The refrigerator? The bathroom drain? Whatever is causing it, you want it gone. And that’s where Consumer Reports comes in, with some easy ways to find and fight those funky odors.

FRONT-LOAD WASHER

"Excess detergent and fabric softener can build up in your washer, and it can become a smelly haven for mold and mildew. So, always measure your detergent and fabric softener," said Tom Flamer, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

When a wash cycle is finished, remove damp clothing right away. Wipe down the door gasket and leave the door open if there are no small children around so the machine can dry out.

DISHWASHER

Your kitchen can harbor some strange odors, too. When Consumer Reports asked dishwasher owners whether they cleaned their machine’s filter, most said they weren’t aware there was a filter. A dirty filter smells bad and prevents the dishwasher from cleaning as effectively.

Cleaning it is easy. Twist out the filter, gently wash it under running water, and put it back. Then sponge out the corners and floor of the machine, and your dishwasher is ready for another load.

REFRIDGERATOR

On to the fridge. Spills can leak into the bins and crevices on the shelves. Remove them and soak in warm soapy water. Use a solution of a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water to wipe down and sanitize the inside of the fridge.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL

Another source of mysterious smells could be the garbage disposal. To freshen the drainpipe, layer in six ice cubes, a tablespoon of baking soda, three lemon slices, a teaspoon of bleach, and six more ice cubes. Then grind it, rinse, and enjoy the non-aroma.

Consumer Reports reminds us to always run water when using a garbage disposal to keep it from getting gunked up in the first place.