How to Clean Smelly Dishwasher Drain Hose


A dishwasher drain hose is a tube-like part of your dishwasher that connects to where it would drain. The area is usually below the sink or in an adjacent room. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for food and debris to get stuck inside this hose. If this happens, the water can’t drain, and it starts to smell. In this article, I will discuss how to clean smelly dishwasher drain hose.

How to Clean Smelly Dishwasher Drain Hose

Why Does Dishwasher Smell Bad?

One of the most common reasons a dishwasher smells terrible is because food particles get trapped in the drain hose. The result is a foul or fishy smell that wafts from the dishwasher, even after it’s been run and cleaned with soap and water. That stinky dishwasher odor isn’t just annoying — it could be a symptom that there’s a severe problem inside your machine. You’ll want to fix smelly dishes right away to prevent your dishwasher from making you sick.

A Detailed Stepwise Guide on How to Clean Smelly Dishwasher Drain Hose:

Step 1: Shut Off the Power.

Depending on local regulations, please turn off the dishwasher and unplug it from its electrical outlet or remove the fuse or turn off the circuit breaker.

Step 2: Pull Down the Hose.

Lowering your dishwasher drain hose will make cleaning easier. If you can’t grab hold of a loose end by hand, use a pair of pliers to grip one side where it meets a connection point in the sink bowl. Slowly pull down on it until you have enough slack to work with, then tug up gently until there’s no tension in the water-supply tube below it. It should just slide out after that without too much trouble.

Lowering The Dishwasher Drain Hose Will Make  Cleaning Easier.

Step 3: Flush Out Debris.

Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any debris along the way. If you don’t have one, use a plain old garden hose instead. If your dishwasher is dirty inside, fill up the sink with water and dump it into the dishwasher as well as you can by hand from above. Let any remaining sediment settle to the bottom for now before draining.

Step 4: Disconnect Hoses From the Dishwasher.

Unscrew both ends of the drain hose from their connection points inside the dishwasher at either side near or under where your silverware basket fits if you have a similar model. It should come off without too much trouble unless rust has built up around them over time – in which case you’ll need a wrench or pair of pliers.

Step 5: Disconnect Another End From the Sink.

The dishwasher end is easier to deal with; pull it off by hand once you have enough slack in the hose. The other connection point at the kitchen faucet should be much tighter, though – it will take some extra elbow grease (and maybe even a wrench or two) if it’s rusted shut after all this time.

If you can’t get it to budge no matter how hard you try, an adjustable crescent wrench will give you more leverage than channel-type pliers, and slip-joint types don’t usually work well on chrome nuts because they tend to slip off due to their extreme smoothness. Whatever works for you, though.

Disconnect Hoses  From the Dishwasher

Step 6: Cut Off the Old Hose.

If your dishwasher’s drain hose is carrying water into the sewer system through an underground pipe rather than just dumping it straight back into the sink, you’ll need to replace it with a new one that can handle this extra pressure. Otherwise, cutting the hose in two is also an option if you’re replacing it anyway.

If not, leave at least three feet of it above ground before cutting – more if possible without causing too much excess slack to work with below ground level once you get the rest out of the way there – and avoid spilling any dishwasher detergent or food particles down there when doing so by carefully wrapping some tape around its upper end beforehand (be sure to cover it well enough that you can still see the line on the hose where it’s supposed to end).

Step 7: Clean.

Wash both ends of your dishwasher drain hose thoroughly inside and out with hot water, soap, and dishwashing liquid to make sure no food particles or other residue are hiding anywhere before reattaching them. If you cut off its old length rather than just disconnect the two ends like in step 6, scrub both sections well.

Step 8: Reconnect Hoses, Turn the Power Back on.

Reattach whichever end is more accessible for you – dishwasher or sink – after drying it entirely if needed (running a hairdryer on high heat or something similar over it should work in a pinch, but don’t melt the plastic). Replace the dishwasher end by carefully pushing it into place until you can twist it no more – or if your model is equipped with clips to hold it there instead, snapping them shut.

The sink end should be much easier to connect unless rust has built up around its connection point there, too, after all this time. If so, try penetrating oil or another lubricant before turning the water back on and trying again.

You Dishwasher  Or Sink  After Drying

Step 9: Turn the Power Back on.

