I just wanted to drop off a tip I found via Pinterest.
But first some background... This past week, I noticed that my dishwasher had a really stinky smell coming from it every time I opened it. And not only that, the dishes that had been washed in it smelled like that too... even my glass ware! D: I was trying to figure out the source of the smell, and the only thing I can think of is that I didn't rinse the plates that I had put my cats' wet food on very well. I know that dishwasher detergent needs something to cling to, and usually just scrape my other plates. But the plates I put the wet cat food on usually get rinsed really well -- for the sole purpose of avoiding what happened. It was a gross, fishy smell -- one of the flavors of wet food I give them is salmon, but I also give them a little bit of pumpkin (boy kitty had some constipation issues a few weeks back) on the days that I give them wet food. But let's be real: wet cat food is stinky, regardless.
I finally got tired of the smell and scoured Pinterest for ideas on how to clean the inside of the appliance. And I came across this at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking. It's a very in-depth guide at cleaning a dishwasher yourself. A lot of the problems that arise with dishwashers is a result of not cleaning them.
The only issues I was having were the stinky smell and that the dishes weren't coming out quite as clean. My plastic containers were spotty and some came out with a gross cloudy film; and my silverware had the icky film too. I emptied the dishwasher, and put the fishy-smelling dishes back in the sink to be washed again. Then I went ahead and checked the rubber gasket where the dishwasher and door meet, the spray arms, and the cage filter. Those were all fine, so I figured the smell to be coming from the drain.
I got out my big bottle of white vinegar, and poured some in the detergent cup (and also into the rinse aid reservoir, since I also ran across a few pins in my search that said it works great as a rinse aid). I also measured out a cup and poured it into the bottom of the dishwasher itself. Then I measured another cup into a glass measuring cup and placed it securely in the top rack and then ran it on the 'heavy' cycle with the 'high temp' setting.
Guess what? NO MORE STINK! And the dishwasher looks cleaner as well. I'll reload with the fishy smelling dishes and see what happens. :) I'm looking forward to seeing if it cleans any better.
And from now on, I'm going to make sure to rinse the kitty dishes really well. xD