Your dishwasher is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. It's warm, it's dark, and there is a bevy of decaying, organic material in the form of both food particles and soap.
Therefore, you'll want to periodically scrub and disinfect your dishwasher so that it remains it clean and healthy, and so that your dishes stay that way, too.
Here's how to clean your dishwasher :
- Remove all racks from the dishwasher. Wash with dish-washing detergent and set aside to dry.
- Mix 1 part vinegar with 4 parts very hot water into a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture on the dishwasher seal and anywhere else you see discoloration, mold or mildew.
- Scrub the affected areas with a non-abrasive scrub brush.
- Replace racks in the dishwasher.
- Fill a small, dishwasher-safe bowl with white vinegar and place on the top rack.
- Without soap, run the dishwasher at the highest temperature setting available.
Then, after performing these steps, you find that your dishwasher still has an "odor", or if mold or mildew remnants remain, immediately pour 1 cup of baking soda on the floor of your dishwasher, and run the cycle a second time at the highest temperature setting available.
If your mold/mildew problem persists, you should check the dishwasher's drain line. If it's kinked, water may be unable to drain and will pool at the bottom of your dishwasher -- a mold-breeding situation.
You should also check the food trap at the base of the dishwasher for too-large-to-drain pieces of food.
A good dishwasher will last years with proper care and maintenance. Keep yours mold- and mildew-free.