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I'm not sure if this is a biology or chemistry question since I don't know the cause of it (though I think it is bacteria or fungal related). I'm just wondering what creates that awful odor when a container (fresh from the dish washer) gets closed before it has dried completely.

Also, if the answer is related to bacteria and/or fungus, then why does the odor not occur if the container is left open to dry? Why does air flow and level of dryness change this? And, more importantly, what is the bacteria or fungus doing that is creating the odor?

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it could be an organism that thrives in water which is why the odour disappears when it is closed up after drying. Also are you sure that the smell from the previously stored item has completely vanished? That could be an issue sometimes. The cleaning has also got to be thorough. There could be many organisms/ mold that could cause bad smell so I think the question is a bit broad. –  The Last Word Jun 11 at 4:26

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