Bosch dishwasher smells bad

Have you begun to feel an unpleasant smell when you open the dishwasher door? The problem is the dishwasher’s inner parts. To be more precise – in the clogging of the drainage system.

Bosch dishwasher smells bad

The disgusting smell comes from the decaying food leftovers in the dishwasher, which have stuck somewhere inside the drain system. This may be a drain pipe, a mesh filter, a drain hose or a pump.

Another reason for nasty smell is washing in cold water.

The smell comes from: Is it possible to get rid of the smell?
A drain filter Yes. A deep cleaning of the entire drain system is required.
A pallet Yes. Cleaning the pallet from bacteria and food debris is necessary.
A pump Yes. If the nasty smell is caused by food remains inside the pump, the replacement of the pump is needed.

How to get rid of a rotten smell?

In order to get rid of an unpleasant smell, you have to find a source of the problem. Most likely, the reason is a small local blockage inside the drain system. The smell is generated by bacteria that multiply in rotting food residues.

The first thing to do is to clean the drainage system and find the source of the odor. Most likely, the localization is in the mesh filter that collects large food remains from plates.

Also, the smell source can be caused by a blockage in the drain filter. To solve the problem, unscrew the filter and rinse it under the running water. This should help.

After cleaning all filters, run the dishwashing program in hot water. Add more detergents as usual. In addition, supplement washing with baking soda instead of a tablet. This method will help to remove the effects of blockage and the remaining smell inside the dishwasher.

Methods of eliminating odors

Now it is time to talk about elimination the unpleasant smell of rot or mold. The following facilities CAN’T be used in the fight against the smell in the dishwasher:

  • chlorine and chlorine-containing substances;
  • washing powder;
  • cleaners with abrasive particles.

This aggressive chemistry will not help to remove the smell, but it will harm the metal parts. Over time, the device’s inner parts can be corroded. Physical cleaning is the best variant to start fighting against the odor. First, wash the mesh filter located at the bottom of a chamber, and then inspect the water sprayers and wash them, paying attention to the holes where food can get stuck.

Further, it is necessary to wash the walls and the bottom of the dishwasher chamber, where the residues of fat could have settled. To remove it, take a soft cloth and prepare water with the addition of a small amount of detergent. Wash everything, including the rubber seal around the perimeter of the door.

Important! Do not use metal sponges or hard brushes to clean the dishwasher because it can damage the device’s chamber surface.

Soda and vinegar to clean the dishwasher

Soda and vinegar are the great remedies for removing the nasty odor. To do this, take one cup of white vinegar and put it on the bottom of an empty machine’s chamber. Then run a long program at high temperature. Vinegar perfectly absorbs unpleasant odors, but it also leaves the specific smell. Therefore, after vinegar, you can use soda. Take half a glass of baking soda, pour it on the dishwasher’s bottom and run a short program. At the initial stage of the smell appearance, you can clean the device only with soda without vinegar.

If you do not trust household methods, get a special dishwasher remedy against fat and scale. According to the instructions, apply the remedy to kill the smell. After any chemistry, the kitchen appliance needs to be rinsed several times with water. Then wipe it with a dry cloth and ventilate the chamber.

60 thoughts on “Bosch dishwasher smells bad

  1. My Bosch dishwasher is only a year old, but has been smelling since the day I got it. Even after the dishes are cleaned there is a weird metallic smell. My kids say it makes the glasses smell sort of fishy. However, the worst is when you have dirty dishes in it. The dishes are all pre-rinsed. The smell when you open the door will gag you. It is the most foul smell ever. EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED in this. I have had the installer/repair guy out here twice. The first one raised the drain hose high and the second one made a low loop in it. Neither has worked. The last repairman said he did not know what else could be done if this did not work. I have used 2 different kinds of dishwasher cleaner and cleaned the disposal. Nothing works. If I cannot find a solution soon, I am going to see if I can return it with my extended warranty. My last dishwasher was 30 years old and never had this problem.

