How Long Do Dishwashers Run – The Kitchen Furniture

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How Long Do Dishwashers Run

Washing your dishes by hand can take a ton of time, especially if you’ve got a large family, which is why many homes are equipped with a dishwasher to minimize the stress of having to wash up after a meal. 

However, once the door closes on your dishwasher it can be difficult to work out what truly happens inside and how long your dishwasher runs for on each cycle. 

So if you’re curious and have a few questions surrounding your dishwasher, or maybe you’re interested in buying a new dishwashing unit, then you’ll want to stick around to find out how long do dishwashers run for. 

On average, dishwashers will run from 1 to 4 hours depending on what kind of cycle you put them on.

They normally have a quick cycle which is for a light load or a heavy cycle which is for a dishwasher that’s full of dirty dishes. H

owever, the run time can vary from brand to brand and what may be considered a quick wash for one brand may be a lot longer for another. 

Dishwasher Run Times

As we said, the average run time for a dishwasher is between 1 to 4 hours with older dishwashers often being the ones that have the longest-running times as they need longer to get the dishes as clean as a new unit would.

However, that is not to say that newer dishwashers will always have a shorter running time because they won’t.

New dishwashers are more energy-efficient and use less water to abide by water regulations rules in the area, which means they can also take a long time to get your dishes clean. 

Some new dishwashers are equipped with sensors that can assess how dirty your dishes are and then determine what cycle it needs to be on to get them properly cleaned.

Sometimes when the dishwasher is new or when it’s malfunctioning the sensors might not work properly and the dishwasher may run longer than is needed to. 

If you’re concerned about how long your new dishwasher is running for the first time you use it, don’t open it up as you’ll mess with the sensor's calibrations, let it work itself out, and then it should work appropriately the next time you come to use it. 

If your dishes have been rinsed before placing in the dishwasher but still seems to run for longer than average, then this may be due to limescale buildup inside the unit so make sure to always use dishwasher tablets and clean out your dishwasher every month.

Quick/Express Wash

Some dishwashers will have an express wash setting which will run for about 1 hour at a high temperature and pressure to get your dishes as clean in as minimal a time as possible.

You’ll need to rinse your dishes and pans off by hand before placing them in and you should make sure any hardened food is removed from surfaces as the dishwasher may not be able to remove them on its own. 

Light Cycle

A light cycle is for delicate glassware and crockery that needs to be cleaned at a lower temperature or pressure.

This is a good one if you’re hosting a drinks party and you don’t want to end up washing all your glassware by hand at the end of the night.

Regular Cycle

A regular cycle is for your everyday plates and cutlery and runs for around 2 hours depending on your brand of dishwasher. 

Heavy Cycle

The heavy cycle is when you’ve got a dishwasher that’s full of dirty plates, pots, pans, and cutlery with some stubborn food that’s hardened on the surfaces.

A Heavy cycle normally runs for 3-4 hours to be able to get everything thoroughly cleaned. With this kind of cycle, you will not need to rinse the items off before placing them into the dishwasher. 

Can I Open My Dishwasher In The Middle Of The Cycle?

Yes, it’s safe to open up your dishwasher in the middle of the cycle, however, we would recommend you unlatching the door and then wait a few moments until you can hear that the sprinkles inside have stopped before you fully open the door to the dishwasher, otherwise you could cause a small flood in your kitchen.

Some dishwashers may only require you to close the door again to return to its cycle, whereas others may require you to press the start button again to return to the cycle.

How Often Should You Run The Dishwasher?

How often you should run your dishwasher will depend on your household with some homes putting the dishwasher on every evening after meal time so they have clean cutlery and plates for the next day.

However, smaller households or those who don’t use many dishes may only find the need to run the dishwasher every couple of days once it becomes full.

You should aim to run your dishwasher at least every 2 days if you have dishes inside as leaving them unattended can cause unwanted smells in your kitchen. 

If your dishwasher is not half full or full then you should not run it and instead choose to wash the dishes by hand or wait until you have more dishes to make it worth the time and money of running it. 

When Is The Best Time To Run My Dishwasher?

The best time to run your dishwasher is at night time as this is considered as non-peak time and will be the cheapest time to use it, although this may vary depending on the energy company you use and your local area. 

Running your dishwasher overnight will allow you to have clean dishes in the morning and the noises won’t distract you during the day as you’ll be fast asleep. 

So if you are looking to save on your bills, then we’d highly recommend running your dishwasher at non-peak times throughout the day. 

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