How Long Does A Dishwasher Run? Find Out!

Last Updated on June 7, 2022 by

You probably want to know how long it takes a dishwasher to run. Maybe you just bought a dishwasher, or you are looking forward to purchasing one and would like to know how long it takes to run. The thing is, the time a dishwasher takes to run depends on different things. Here we’ve conducted research and found answers to all your questions about how long does a dishwasher run?

It takes only 1 to 3 hours to run for most dishwashers, while some may take longer. All of these are dependent on certain conditions such as the water temperature, the dishwasher’s age, machine sensor, brand, and the level of dirtiness of the dishes. 

How Long Does A Dishwasher Run? 

The old dishwasher models are faster than the new ones, consuming less time. Though the new ones might run for a longer time, they have more advantages over the old ones. First, it needs less water to operate, and then it doesn’t consume much electricity. 

For a normal cycle, the maximum run time of a dishwasher is less than 2½ hours. The machine’s sensor actually tells us how clean the water is before telling us how many times it will rinse the dish. But sometimes, the sensor itself might be dirty, causing the dishes to rinse over and over again. 

So we’ve listed out some dishwashing cycles and how long each takes to run. 

Normal Cycle

If you are unsure about the settings you want to select, you can use the normal cycle to clean the dishes. The normal time rate to run this cycle is 2 hours, while some brands of dishwashers like LG might take up to 2 hours and 30 minutes. Though it’s quite faster than the normal time rate in some brands, it can take as little as 1 hour to 1½ hours.

Auto-Wash Cycle

Most modern dishwashers use sensors that sense the level of dirtiness of the dishes. First, it increases the water temperature and pressure, thus carrying out a different number of rinse cycles until the dishes are neat. It’s a very fast wash cycle and takes less time. 

Quick Wash Cycle 

This wash cycle involves higher pressure and temperature and runs for at least an hour or even less. You need to remove thickened food particles from the dishes before you try this cycle. Though the time cycle is not always listed in the machine, on average, it runs for one hour, and in some expensive brands, such as the Miele 8061 PG, the cycle runs for less than 15 minutes. 

Rinse-wash Cycle

The rinse cycle only takes 10 to 15 minutes but will not clean your dishes properly because you don’t use detergent for this cycle. However, it’s mainly for cleaning newly used dishes to remove small food particles. You can run this if you do not have enough dishes to run a full load, so it reduces your dish load when you want to do the heavy load.

Antibacterial Wash Cycle

This was invented to meet the NSF and world health standards. The water temperature should be raised to 130 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the removal of 99 percent of germs and bacteria. 

It’s an excellent choice for people using GE dishwashers, though it adds up to 20 minutes to the run time. Plus, it also consumes a lot of water. Whirlpool confirms that the antibacterial cycle adds up to 2½ hour extra run time, though we are not quite sure about this.

Pots And Pans/Heavy Wash Cycle 

This cycle is mainly for big dishes such as pots, pans, and plates with hard-stickened food particles. Normally, it takes up to 3 to 4 hours of runtime to clean. As such, it consumes more electricity, water, detergent, and time.

Why Does My Old Dishwasher Run Faster Than The New One? 

 If you have used the old dishwasher before, you will notice it runs faster than the new models. This is a result of technological advancement as the need to reduce the amount of water and energy the old one consumes caused the introduction of the new one, which actually consumes very little water and energy but runs for a longer time. 

You might be wondering why the run time was increased, but the thing is, it needs to run for quite a time till the sensor ascertains that the dishes have been properly cleaned. 

Best Dishwasher Options/Settings 

If you are in a hurry and need to clean your dish quickly, the quick wash cycle is the best option for you. But if you are not in haste, we suggest you choose the auto-Wash selection. 

Though not all dishwashers have these options, if your dishes contain hard-stickened food particles, you can select the pot/pan option; otherwise, you can select the normal wash option.

Can I Open My Dishwasher Mid-Cycle? 

You can do that without any issues or damage. Wait till it stops water spraying before opening. This depends on your brand of dishwasher. After closing the door, for some dishwashers, you might need to press the start button again so it can continue to run so as not to hinder the cycle or cause flooding in your kitchen.

How Often Should One Use the Dishwasher? 

It’s an everyday machine for some big families, which means it can be used as much as needed. But for an average family, you should run at least 4 times per week. And if you are the type that travels a lot due to the situation of your job. You need to run it at least once a week to keep it in good working condition, but if you are not around, you can ask a neighbor to help you run it at least once a week. 

What’s The Best Time To Run A Dishwasher?

The stress a dishwasher saves us is just too much. Imagine going back to the days of having to scrub really hard with our palms. The pain and time it saves is its advantage. But when is the best time for us to use it?

The truth is that night is the best time to run your dishwasher. The reason is this: first the electricity usage aspect and then the noise. But many will ask if operating that during the night is better than the day, disturbing the peaceful atmosphere in the neighborhood at night. The distraction caused by the noise during the day is much more significant when compared to at night as people tend to ignore such noise at night since it’s not that loud and they know it’s someone operating a dishwasher.


The average run time is between 1 and 4 hours for most dishwashers, depending on the cycle. The quick cycle is the fastest as it lasts only 15 to 30 minutes, though one will have to pre-wash first or remove stickened particles from dishes. 

The antibacterial cycle lasts up to 2 to 4 hours, depending on the brand and model; this is due to continuous rinsing to make sure it’s 99% germ or bacterial-free. While the auto wash uses the sensor to wash the dishes until it senses they’re clean automatically. Pot/pan/heavy wash is mainly used for washing big kitchen utensils such as pots, pans, kettles, e.t.c, and even dishes with hard-stickened food particles; it takes up to 2 hours of run time. 

Most of the cycles that a dishwasher can run are dependent on many things, such as the brand or model. Some brands are faster than others but much more expensive, while old models take less time but consume more power and water.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which cycle Is the fastest? 

The fast/quick wash option is the fastest as it runs with high temperature and pressure and lasts for only 15 minutes or 30 minutes in some brands. To use this, you need to pre-wash or ensure that there aren’t hardened food particles on the dish before running.

2. How Much Power Does a Dishwasher Consume?  

For the dishwasher to perform its work effectively, it needs certain power requirements. You should connect your dishwasher directly to the power lines rather than plug-in a switch. Dishwashers consume up to 2000 watts depending on the brand and model. If your supply is below this range, then your dishwasher might not be able to wash your dishes properly, thus taking more time to run.

3. What’s The Average Hot Water Degree Used For Dishwashers? 

 On average, 120 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit is okay. But this consumes lots of power. You might need to install a power hotline for it.

4. What’s the Lifespan of a Dishwasher? 

Before buying, you might have to ask the dealer or check the user guide to see how long yours will last. However, some dishwashers are said to last up to 10 to 15 years on the usage scale of 4 times a week. With heavy washing, it might not even last up to 6 years. In contrast, some may last up to 15 years before being discarded.