Why does my dishwasher smell so bad, if all it does is clean dishes?
Your mother-in-law offers to help you load the dishwasher, pulls the door open and—ugh, that smell. How is it possible, when there's not even anything in there? There are two reasons, says Jolie Kerr, who covers all kinds of cleaning-related queries for Deadspin and Jezebel. First, water and excess soap collect in and around the gasket; together, they create a breeding ground for mold, which feeds off of soap—and mold is what causes that mildew-y smell. Second, bits of food tend to collect in the bottom of the dishwasher over time. The fix: First, remove any food you see, and then fill the bottom of the washer with about half a gallon of white vinegar (which seems to have no bounds when it comes to amazing uses). Run the dishwasher (empty) and the smell should go away.