Asked on Feb 23, 2012

Why do dishwashers take so long to wash?

Bernice H
by Bernice H
I am really serious about asking this. Why do they have to take so long? I believe they use less water than hand washing, or so I have been told, but it is so annoying to have it work an hour or more, when with hand washing you can put dishes away shortly after washing. When a dwasher takes so long, one is finished cleaning up the kitchen, getting out of the kitchen, then LATER having to unload...which I hate anyway!!
I am just curious..not gonna kick my dwasher out of the
house, but good gravy...why can't they be washed in say, 15-20 minutes, especially if you have the kind that heats water hot? I have a quick rinse cycle on my kenmore, 10 - 12 years old, will that do the job?
And I use the air dry too.
Just asking!
  21 answers
  • Aneesah C Aneesah C on Feb 23, 2012
    I was recently thinking the same. I chose eco wash and it still takes an hour.

  • 3po3 3po3 on Feb 23, 2012
    I have heard that in an effort to use less energy and less water, the newer machines actually take longer because they have smaller pumps and smaller sprayers, so it just takes longer to "do their thing." Still, i agree that it seems excessive.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 24, 2012
    I just installed a pair in the last few days. One of them a New but used GE for one of my clients rentals had a cycle range from 4 min for the "quick rinse" to 99 minutes for the heavy "pots and pans" cycle. The "normal" cycle was 88 minutes. I have a pretty decent LG in my home and we often set it up after dinner and then run it then or set the delay to have it run in the middle of the night...if we turn in late and delay the start its still very warm inside it when we wake opening the door just a bit the excess moisture will evaporate quickly. On most days however we just quicky unload it while we wait for the espresso machine to warm up...

  • Charlene S Charlene S on Feb 24, 2012
    I run my dishwasher at night..after 9:00 ( supposedly you use less electricity at the time of day), then unload it in the morning. I live alone so it takes about three days to fill the dishwasher to begin with. I don't miss any of the dishes, etc. that are in there, so the wait isn't a problem for me. If there "is" something in the dishwasher I need, I just hand wash it to use, then put it back in the dishwasher. My daughter has been dishwasher hunting for about three months and the new ones aren't any faster, so letting them dry over night might be an option for you too.

  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Feb 24, 2012
    It could wash quicker, however the energy penalty for clean dishes faster is much higher. A Bosch dishwasher can operate at less than $20/ year in electrical costs.

  • Its all about energy savings. The pumps and unit itself use less power, the water temp must be brought up to proper operating temps if your hot water supply is not high enough, the longer they run the better they clean, and the list goes on.

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 24, 2012
    Well, bummer I say!

  • Harold M Harold M on Feb 25, 2012
    Good question Bernice. I've wondered the same thing. I tell my wife I could wash them by hand alot faster.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 25, 2012
    Charlene....the amount of power your machine uses is not dependent on what time of day its may be that your power company offers a tired rate structure that "discounts" power use during the night...this will result in a lower bill for you.

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 25, 2012
    Harold, I appreciate your comment. My hubs washes a few dishes, while in the meantime the dishwasher is waiting for more. Why does he do that??? He doesnt need them, we have plenty.I am not tied at the hip to my dish washer, however I do like that my cups with coffee and tea stains come out better in the dw. Now my clothes washer and vacuum are things I would take to survivor island! How did people ever do without them? Tho I know they usually did not have as many clothes, and many had maids to wash them and beat the rugs! I can imagine being without them, not fun!

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 25, 2012
    By the way Harold...DO you? hahaha

  • 3po3 3po3 on Feb 25, 2012
    To expand on KMS' comments, you can indirectly save electricity and reduce coal usage by running a dishwasher and other appliances after 9 p.m. This is because most of our power companies build large coal-powered plants that are generally oversized and inefficient just to handle capacity at peak power times. Generally, those are the hottest days of the year, and the late afternoon hours when we all get home from work and turn on the AC and lights and everything else. You can help reduce that peak demand load by running the appliances later, even if your power company isn't offering tiered rates. They should be able to build smaller plants and/or switch to more renewable sources. Sorry, that was probably way too much barely relevant detail for this thread, but hopefully it was of interest to somebody.

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 25, 2012
    I can appreciate those who try to do something efficient with dwashers and electricity,...but I just mean , time wise, whyyy ..except for pumps etc?Seems like someone could come up with a better dwasher...same for lawn mowers that are soo loud! Do these things have to be so necessarily annoying?

  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Feb 25, 2012
    To be honest- as a guy- I never noticed that it took longer since I would unload the next day. I like to build, not clean.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 26, 2012
    They only lawn mower I've used in the last 25 years was a reel push mower...pretty quiet...and contributes no green house gases

  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Feb 27, 2012
    Great point @KMS, grass ironically can have a carbon footprint given the amount energy needed to ,maintain it. You get points under the LEED for Homes guidelines for putting in plants other than grass that do not need water or petroleum to maintain.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Feb 29, 2012
    What I have learned is a dishwasher is not a good washer. It probably kills a lot of bad things with its heat in the later operations but that is all it does. I only use mine after manually cleaning the dishes. No, I do not have a cheap and/or old dishwasher.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 01, 2012 your basically washing your dishes twice? My dishwasher will clean just about any thing without pre-rinsing or washing...the one thing we find it does not do to well in cleaning a spoon that has be used to scoop out an now I will rinse or lick these clean first.

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Mar 01, 2012
    @KMS.hahahah ...go for it! But you expressed my thought exactly.Actually my dw cleans better than my hubs.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Mar 01, 2012
    KMS, you are a bad boy. Yes, I wash them twice. Is your dishwasher special or are you being KMS and kidding me. You know I am right.

  • Nick Nick on Jan 15, 2020

    Just installed a brand new Frigidaire dishwasher. PSH!!! First of all, I always used to see people washing their dishes before they put them in the dishwasher. Now I’ve watched my wife do the same thing. This thing has been running for an hour and a half!!! I don’t get it!!!!!!! I could have cleaned the dishes before she was done cleaning up the kitchen table!!! What a waste!!! I mean, what’s going on in there!? Spray some hot water, use the soap, rinse them off!!! I just don’t get it!!!!

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 16, 2020

      Yes nick...years later after this initial post..I still get annoyed with the dw..I hate having to empty it in the morning..if I can get the kitchen cleaned up in 20 minutes including washing dishes,why can’t the dw clean the dishes in 20 minutes.

      I don’t usually prewash except for chunks.or dried egg....Now I am using the hour wash..but I still hate having to Go back and empty the darn thing at a later time...and...more dishes usually have accumulated by then.

      so we rarely use it.mostly for company..or maybe once a week or so to keep it moving. 😜

      thanks for checking in!👋