    1. Hi I just got a Bosch and I’ve had the same trouble as you from the first time I washed my dishes.  Everything is pristine, so why is it smelling so bad? No food in filters, drain pipes clean,  food disposal cleaned, and I totally wiped down the inside of the dishwasher front and back. I wonder if it’s something in the plastics or the interaction with Finish dishwasher products. 

      1. The problem isn’t Finish products–we had the smell problem, tried switching to Cascade, and no different. We had a Bosch technician come out and he had no useful advice. There are tons of complaints on the internet, including at Pissedcustomer. Seems it’s just a HUGE design flaw. I’ve been desperately looking for other suggestions and two I’ve now found and will try are 1) dry off the inside door when you open it after running a load of dishes, so it can’t run back down into the base, and 2) keep the door ajar at all times. If these things don’t work, I’m going to call the appliance store and/or Bosch and demand something be done, and show them the hundreds of complaints I’m finding. We should all flood websites with messages about this to save others from making the mistake of buying these machines and to let Bosch know this isn’t acceptable.

        1. We had the same problem and tried all the standard solutions suggested. I then went back to the original installation diagrams and noticed that there were symbols indicating that the unit required a good water input flow rate – I think it was 10litres/min. As a result I tried raising the house water pressure by opening-up the stop-cock on the mains water input to increase the water flow to see if this worked. Thereafter, the dishwasher started sounding more healthy and since then we have had no more bad smells and can even happily wash dishes at a lower temperature. I can only suppose that the bad smell is caused by a low flow rate preventing the machine from fully flushing away the results of the washing, which were then sitting in the drain pipe, rotting and giving off the foul smell.

  2. Yep i have the same issue with my 1 month old Bosch and I have a correctly installed high loop. Disappointed as well.

  3. I also have a foul smell in my Bosch dishwasher. My drain loop is high, my filter is clean. I tried the vinegar and baking soda method and that only worked for a couple of days.
    We also pre-rinse our plates but we have to run the dishwasher every 2-3 days when its only half full because the smell is so bad.
    I did not have this problem with my Maytag that was 25+ years old; BTW, my Bosch is only 10 months old and it’s been “smelly” within the first month of use.

  4. Mine started smelling bad within a few months. From the beginning, I regularly clean the filter and leave the door open which is very inconvenient as it impedes traffic flow in the kitchen. Why can’t Bosch solve this problem?

  5. We just put ours out on the road after 2 1/2 years of battling this foul smell. We tried everything possible still stinks and I would NEVER own another Bosch….most expensive dishwasher I have ever owned and the worse one.

  6. Has anyone figured out how to get rid of this smell? I can’t afford a new dishwasher and same as many of you, after one month my dishwasher stinks so bad that we also gag. I’ve tried everything. Has Bosch even responded to anyone with this problem and how they will fix it?!

    1. Greetings!
      Quite often washing machines have an unpleasant odor. It happens even if a user takes care of the appliance. And in this case, cleaning one filter and an internal camera does not help at all. Perhaps the main reason for a nasty smell is the regular washing of dishes at low temperatures (30-40 degrees). With this, fatty, protein and starch contaminants may not be completely washed out of filters, hoses and other elements of the device. It leads to the appearance of the smell.
      Try cleaning your dishwasher with a single wash at the highest temperature possible in your device. Of course, don’t forget about special cleaning agents for the appliance.

      1. Our couple months old Series 4 smells too. We tried everything. We use 65 degrees wash. I guess the problem really is inside the Bosch…

  7. I have the same problem with the terrible smell, and I have tried all of the suggestions notes below. I, too, had a Maytag dishwasher for 30 years with no problems at all. It finally rusted so I decided to get a new one. Very disappointed in the Bosch – bought it due to their great reputation. Very frustrating!! I hope Bosch can come up with a reasonable solution, soon!!

    1. No. I went all out when we remodeled our kitchen. Thought I was getting the best but this dishwasher is nasty! I spray room freshener every time I open it.

    2. U r out of your mind if you think that, EVERYONE and EVERYTHING they are saying is completely true. I am far from a competitor, I am just someone who would love to use my brand new dishwasher without any problems. If I wanted problems I would of stuck with the one I replaced this one for. I noticed the smell a few days after I had purchased this from Lowe’s . I thought maybe it was just a fluke and didn’t think much of it until every two or three days my dish washer stunk like crazy . I am in the middle of cleaning the filter as we speak. No matter what I do to it the smell will come back either the next day or two . I have almost had mine for a month but I am tired of having a problem with a brand new dishwasher soap this is going back . You really need to listen to the reviews or you might find yourself in the same position as the rest of us.

  8. My Bosch Silence Plus 46 dba smells so bad ALL the time that even my guests can smell it when I open it. It can’t be healthy to have your dishes that you eat off of come from this environment. I always clean my dishes in the sink even before I put them in the dishwasher, so there is no food ever left on any of my plates.

    I hope everyone that researches Bosch will see these posts, and STAY AWAY FROM GETTING A BOSCH DISHWASHER. If the manufacturer offers NO remedy but to run some baking soda and vinegar in there, that is pitiful…and even that apparently doesn’t work according to this blog.

    1. I’ve had the same problem. Tried everything under the sun – I even clean the filter every time we empty the dishwasher. Can’t get rid of the horrible smell on my dishes – specially hard on the glassware. I never had an issue on my old maytag that died after 18 years. I can’t believe I spent so much money on a Bosh only to have to wash my dishes by hand.

  9. My sister has an older model and she loves it. Maybe it’s the newer models but mine has smelled horrid from the beginning. My mother in law was visiting and asked me what that smell was. It’s embarrassing!

    1. I had a Bosch for 20 years it was the best dishwasher, never had a single issue with it. We bought a house an stage Maytag they had caught on fire and almost burned my kitchen down. I insisted on a Bosch since I had a great experience with it. Unfortunately about 1 month after buying it this terrible smell of rotting fish is coming from it and I can’t get rid of it… so ridiculous!

      1. The key is that you bought it 20 years ago. Mine has been replaced and I’ve had numerous service call, along with a visit from the regional manager. Bad design, total lemon.

  10. Same here. Just can’t stand the terrible smell. No matter what I do the dishes and the inside of the nachine STINK like rotten sewer water. It even come up out of my sink drain.

    1. Bosch and Siemens are one and the same technology! Why then does the second have no such problem? Competitor Bosch ordered discrediting the brand?

  11. I am so dissatisfied with this dishwasher, it’s expensive and this foul smell has always existed. My previous dishwasher was over 20 years old and never did it smell. We should all be reembursed , Bosch never again!

  12. I have a Bosch dishwasher and it had been smelling since I bought it. I thought it was the best but don’t like the odor.

  13. My dishwasher has been doing this also since day 1! Tried everything under the sun. I always pre wash dishes. The smell is like there is something dead in the pipes! Paid top dollar and this is what we get! There should be a class action law suit against this company if they refuse to do anything about it! If people don’t believe this I would like to show proof. Is anyone up to a law suit if this can’t be remedied! This is unacceptable. We’re not talking about a mild smell here. It is atrocious. My dishwasher is a few years old and nothing has helped! Bosch… I suggest recalling them. Do the right thing.

    1. I agree! Tired of the horrendous smell. We even scrub the dishes before they go in the dishwasher. We have only had this dishwasher 2 months but it smelled the first time we used it. Bosch needs to step up and fix this problem.

  14. We are running into the exact same problem. Our dishwasher has been emitting a terrible odor – like a dead animal crawled inside it. We always pre-wash the dishes, and we have tried all of the cleaning suggestions listed here. We have had 2 different plumbers and 2 different appliance repair men out, and no one has been able to determine where the odor is coming from or suggested a way it might be fixed. Please update if anyone finds a successful way to eliminate this odor. This dishwasher is less than a year old (purchased from Lowes) and it is the worst dishwasher I’ve ever owned.

  15. Our Bosch 800 series dishwasher is two weeks old. It’s always wet inside and has smelled foul since the first wash. We have checked all that has been suggested. Very disappointing. Our former GE Profile was 22 years old and never had a bad day. I only hope all of our other new Bosch 800 series appliances fare considerably better.

