Opening your dishwasher and being greeted by the stench of burned plastic is one of the most unpleasant experiences you can have.
At first glance, this may be a cause for concern; fortunately, specific factors might explain this.
In this post, we will you with the steps to identify the odor’s cause, properly eradicating it. Follow these actions and recommendations on how to solve the problem. These steps could also prevent it from occurring again in the future.
How to get burnt plastic smell out of dishwasher?
If you want to strip your dishwasher of unintended odors completely, follow these steps: Make sure that your dishwasher has completed both the wash and dry cycles, then remove the object causing the plastic odor to be released. Fill the soap compartment with baking soda, and eave it to sit for the duration of the night. To expand these steps in detail, read further.
Make sure that your dishwasher has completed both the wash and dry cycles before continuing. Before you open the door and start using your dishwasher, ensure the knob is in the “off” position. Doing this will allow your dishwasher to cool down before you reach inside.
Remove the object that is causing the plastic odor to be released. Perhaps a plastic storage container, container top, or utensil is simply resting on top of the heating element, which is at the very bottom of the dishwasher basin, preventing the dishwasher from starting. If the plastic object is stuck in place, use a wooden spoon to pry it out of the way. Determine whether there are any particles of plastic residue present and remove them with a piece of paper towel.
Start by completely emptying the dishwasher and then filling the soap compartment with baking soda. Then, using the “normal” wash cycle on the dishwasher, allow the odor-fighting properties of baking soda to do their work.
After the cycle is complete, remove the dishwasher door from the cabinet. If the odor persists, fill a small bowl with baking soda and place it at the bottom of the dishwasher to absorb the odor. Close the dishwasher door and leave it to sit for the duration of the night.
If you want to avoid any setbacks, tape a warning note to the dishwasher door before anyone fills the dishwasher with dishes or runs the dishwasher while the bowl is still in place.
If the smell appears out of nowhere, you can’t seem to identify where there may be a problem with the dishwasher. Check online for a list of recalled appliances, or get in touch with the manufacturer directly. These problems often occur on relatively cheap dishwashers.
What causes a dishwasher to smell of melted plastic?
The first few weeks after purchasing a dishwasher, it is not uncommon to exude a chemical odor. On the other hand, the smell fades away after the first or second wash, and you quickly forget about it.
It’s pretty different, however, and you might be concerned if your dishwasher is malfunctioning or has gone out of commission. The reason for this is frequently straightforward: a plastic spoon, lid, or spatula has accidentally landed on the hot element below and melted.
Even if you haven’t tried unintentionally melting plastics in your dishwasher, you’d want to read the following guides because you wouldn’t want to know how long it takes to get the smell of burnt plastic out of a house.
Even though you may have correctly stacked the dishwasher and placed your plastics on the top rack, movement can cause objects to shift about during the washing cycle. They can also easily fall through the shelves and into the heating coil if they are small enough.
Typically, dishwasher-safe plastics can withstand the high temperatures of a dishwashing cycle, but they cannot withstand the direct heat of a heating element. This means that they may partially or entirely melt if exposed to high temperatures for an extended period.
Unfortunately, you will not be aware of this until you open the door – and it may be too late to prevent it from happening again by then. Aside from being a bent mess, your child’s drinking cup also smells like plastic, as do your plates and glasses.
If you’ve checked the heating coil and determined that a melted plastic cup is not the source of the problem, you’ll need to look further
Steps to get rid of the plastic smell from your dishwasher
You can take several steps to safely remove the culprit and eliminate the odor from your dishwasher. These are the steps to get that smell that’s hitting your nose.
Step 1 – Open the windows and doors.
Open the windows to ventilate the space. You want to get rid of the malodor as soon as possible, so act swiftly. After completing this step, turn off the dishwasher and detach it from the wall to let it cool down completely. And when your plates and glasses are cold enough to handle, remove them from the dishwasher and place them somewhere safe.
Step 2 – Identify the Perpetrator
The first thing you’d check to find the perpetrator is the dishwasher coil. There could be burnt plastic in there, which is the prime reason your appliance is smelling.
How do I get burnt plastic off my dishwasher coil?
Remove the damaged plastic item from the heat with a pair of heat-resistant gloves. Scrape it off the coil with a wooden spoon and toss it away if it has landed on the coil accidentally.
Even though the item may only be slightly damaged, resist the temptation to reuse it. Melted plastics can leach toxins into your food, posing a threat to the health of you and your family.
