Tineco Dirty Water Tank Stinks [Solved!]

Are you fed up with your Tineco dirty water tank releasing a nasty odor every time you use it? 

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Don’t worry, you’re not alone 🙂  

This is a common issue that many Tineco vacuum owners face and is the result of bacteria growing in the dirty water tank.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

  • The main causes of a stinky Tineco dirty water tank
  • Troubleshooting steps to fix the issue and remove bad odors
  • Preventative measures to avoid the problem from happening again in the future

Why Tineco Dirty Water Tank Stinks

Your Tineco dirty water tank will emit a bad smell due to growth of bacteria in the tank. Bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments, and the dirty water tank of your vacuum is the perfect breeding ground for them. The accumulation of debris in a dirty water tank that has not been emptied can also be the cause of the unpleasant odor. If not emptied and disinfected regularly, the DWT will start to produce a foul smell.

How to Clean a Tineco Dirty Water Tank That Stinks

The dirty water tank of your Tineco machine should be cleaned after each use by simply rinsing the tank, the filter and the floater with cold water and using the 3 in 1 cleaning tool.

Rinsing a Tineco DWT

However, to get rid of a persistent smell, you will have to do a little more than that!

Here’s what you can do:

1. Cleaning With a Warm Water and Vinegar Mix

Almost every household has white vinegar at hand. Plus, it is really cheap to buy and the first option I’d go for to save money:

  1. Detach the dirty water tank from your Tineco and empty its content in the sink
  2. Rinse the tank with warm water to remove any visible dirt and debris
  3. Fill the tank with a mix of warm water and white vinegar 
  4. Let the solution sit for about 20-30 minutes to allow it to kill any bacteria
  5. Rinse the dirty water tank again to get rid of the vinegar
  6. Rinse the filter under running cold water using the 3 in 1 cleaning tool
  7. Rinse the floater under running cold water using the 3 in 1 cleaning tool
  8. Let the filter and floater dry completely 
  9. Thoroughly dry the tank before reattaching it to the vacuum

2. Using Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide

If white vinegar did not help, you can try food grade hydrogen peroxide.

The beauty of this product is that you can use it to clean pretty much anything, so the bottle you purchase won’t go to waste 🙂

Here is a bottle of food grade hydrogen peroxide you can get from Amazon:

Since it is food grade, you can rest assured that it is safe to use even if you are cleaning your vacuum around kids and pets.

The above product is:

  • Free of toxic stabilizers found in brown bottle peroxide
  • Perfect for cleaning everything:  body, household, food, pets, and plants

To clean the DWT with hydrogen peroxide:

  1. Fill up ¾ of the dirty water tank with warm water
  2. Add enough Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide to fill the remaining gap
  3. Let the solution sit for 20 to 30 minutes
  4. Rinse the dirty water tank
  5. Dry it thoroughly before re-attaching it to your Tineco vacuum

How to Prevent a Stinky Tineco Dirty Water Tank

You can prevent a stinky Tineco dirty water tank by simply cleaning the dirty water tank, filter, and floater after each use. Make sure you let everything dry up before re-installing them to the machine!

Tineco also recommends you do the same with the brush roll and brush roll cover.

In addition, you should make sure to store your machine in a room where the temperature ranges between 39.2°F(4 ℃) ~ 104°F( 40 ℃).

Here is a video showing how to properly maintain a Tineco vacuum:

Tineco Dirty Water Tank Replacement

If the dirty water tank has been left dirty for too long, chances are the bacteria build-up is so high that the smell will persist even after cleaning the tank using both methods above.

If that is the case, you can easily get a Tineco dirty water tank replacement at a reasonable price on Tineco’s official website:

Dirty water tank replacements on Tineco's website

You could also get a DWT replacement from Amazon, but bear in mind that these are not original Tineco ones and are more expensive!

Click here to see Tineco compatible DWT on Amazon


Bacteria growth and debris build-up can really affect your Tineco machine to the point you may need to replace the DWT!

Make sure you regularly empty, clean, and dry your machine to prevent the issue in the future.

Don’t forget to store the vacuum in a dry and well-ventilated area!

All this will help you keep your Tineco vacuum performing at its best and ensure a fresh-smelling and clean home 🙂 


  • Kevin L. Morris

    Hey there, I’m Kevin, from Colorado! I have been passionate about repairing appliances and electronics for the past 18 years. Modern vacuum cleaners break or malfunction way too often, so I have decided to contribute to vacuupedia.net and help my online readers with anything related to vacuums repair. I can’t wait to help you get your vacuum cleaner working again!

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