How Often Should You Run Your Dishwasher For Efficiency?

We try and use our appliances as less as we can to save money but appliances are made to be used regularly so sometimes we accidentally damage them.

That’s the reason why you wonder how often should you run your dishwasher?

We’ll discuss the benefits and negatives of running it more frequently. You will get the answer of often to use it per week and what will happen if you use it less or more than it’s recommended.

Do Dishwashers Need To Be Used Regularly?

In order for the dishwasher to work properly, you’ll have to use it regularly. Although that will bring fixing costs with it eventually, not running it can be just as damaging, if not worse.

You should run your dishwasher regularly to keep things running smoothly and to prevent the motor from rusting and pipe issues which will bring you costly repairs if they break. Luckily, with more frequent use there are ways to achieve cost efficiency and have fewer repairs.

Repair Tools

How Many Times A Week To Run It?

The average household in the U.S uses the dishwasher 5 times per week which is quite enough to maintain the good condition of our dishwasher. By statistical analysis, if you use it less than 5 times per week, you’re likely to need repairs less frequently.

Is It Better To Run Dishwasher Every Day?

It may be hard for some people to believe that someone has a full dishwasher each time they use it, but it’s possible and also recommended. So you should run the dishwasher every day only if you have enough dishes to place in. If your dishwasher is half-empty, it’s better to wait till the next day and run a fully loaded dishwasher.

How Much Does It Cost To Run It Every Day?
Average Cycle Time: 2 hours
Average Energy Expenditure Per Hour: 1.6 kWh
Average Water Expenditure Per Cycle: 3.5 Gallons

Average Energy Cost: $0.1042 per kWh
Average Water Cost: $0.0015 per gallon

Average Cost Per Load Of Dishes: $0.39


How Long Can I Go Without Running It?

Problems are likely to begin sooner than you might expect. After a month of not using it, you’re likely to see the first problems appear. Therefore, you should run a dishwasher at least once a week on a short cycle. If you still don’t want to run it, you can:

  • Put bleach in the machine to kill bacteria
  • Add mineral oil to it to prevent evaporation

What Will Happen If I Run A Dishwasher Not Used For Some Time?

Remember the bacteria build-up? That will all transfer to your dishes. Clean it prior to running it and you’ll have no problems or you can use an anti-bacterial detergent and it should be fine as well.

Bacteria Build-up

How To Use Dishwashers Efficiently?

Clean It Regularly – You won’t believe how much you can accomplish by cleaning your dishwasher regularly. The most important components that you’ll need to clean regularly are the filter and spray arms. You should also refer your attention to cleaning the drain every once in a while. For dishwashers that tend to be left unused, we suggest cleaning them every few weeks or at least once a month.

Only Use It With A Full Load Of Dishes – It’s extremely inefficient to run a dishwasher half full. You should also learn how to load it properly because there is such a thing as overloading your dishwasher as well. You should also learn what you should never wash in the dishwasher. Here’s a rundown of that:

  • Silver, Bronze, Gold
  • Fine China
  • Big Kitchen Knives
  • Cast Iron, Tin Pans
  • Plastic That’s Not Dishwasher Safe
  • Wooden spoons, cutting boards, etc…

Fully Loaded Dishwasher

Don’t Pre-Rinse – Most of today’s dishwashers are made to adjust their cleaning power to how dirty the dishes are. By pre-rinsing, you’re letting your dishwasher think the dishes aren’t that dirty which will make it clean less efficiently. Besides, pre-rinsing wastes 1-2 gallons of water a minute.

Air Dry Your Dishes – Today’s dishwashers have the option of drying your dishes with a designated function. You can skip that altogether once the cycle is done, open the door and let them air dry.

Use It During Off-Peak Hours – The price of electricity is dependent on supply and demand. The more people use electricity during certain times of the day, the more expensive the electricity is going to be. