Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My Dishwasher Stinks

No, I mean it SMELLS BAD.

This New condo is full of surfaces and materials that as a renter I never had to deal with. I'm used to really old carpet, linoleum, vinyl, etc. Here though I have stuff that I am wholly unprepared to maintain properly. I'm learning that not everything can be cleaned with a damp sponge (though I believe that SHOULD be the case).

My dishwasher was one thing that I didn't really see needing to clean. Certainly not the INSIDE anyway. After all it's a CLEANING MACHINE. I assumed it would take care of maintaining it's insides on it’s own. Turns out, not so much.

Over the weekend P put something in the dishwasher. Upon opening it he made a face and asked if it always smelled sour. I said that it has always smelled that way. I thought it had something to do with the insides being made out of metal rather than the plastic I've always been around. I know, it's a stupid leap to take there, but that was the only uncommon denominator so I just assumed it was the metal that stunk and that was the price of having a dishwasher with metal insides. P assured me that that is not the case.

The smell is like a metal pie plate holding rotting lemons and ground beef soaking in a bath of vanilla and malted powder in the sun.

Yesterday I called customer service and asked about the stink. A woman (very curtly) explained to me that the sour smell is the result of water trapped inside the machine. In what I believe to be a HUGE design flaw, my new dishwasher doesn't vent out the steam it generates very well, and so, some of it stays behind and begins to mildew or something. Not anywhere that I can actually SEE the mildew, but deep inside the guts of the thing, there is some standing water that STINKS. She (very curtly) continued to explain to me that in order to stop the stink I need to fill a glass half with vinegar and half with water, set it on the bottom rack of the dishwasher and run it through a cycle. Why half with water? If I put just half a glass of vinegar in the glass won’t the dishwasher fill it up the rest of the way during the cycle?

She also (very curtly) explained that I should not leave the door to the dishwasher closed after it completes a cycle. The door should be IMMEDIATELY opened so that the steam can escape and not collect inside where it will fester and become a fetid pool of stink. When I suggested that that was a little inconvenient, having to always be there to immediately open the machine as soon as it was done, she insisted that it was not and that I should always be there to perform this task. I like to run the dishwasher when I go to bed... which means I may not open it for several hours after it's cycle is complete... sometimes I run it before I leave for work... don't a lot of us do that? How did the manufacturer think that requiring the user to IMMEDIATELY open the door to the machine after it finished a cycle was a good idea?

She DID end the call by saying that I am under warranty and if the vinegar didn't help she'd send a tech out... which was nice. I'm not completely satisfied with her solution though, but I will give the dishwasher a "vinegar bath" as soon as I find some vinegar, but then I'm going to ask around and see if anyone else in the building (we all have the same stuff mostly) is dealing with this.

1 comment:

MiKell said...

I have the same type of dishwasher, but haven't noticed the "stink" yet.

Every once in a while I buy the "dishwasher cleaner" thingie at the grocery store. You stick it in the silverware holder and run the cycle through (no dishes).

It seems to keep the stink away. I might try that vinegar trick. Could save me $4 a month, I guess.