  16. Smell is overwhelming if the door has been closed for a while. My husband insists that it’s because we don’t rinse our dishes off enough. I don’t know how much better I can do! I might as well just hand wash them. I feel like my dishes stink even after being washed on a sterile cycle along with the auto cycle. Makes me want to throw up! Bosch can’t give me any advice or answers.

  17. We also have a newer Bosch dishwasher. It’s about a year old and it’s stunk from the beginning. Even if I run it empty, no dirty dishes at all, it stinks. I’ve tried a few cleaning methods as well to no avail. Filters are not clogged. Hose is routed properly. The smell seems to be coming from the drain although the area around it is clean. From what I can see, the water doesn’t entirely discharge. There’s always a puddle right under the screen. I’ve had other dishwashers that don’t leave residual water. If that’s the real problem, it’s a major design flaw that can’t be fixed and Bosch needs to own up to it. In the interim, I will NEVER buy a Bosch dishwasher again.

  18. We have spent the afternoon cleaning our dishwasher. Backwashing the pipes, scrubbing the filters, disassembling the racks…the dishwasher always smells and it doesnt seem to be able to even keep itself clean. There is gunk in every nook and cranny, it gets caught in the wheels of the dish racks, in the slide rails, in the rinse aid outlet. It is more work to clean our dishwasher and constantly rinse our dishes than it would be to hand wash. I am waiting for it to die so we can get a new one. Nice to read this site and realise that it is not necessarily my poor housekeeping.

  19. I am not a competitor, just a frustrated Bosch owner. I did my research and bought what I thought was the best. This smell has been happening almost from installation and I’ve had it I think almost 5 years. It just keeps getting worse. While in warranty I called Bosch and was basically told it was all in my head, they had no problem! If I could afford to replace it I would since Bosch didn’t seem willing to help. I keep dumping vinegar a dishwasher cleaner in and cross my fingers hoping I’m not making myself unwell with the dishes washed in it. Bosch should step up!

  20. I’m in total agreement with everything written here! I bought my $1,600 Bosch — one step down from their most expensive — last fall thinking it was the best on the market. It has smelled unbelievably bad since the first load! Kept thinking it was me not rinsing food off plates. It’s NOT me! My dishes are rinsed! I’ve tried wiping the inside of the door after loads but that only helps minimally. It still reeks like rotting food. This is total BS and we SHOULD unite for a class action lawsuit! The GE I replaced had zero odor problems in all the 20 years I had it. This is totally unacceptable and Bosch needs to recognize their issue and make it right!

  21. Im having the same issue with my 800 model. Its 5 months old and has made that odd smell since the first week. Whatever that odor is makes me nauseous. I have cleaned the screen and filter at the bottom and ran some cleaner through the dishwasher, that helped for a few days but its back.

  22. The thing that is really dodgy to me is, I did ALOT of research on reputable review websites(product and I don’t recall one mention of any bad odours, yet here I am after only two months with the same issue as everyone else. Someone is paying someone and it’s not us.



  24. A new Bosch Dishwasher was installed in my apartment just prior to Christmas. I have the same problem. A totally unacceptable smell, so bad I am embarrassed to open the machine when I have visitors, I cannot understand how such a smell can be generated in the couple of days between uses!. If I left the dirty dishes on the bench for that time they would not smell as bad!!!

  25. Hi,

    I’m having Bosh dishwasher for last 4 years. I have the same problem. We had called bosh service twice and they couldn’t find any reason. I had owned cheap whirlpool dishwasher in my old house and never had this rotten egg smell. My glasses and plates are so smelly most of the time. I washed filter after every wash. Tried baking soda/ vinegar every other week and dishwasher cleaner every month.tried different powder/tablets. My husband thought something todo with rinse aid. I had changed different brand of rinse aid. I’m totally frustrated with the dishwasher and bosh service. Please post if anyone finds solutions.

  26. Got a Bosch shortly after moving into our house two years ago and it stinks if we go more than a day or two without running it. When we open the door it smells like something died in our kitchen. And on top of that, the machine doesn’t even do a good job getting dishes clean!

    How do we go about filing a class action lawsuit? This problem seems to be far too common to be a fluke and Bosch seems to be completely unresponsive.