Once everything is firmly attached where it’s supposed to be, once again, turn your cold water tap on entirely for a minute or two to flush out any particles that may have gotten into your drain system somehow that could potentially clog it later on.

Step 10: Run Water to Check for Leaks.

Do the same thing with your hot water tap if you have one – it’s less likely to be an issue but better safe than sorry under these circumstances.

Precautions While Cleaning Smelly Drain Hose

  1. Clean dishwasher drain hose only if the odor is caused by a dirty hose and not caused by a broken/misaligned drain pump filter, clogged food trap, or restricted water flow through the wash arms. Also, check for leaks during this process as some models may have loose connections that drip moisture onto the dishwasher floor, which can cause an odorous smell.
  2. Smelly drain hoses are white powder-coated steel with screw-on fittings at each end – do not clean any other types of hoses as they may be made of different metals and could cause damage to your dishwasher.
  3. Always unplug and turn off the power supply before starting any dishwasher maintenance project – you don’t want to get an electrical shock!
  4. Do not run the dishwasher with the hose removed – you don’t want to get a waterflood throughout your kitchen and living space!
  5. Read the manual for your dishwasher before starting any maintenance project – some types of modern dishwashers have auto-draining features that will drain both the wash and rinse arms while running, so do not clean the drain during this time, or damage may occur to pump assembly.
Run Water to Check for Leaks
  1. Use only distilled white vinegar in the cleaning process as other acids could cause corrosion, fizzing, foaming, or damage to rubber parts in your dishwasher.
  2. If possible, clean the dishwasher’s outside when draining because food particles can splash out when the drain valve from the inside dishwasher is opened.
  3. Unscrew and remove the drain hose from the dishwasher – if port threads have become corroded, use a pair of pliers to turn counterclockwise before unscrewing. Always check for cracks or splits in the rubber end of the line, as this may be where the odors are coming from, although they may also occur at any place along the length of your drain hose.
  4. If there is a fitting on either end holding the piping onto its base, use a screwdriver to loosen it before pulling away from the connection point. Once you have removed all connections, examine your dishwasher’s smelly drain hose closely for signs of wear or damage such as cuts, pitting, or deterioration along the surface of the steel.
  5. Once you have removed and examined the old drain hose, insert a new one into your dishwasher and tighten fittings on either end of piping – if necessary, use pliers to twist metal tubing onto the base connection while holding the fitting with another pair of pliers.
  6. Make sure that any connections are tight before turning the power back on so as not to cause damage to your dishwasher or get an electrical shock!

Frequently Asked Question

Why Does My Dishwasher Drain Hose Smell?

Dishwasher drains can often smell bad due to the food particles that accumulate in them. This happens because water is pumped into the machine through a tube, and food particles are flushed down the drain as well.

Food residue also clogs up filters which lead to poor performance and stinky drains.

To avoid this, make sure you rinse off your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher so there’s no residual food left on them that could get stuck inside of them. Also, keep an eye out for build-up on your drain hose by cleaning it regularly with vinegar or baking soda to prevent smells from getting trapped inside of it.

Use Only Distilled White Vinegar

Can You Use White Vinegar to Clean Dishwasher?

You can use white vinegar to clean your dishwasher. It is an excellent cleaner for dishes, and it also helps with disinfecting the dishwasher and keeping it free of bacteria.

It is recommended that you use one cup of white vinegar in a full load of your dishwasher, but if you have hard water, then you should not dilute the vinegar because it will make your rinse cycle less effective.

Is Vinegar Bad for Dishwasher?

This is because there are many claims that vinegar can damage the dishwasher or cause damage to the dishes and pans inside it. However, these claims are false as vinegar will not harm your dishwasher.

Vinegar is a mild acid and does not react with the detergent in your dishwasher to produce any type of reaction. It is also safe for most food materials and even for the environment because it helps remove stains from clothes, removes excess grease on cookware, kills weeds, cleans paintbrushes, etc.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher With Vinegar?

However, you should not use vinegar in a standard cycle because it can damage the motor of the dishwasher. It is recommended that you do not use vinegar with every load of dishes because it will damage the finish on your dishes.

Vinegar Bad for Dishwasher


I hope this article has offered you all the relevant information regarding how to clean smelly dishwasher drain hose. It will help you have a clean environment in your house. Thank you and have a nice day!

You may read also – How to Clean Under Dishwasher

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