How Often Should You Run Your Dishwasher?

Your dishwasher saves you the time and hassle of having to handwash your dishes.

However, you may find yourself running the machine often, other times not so much. You’re bound to ask what is the best practice to ensure the durability of your machine.

You should ensure that you run the machine weekly. It will keep the seals of the motor in good working condition. There is no set maximum number of times to run the dishwasher.

However, the dishwasher should be fully loaded before every run. Households use a different quantity of dishes at a time, the time it takes to obtain a full load is therefore varied.

It’s not always possible to obtain a full load in a day. Know that it is okay to leave the dishes in the washer. Invest in several dishes to give you the luxury of having a few dirty ones.

To prevent the buildup of bacteria and foul smell, you can clear off any food particles on the plates.

If a week goes by and you still don’t have a full load, run the machine with at least three-quarter loading.

Is it Wrong to Run Your Dishwasher Every Day?

It’s perfectly okay to run the dishwasher every day so long as there’s a full load. Sometimes, you might find yourself switching it on more than once a day.

Aside from keeping to the full load rule, ascertain that the dishwasher is not overloaded. Do not stuff many dishes in an attempt to reduce the number of washes.

You’ll end up spending more time, water, and energy. This is because the dishes will not come out as clean as required.

Water and detergent will not effectively circulate. You’ll also encourage breakage due to overcrowding.

When loading, ensure that you place the cutlery on the right dishwasher rack.

The top rack should accommodate glasses, cups, and plastics. Bowls, plates, and larger dishes should be placed on the bottom rack.

For the silverware, locate the dishwasher basket with handles and load them there. If there’s no provision, you can easily buy one and fit it in.

Make sure to mix up the silverware to prevent nesting.

When running your dishwasher often, ensure that you use different cycles as opposed to sticking to one.

Allowing the machine to work in different settings optimizes its performance. For example, you can start with a rinse before proceeding to a normal cycle.

What is The Best Time to Run Your Dishwasher?

You’ve probably not bothered to find out the best time to run your dishwasher. So, why should you pay attention to this? 

Energy companies have set up different billing rates for different times of the day. They are classified as off and on-peak hours.

You may pay a higher rate if you’re running your dishwasher during peak hours.

To get an idea of the billing rates, contact your provider and get firsthand information. This will give you data for your specific location.

When you have established the off-peak hours, practice running the dishwasher then.

Depending on where you are, the off-peak hour may be a time you’re unavailable or even asleep.

To work around this, check your dishwasher settings. Most have the option to delay the start time and allow the machine to run later.

Disclaimer: It’s not recommended to leave your appliances running when you’re asleep. There’s a possibility of short-circuiting which may lead to a fire outbreak. You may opt to wake up early instead to enjoy the benefits of running your dishwasher at off-peak hours.

What Happens If You Don’t Use Your Dishwasher?

There are two scenarios when it comes to not using a dishwasher. The dishwasher has never been in use or you stopped using it after a certain period.

The two situations have different outcomes.

If the dishwashing machine has never been used, chances are nothing will happen to it. There won’t be any damage to the parts.

This is common in houses that are fitted with dishwashers and the occupants don’t feel the need of using them.

They may also have another dishwasher that they prefer to use. Remember, there are several tabletop dishwashers available.

If the dishwasher has been in use and you stop using it, several outcomes are possible depending on the duration it is left idle.

If unused for only a few months, there’s not much damage. However, inspect the dishwasher parts before you switch it on.

Also, add some water before starting it up again. Having not used the dishwasher, the water initially present evaporates, leaving the seals and motor prone to damage.

Adding water brings the dishwasher to life, prevents any leakages, and ensures the motor is in great shape.

Most noteworthy, if you’re not going to run the machine at least once a week, top up the water frequently. To prevent evaporation, add mineral oil to the water.

On the other hand, if the dishwashing machine is left idle for years- there’s a risk of great damage.

So, what exactly happens to dishwashers over time?

  • The plumbing system fails where it backs up and the tubes crack due to drying out.
  • The motor seizes up once the grease dries up.
  • Seals and gaskets in the dishwasher also dry out and get damaged.
  • There might be bacteria build-up which may cause the dishwasher to mold up and smell.

If you’re aware that your dishwasher will remain unused for a certain period, there are steps you can take to prevent damage.

First, try to run the machine at least once a month to keep the parts engaged. However, if no one will be around to run the dishwasher, undertake the following;

  • Remove sections of the machine that are prone to damage such as the filter. Before storing them, ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned and dried.
  • Leave the dishwasher door slightly open to allow air circulation.
  • Manually drain it out if you’re unsure of the temperatures.
  • Ensure that there’s no material build-up and all sections are clean
  • Shut off the water supply and disconnect the dishwasher to prevent leakages

open dishwasher

Tips to Utilize your Dishwasher or Dishwasher Space if Not in Use

If you have no use for a dishwasher, there are few ways to still utilize it depending on the type.

Firstly, if it’s a tabletop portable dishwasher, sell it. There’s no point in keeping it lying idle.

For a built-in dishwasher, utilize it as a drying rack after hand washing your dishes. This saves you storage space and improves the aesthetic conditions of your kitchen.

For those that can be removed, the better option is to sell and convert the space.

It’s recommended to consult a professional before attempting to remove a built-in dishwasher.

Their engagement will ensure that the machine comes out intact and will continue to function normally.

With the space left behind, you can set up storage shelves to give you more room.


The number of times you run your dishwasher is determined by the quantity of your dirty dishes.

However, it’s recommended to run the dishwashing machine at least once a week to keep the seals and motor operating smoothly.

You can run your dishwasher more than once a day as long as the load is full. Also, ensure that it’s not overloaded for optimal performance.

Not running your dishwasher frequently may affect its operation depending on its condition and duration.

If you prefer not to use the dishwashing machine, you can utilize it as a drying rack, sell it or replace it for additional storage space.


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