Step 3—Additional Tactics
Using a hairdryer to soften the plastic caught on the element is a simple but effective solution. Apply heat to the plastic until it becomes pliable enough to be dislodged without causing any damage to the coil. Use a kitchen brush like this kitchen scrub brush to sweep away any dust or particles on the base of the cabinet. Be diligent when cleaning because any residue will continue to smell when using the dishwasher (or clog the filter).
Step 4 – Mix in the baking soda
Place one cup of baking soda in the detergent compartment of the washer and set it for a standard wash cycle. Repeat the process with a second wash to ensure that you eliminate the scent.
Step 5 – Repeat the process once more, this time overnight
Discard the baking soda after placing it in the bottom of the dishwasher overnight. This should help to absorb any lingering scents.
Step 6 – Increase the Strength
If the burned smell was powerful and still present in the morning, repeat the instructions above using white vinegar to alleviate the problem.
It works just like the baking soda above: it sanitizes and deodorizes your dishwasher without hurting the interior. Check your owner’s manual, though, to ensure that vinegar can be used on your specific model. Some dishwasher manufacturers do not suggest the use of cleaning products that contain vinegar as a base.
How to prevent plastic smells in the future
The answer to this is pretty straightforward, don’t skip your dishwasher maintenance. This could not only keep your dishwasher clean, but it would also keep it working at its best.
This is a Dishwasher Maintenance Checklist you might want to do now and then. This would keep away not just the plastic smell but every other undesirable stink.
1. Check that the door is easy to open.
To clean the door and gasket, use a moist cloth to wipe along the edges of the door. When getting into tiny spots, an old toothbrush or other soft household brushes can be of assistance. After that, examine under the bottom of the door to see if there is any debris. If necessary, clean with a damp cloth. There could be food particles lodged in those crevices, which could produce a foul odor to emanate from your beloved dishwasher if left unattended.
Examine how well the plastic covering is holding up on the tines of the dish racks.
Repair racks with cut or damaged plastic coating as soon as possible to avoid rusting. Eliminate rust using steel wool. You might use lip-on rubber tips to cap the broken rack tines. If a repair kit is required, check with your dishwasher manufacturer to see if you can purchase one directly from the company.
2. Examine the interior for lime accumulation.
De-lime of the water supply equipment at regular intervals. Fill your empty dishwasher with a weak food acid of your choice and run it through one cycle if necessary. Please keep in mind that if your dishwasher includes a stainless-steel interior or door, you should avoid using bleach or detergents that contain chlorine.
3. Inspect the wash and rinse arms, as well as the nozzles for dirt and debris.
Check to see that all of the openings in the spinning arms are unobstructed so that water may freely flow through them. You can clean any junk out of the holes using either needle-nose pliers, a toothpick, or a thin stiff wire if jammed with debris. Take care not to scratch anything while you’re playing. Finally, use hot distilled white vinegar to scrape away any mineral deposits from the spray arm’s surface.
4. Ensure that the scrap tray is in proper working order and that it is clean.
As long as you’re careful about what you put in your dishwasher, it would help if you didn’t have to clean it very often. However, you should check it regularly and remove any particles of food or broken glass, or dishes that may have gotten inside it.
To learn more, skim through the video below and look at the tips on how to keep your dishwasher in good working order.
Related Question FAQs
I got a lot of dishwasher questions recently. Here is a list of the most common queries about dishwasher problems.
Why are soap suds leaking from my dishwasher?
Either you accidentally put something other than dishwasher detergent in your dishwasher, or you’re using 3in1 action packs. Click here to read the entire article I wrote on the subject.
What type of dishwasher detergent do you suggest?
I recommend any brand of powder or liquid. 3in1 action packs are not recommended because they can cause dishwashers to leak.
Is there any way to prevent spots on my glasses after cleaning them in the dishwasher?
It is necessary to use a rinse aid, such as Jet-dry. Most dishwashers have a rinse aid dispenser; fill it, and you won’t have to worry about it for about 40 washes.
What can I do to improve the cleanliness of my dishwasher?
To clean dishes properly, dishwasher must use hot water. Check that your hot water temperature is more significant than 130 degrees. If it takes longer than that for hot water to get to the kitchen, run hot water in the sink just before starting the dishwasher.
Dishwashers, without a doubt, save time and effort in the kitchen, but when a spatula or pacifier falls on the heating element, it can be challenging to clean, and the odor can linger for days.
However, you are not required to call a technician. With a few clever hacks, such as a hairdryer and a cup of baking soda, you can eliminate the source of the odor and ensure it never returns.