Why Do My Water Glasses Smell? (Like Wet Dog Or Eggs)

Do you notice your water glasses start to smell after quite some time even after washing? If this has ever happened to you, then it is not something to be seriously worried about.

It is common in many households and it does not pose any pressing health hazard.

However, the smell can be quite embarrassing especially if you have guests over. Water glasses smell for several reasons.

Here is why water glasses smell like wet dogs or eggs:

Water glasses start to smell bad like wet dogs or eggs for several different reasons. It can be that your detergent is causing the smell. It can also be caused by the rinsing aid that you use. It can also be caused by your dishwasher when it is not being cleaned or properly maintained.

What Causes Water Glasses To Smell Like Wet Dogs, Fish, Or Eggs?

When water glasses smell like wet dogs, fish, or eggs, it can be quite annoying. It can also be embarrassing if you have guests over.

Here are the things that cause your water glasses to smell:

Dishwashing Detergent

While the dishwashing detergent is supposed to clean your water glasses, it can actually be the cause of the smell. There are lots of liquid detergents without phosphates, and these detergents cause water glasses to smell.

Phosphates are chemicals added to detergents that make cleaning more effective.

However, the US Environmental Protection Agency required manufacturers to remove phosphate from dishwashing liquids. This is because phosphates cause algae to bloom in waterways.

Removing phosphates decreased the effectiveness of dishwashing detergents.

Over time, a cloudy film would form on your water glasses and this is where bacteria starts to build up. And when the bacteria builds up, the glasses would start to smell bad.

Drying Agents or Rinse-Aid

A lot of people use drying agents or rinse-aid when washing their water glasses and other dinnerware.

Drying agents or dishwasher rinse-aids leave a thin layer on your water glasses, and this layer helps water from tiny beads that make them easily roll off the glass.

However, bacteria can also be trapped between this layer and the glass.

And this bacteria would cause your water glasses to smell bad.

Food Residue in the Dishwasher

If you are using a dishwasher for your water glasses, one of the reasons that they start to smell bad is the food particles that get stuck in the dishwasher.

Most food particles should be washed off and drained in the dishwasher, but bigger pieces of food can get stuck since they do not break down easily.

These food particles can get stuck inside the dishwasher or on the filter, and cause dirt to build up inside. Food particles can also leave a fishy smell inside the dishwasher.

And all these factors can cause your water glasses to smell bad.

Why Do Hand-Washed Glasses Start Smelling?

Even when you are not washing your water glasses using a dishwasher, they can still start to smell.

The most common reason that hand-washed glasses start to smell bad is the same as above.

When hand-washing glasses, people tend to use the same brands of liquid detergents which do not contain phosphate.

Phosphates-free dishwashing liquids cause a cloudy film to form on the water glasses over time. Then bacteria starts to build up.

And when the bacteria builds up, the glasses would start to smell bad.

How Can You Remove The Smell From Water Glasses?

If your water glasses start to smell bad, there is no need to throw them out.

You can remove the smell in just a few quick and easy steps, using white vinegar, which is something you probably already have at home.

If you are hand-washing your glasses:

  1. Take a washbasin and line its bottom with a thick towel. Then place your water glasses on it.
  2. Pour hot water into the basin until the water glasses are completely covered. Then add two cups of white vinegar.
  3. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes until the vinegar has dissolved and the haze on the glasses has been removed. Then scrub it off with a clean kitchen sponge or dishcloth, and allow it to dry completely.

If you have a dishwasher:

  1. Pour two cups of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher.
  2. Let the dishwasher run for a couple of minutes, and then pause the cycle for 20 to 30 minutes to let the vinegar and water dissolve the haze on the water glasses.
  3. Then allow the cycle to continue as normal.

You can do these steps every now and then as a cloudy film or haze can build up on your water glasses again, causing the bad smell to return.

How Do I Stop My Glasses From Smelling In The Dishwasher?

As an additional precaution, there are a few things that you can do to prevent your water glasses from smelling in the dishwasher.

The dishwasher cleans your water glasses and other glassware so it is essential that you also keep it clean inside.

Before placing your glassware in the dishwasher, make sure to remove the food particles as much as you can. Take the big food particles and dispose of them properly so they do not get stuck in the dishwasher.

Try to do this with smaller particles as well, whenever you can.

Clean the filter occasionally. Do this by removing it from the dishwasher and cleaning it thoroughly, using a scrub brush and with soap and hot water. Make sure to check the manual of your dishwasher on how to properly remove the filter, so you do not risk damaging it.

Regular cleaning of your dishwasher also helps. Just mix water and dish soap, and use this mixture to scrub the inside of the dishwasher.

Make sure to reach all the nooks and crannies to thoroughly remove all the dirt particles. Rinse the insides of your dishwasher by running an empty cycle with the hottest temperature setting.

Do Water Glasses Smell When They Break?

If your water glasses crack, they can also smell.

The crack in the glass can trap dirt and bacteria, which will be very hard to remove. This bacteria will build up over time causing your water glasses to smell bad.

If your water glasses fall and crack, even if you can still use them, it is best to just throw them out.

This is to keep the rest of your water glasses and other glassware bacteria-free.

Should Water Glasses Smell Like Chlorine?

Sometimes water glasses can smell like chlorine. This happens when the water that you wash your glasses contains chlorine. But water glasses should not smell like chlorine.

Chlorine or bleach is a chemical that is commonly used in cleaning detergents.

Chlorine is very effective for removing bacteria in water glasses and disinfecting them, but it has a smell that can be unpleasant.

If your water glasses smell like chlorine and it is bothering you a lot, you can remove the smell by following the same steps provided above using white vinegar.

Should Water Glasses Smell Like Metal?

Some water glasses smell like metal. This happens for a few various reasons.

One reason is that some glassware may contain lead. In general, leaded glasses are not really a health risk to household members. There is a certain amount of lead that is completely safe and approved so that it can be used for glassware for dining and drinking.

However, lead is dangerous when inhaled.

So if your new water glasses smell like metal, they may contain a concerning amount of lead that is not safe for household use. It would be best to return it to the manufacturer or wherever you bought it from.

If your old water glasses start to smell like metal, it means that there is hard metal in the water that you use to wash your glasses.

  • These metals are common in tap water:
  • lead
  • cadmium
  • mercury
  • and arsenic.

This is not really harmful unless you drink the tap water itself. If you are just using this tap water to wash your glasses, then it is perfectly fine.

But if the smell bothers you too much, you can simply remove it by following the steps above.

In general, white vinegar works great for neutralizing odors.

It is not uncommon for water glasses to start smelling like wet dogs, eggs, or fish. While it means that there is bacteria build-up on your glasses, it is something that you can easily remedy and prevent in the future.


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