  27. We have the 46db. Installed August of 2017 and it smelled from day one. I came on the internet to find suggestions after just opening the dishwasher and gagged. I keep it clean and clean the filters regularly. Such a disappointment at over $1000. I wish I would have picked a different brand.

  28. Same here. smelled from day one. Driving me crazy. And to think I replaced a functioning dishwasher with this fancy looking one that makes my glasses and plates smell like fish water. BOSCH FIX THIS!

  29. My Bosch is not yet a year old. No smell until a couple of months ago. I always rinse dishes first, altho’ I was told by installer that it wasn’t necessary. I add vinegar to the final rinse as my water has minerals. The smell is not very nice, especially when I drink water from a glass. Everything appears clean inside the washer, and the filter is clean. There is always about one to two inches of water under the filter, but it doesn’t seem to smell when I clean it out. It is a swampy odor when I open the door.

  30. I also am very unhappy with my brand new Bosch series 800 dishwasher. I have had it for one week and only washed one load of dishes. When I opened the door after cycle ended the dishwasher had lots of water in it and dishes were wet. Also smells like dead fish! When I called the Bosch customer service number the representative told me I wasn’t using enough rinse aid. I did use rinse aid as the instruction booklet recommended. I don’t think more rinse aid will take care of an inch of water in the bottom and the door covered in water. She had no answer for the smell. Consumer Reports gave high ratings for Bosch dishwashers. I am so sorry I spent top dollar on this dishwasher. My old Kenmore still washed great after 23 years but the racks were rusting.

  31. My Bosch is 18 months old and the smell if getting worse, I buy my vinegar by the gallon, should have stuck to a old fashion disposal grind type dishwasher.

  32. I just got mine installed on July 2nd. Had a problem with bad smell, wet inside all the time from day one. I called Bosch they booked an appointment with the company who installed it. The technician said the water temperature is not hot enough ( not sure if it has anything to do with it) anyways also recommend jet dry Ultra Rinse which I didn’t find any help. Called enercare water heater company they said it is fine ( never showed up for a promised visit though). Then I called The Brick (where I bought it from) they said call Bosch as they can’t do anything about it. Called Bosch they asked to call the company who Installed to come back to check it out again. Its really frustrating how no one seems to care and help. I am just wasting my time calling here and there while I should be doing other important things in my life. I bought Bosch thinking about the quality but never imagined that I have to go though a big hassle. I wish I had bought other brand. My sister and brother have Samsung and Frigidaire for years and they still do a fantastic job.

  33. Had the dishwasher less than a year…the stench began a few weeks ago and is now at gag level. Cleaned the filter, no change. Somebody posted about water pressure being a factor and this could be…my condo water pressure is a little sketchy. I guess I won’t bother wasting time with repair since it doesn’t sound like a fixable problem.

  34. We need a class action lawsuit. The smell is likely due to TOXIC PLASTIC MATERIAL from China that the machines are made from. I bought a Bosch (Model #SHEM63W52N) through Best Buy at the end of March 2019 after seeing a Consumer Reports rating saying Bosch dishwashers are supposed to be good. It had “THE SMELL” right after the installers left the house and I opened it for the first time, before washing any dishes in it. I thought perhaps it was just the “new smell” that some things have for the first couple of days. “THE SMELL” has continued, whether I wash dishes in it or not. I always scrub the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. No matter what I do, “THE SMELL” is always there. I’ve been thinking about it, and it occurred to me that “THE SMELL” has to do with the PLASTICS they use in the construction of the machine. It smells like the kind of plastics that give off odors when they are heated. I’m thinking the kind that have poisonous substances. I found a website that addresses this. You can Google it: “Campaign to Halt the Import of Chemical-Emitting Smelly Plastic from China.” The smell from the Bosch could be something worse than just a smell. It could be lethal. Let’s get a class action lawsuit rolling. Let’s get an email list together and do it.

  35. I did tons of research before buying my Bosch. I read tons and tons of reviews from all sources. I heard of none of this smell problem until I had the problem and googled it. It is important that everyone goes to all the places collecting reviews and post. I never would have bought bosch had I read this. It doesn’t help us but at least it might help someone else.

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