How to Clean a Bosch Dishwasher That Smells Bad


When a bad odor greets you upon opening the dishwasher you know it needs a thorough cleaning. How do you clean a Bosch dishwasher? Baking soda and vinegar can naturally eliminate tub odor. Learn how to clean a Bosch dishwasher filter, tub, and spray arms and prevent the return of bad smells.

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips:
How to Clean a Bosch Dishwasher

Lingering food particles can quickly develop mold and mildew in the dishwasher’s warm, moist environment. Fortunately, the right cleaning methods can eliminate Bosch dishwasher smells and prevent their return with regular maintenance.

Clean the Bosch Dishwasher Filter

The dishwasher’s filter screens out large food particles to prevent them from clogging the drain pump. However, without regular cleanings, accumulated particles can develop smelly mold and mildew. They can even clog the filter to the point where the dishwasher won’t drain water.

Here’s how to clean a Bosch dishwasher filter to remove odor and prevent clogs:

  1. Open the dishwasher and remove the bottom rack and spray arm.
  2. Twist the filter cap counterclockwise and pull it out with the mesh screen.
  3. Disconnect the filter and screen and wash each component in warm, soapy water.
  4. Gently scrub stubborn particles with a toothbrush.
  5. Reassemble the filter and screen and place them back in the dishwasher, twisting the cap clockwise to secure.
  6. Replace the spray arm and bottom rack.
clean a bosch dishwasher filter

How to Clean the Dishwasher Tub

Food remnants, mold and mildew often hide in the tub’s nooks and crannies or accumulate on the damp walls. Vinegar, baking soda, and the right cleaning techniques can effectively deodorize the dishwasher tub.

These steps detail how to clean a Bosch dishwasher tub:

  1. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar in the base of an empty dishwasher.
  2. Run the longest cleaning cycle with hot water.
  3. Sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda in the empty dishwasher base and run a short cycle with hot water.
  4. Scrub lingering mold and mildew with a toothbrush dipped in warm soapy water or a baking soda paste.

For persistent mold and mildew, pour 1 cup of bleach in the base of the empty dishwasher and run a regular cleaning cycle. Skip this step if your dishwasher’s interior is stainless steel, as bleach can stain and damage it. Hard water and limescale buildup is best removed by Bosch’s descaler.

Dishwasher Spray Arm Maintenance

A complete Bosch dishwasher cleaning also includes the spray arms, where trapped food particles can break down and develop odor. Mold and mildew can also settle on the spray arms, contributing to bad smells.

Use the following steps to clean Bosch dishwasher spray arms:

  1. Take out the lower rack and remove the bottom spray arm by pulling upward. Untwist the upper spray arm’s knob to release and remove it.
  2. Use a toothpick to unclog spray arm holes.
  3. Rinse the spray arm under warm, running water.
  4. Dry each arm thoroughly.
  5. Replace the spray arms, pushing the bottom arm down firmly and twisting the knob to secure the upper arm.

Ways to Avoid Dishwasher Odors

Cleaning a Bosch dishwasher should be part of your regular maintenance routine to prevent a return of bad smells.

how to clean a bosch dishwasher

These maintenance tips can avoid dishwasher odor:

  • Keep the filter clean: Monthly cleanings can prevent a buildup of food particles that cause clogs and odor.
  • Clean the tub every month: This prevents the development of mold and mildew that creates odor.
  • Use the right detergent: Bosch recommends using Finish detergent and rinse aid. Use the amounts suggested on the package instructions to avoid using too much or too little. Too much detergent can leave behind a residue that fosters mildew growth, while too little won’t provide a thorough cleaning. 

While knowing how to clean a Bosch dishwasher can prevent odor, breakdowns can’t always be avoided. Call Appliance Service Station when you need a fast and professional Bosch dishwasher repair!

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