How Do Dishwashers Work: A Complete Guide

If you have ever used a dishwasher, you must have wondered how it works. Dishwashers are an essential part of any kitchen and make our lives a lot easier. In this article, we will explore the science behind how dishwashers work and the different types of dishwashers available in the market.

Dishwashers have been around for over a century and have undergone significant improvements over the years. Today, dishwashers are more energy-efficient and come with a range of features that make them a must-have appliance in every modern kitchen.

In this article, we will explore how dishwashers work, the different types of dishwashers available in the market, the features to consider when purchasing a dishwasher, and tips for maintaining your dishwasher.

The Basics of Dishwasher Technology

Dishwashers use a combination of heat, water, and detergent to clean dishes. A dishwasher consists of a tub where the dishes are placed, a spray arm that sprays water and detergent on the dishes, and a pump that circulates water and detergent through the dishwasher.

The temperature of the water in a dishwasher is usually between 120°F and 150°F, which is much hotter than the water used when washing dishes by hand. The high temperature helps to break down grease and food particles on the dishes, leaving them clean and sparkling.

Understanding the Dishwasher Cycle

A typical dishwasher cycle consists of several stages. The first stage is the prewash cycle, where the dishwasher sprays water on the dishes to remove any loose food particles. Next, the dishwasher enters the main wash cycle, where the detergent is added, and the water is heated to a high temperature. During this stage, the spray arm sprays water and detergent on the dishes to remove any remaining food particles.

After the main wash cycle, the dishwasher enters the rinse cycle, where clean water is sprayed on the dishes to remove any remaining detergent. Finally, the dishwasher enters the dry cycle, where hot air is blown into the dishwasher to dry the dishes.

do dishwashers really clean

Types of Dishwashers

There are three main types of dishwashers available in the market: built-in dishwashers, portable dishwashers, and countertop dishwashers.

  • Built-in Dishwashers
  • Portable Dishwashers
  • Countertop Dishwashers

Built-in Dishwashers

Built-in dishwashers are designed to be permanently installed under your kitchen counter. They are available in various sizes and can hold anywhere from 12 to 16 place settings. Built-in dishwashers are the most common type of dishwasher and are available in a range of styles and colors to match your kitchen décor.

Portable Dishwashers

Portable dishwashers are ideal for people who don’t have the space to install a built-in dishwasher. They are designed to be moved around and can be connected to your kitchen faucet when in use. Portable dishwashers are available in different sizes and can hold up to 12 place settings.

Countertop Dishwashers

Countertop dishwashers are compact and are designed to sit on your countertop. They are ideal for people who have limited space in their kitchens or those who live in apartments. Countertop dishwashers can hold up to six place settings and are easy to install and use.

Dishwasher Features to Consider

When purchasing a dishwasher, there are several features you should consider to ensure you get the best value for your money. These features include:

  • Capacity
  • Noise Level
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Cleaning Power
  • Smart Features


Dishwashers come in different sizes, and the capacity is measured by the number of place settings it can hold. If you have a large family or entertain guests frequently, you should consider purchasing a dishwasher with a larger capacity.

Noise Level

Some dishwashers can be noisy, which can be distracting if you have an open-concept kitchen. Look for a dishwasher with a low noise level if this is a concern for you.

Energy Efficiency

Dishwashers with an Energy Star rating are more energy-efficient and can help you save money on your energy bills. They are also more environmentally friendly.

Cleaning Power

The cleaning power of a dishwasher depends on several factors, including the spray arm’s design, the water pressure, and the detergent used. Look for a dishwasher with a powerful spray arm and a high water pressure for optimal cleaning.

Smart Features

Some dishwashers come with smart features that allow you to control them using your smartphone or voice assistant. These features can be convenient, but they also come with a higher price tag.

How to Use a Dishwasher?

Using a dishwasher is straightforward. Simply load the dishes into the dishwasher, add detergent to the dispenser, and select the appropriate cycle. Some dishwashers come with additional options, such as a sanitize cycle or a delay start, that you can choose based on your needs.

Tips for Maintaining Your Dishwasher

To ensure your dishwasher lasts for a long time and operates efficiently, you should follow these tips:

  • Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher to prevent clogs.
  • Scrape off any excess food particles from the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
  • Regularly clean the dishwasher’s interior and exterior, including the spray arm and the filters.
  • Use a dishwasher cleaner to remove any build-up of grease and limescale.

Troubleshooting Common Dishwasher Issues

If your dishwasher is not working correctly, there are several issues you can troubleshoot before calling a professional:

  • Check the dishwasher’s power source to ensure it is plugged in and turned on.
  • Check the spray arm to ensure it is not clogged with food particles.
  • Check the filters to ensure they are clean and free of debris.

Can you put plastic dishes in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can put plastic dishes in the dishwasher, but you should ensure they are labeled as dishwasher safe.

How often should you clean your dishwasher?

You should clean your dishwasher at least once a month to ensure it operates efficiently.

Can you put pots and pans in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can put pots and pans in the dishwasher, but you should ensure they are dishwasher safe.

How long do dishwashers last?

Dishwashers can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on how well they are maintained and how frequently they are used.

Can you put silverware in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can put silverware in the dishwasher, but you should ensure they are dishwasher safe.


Dishwashers are an essential part of any modern kitchen, and understanding how they work can help you make an informed decision when purchasing one. By considering the features and maintenance tips discussed in this article, you can ensure that your dishwasher operates efficiently and lasts for a long time.

Investing in a dishwasher can save you time and effort when it comes to cleaning up after meals. By loading your dishes into the dishwasher and pressing a button, you can sit back and relax while your dishwasher takes care of the rest.

If you have any questions about how dishwashers work or are considering purchasing one for your home, consult this article for guidance.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
Spread the love

1 thought on “How Do Dishwashers Work: A Complete Guide”

Comments are closed.