Can You Use Vinegar as a Rinse Agent in a Kenmore Dishwasher?

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    Burning Plastic Smell

    • Before attempting to rid your dishwasher of an unsavory smell, check that there is not an underlying problem causing the smell. The smell of burning plastic can be due to a utensil or dish rack coming in contact with the heating element on the floor of the dishwasher. Ensure the element is free and is not touching any plastic portions of either the racks or utensils in the utensil holder.

    Vinegar Rinse

    • One effective way to rinse your Kenmore dishwasher with vinegar is to put 2 cups of white vinegar in a measuring cup and placing it on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Run the unit through one complete cycle to flush the interior of the dishwasher. This method is especially effective at removing the plastic smell present in some new Kenmore units.

    Limit Vinegar Use

    • Used too liberally or too often, vinegar rinsing can cause decay and damage to the rubber seal on the dishwasher door. Do not use vinegar in your dishwasher more than once annually, as it can also corrode the plastic coating on the dish racks and utensil holders. Check your Kenmore unit's manual for specific instructions and precautions.

    Other Methods

    • In addition to vinegar, you can use citric acid crystals in stainless steel dishwashers. These crystals are available in most hardware or home improvement stores and are tossed on the floor of the dishwasher before cycling it. The citric acid is more abrasive than vinegar and is usually not suitable for plastic dishwashers. Check your user manual to ensure citric acid washes are appropriate for your specific Kenmore unit.

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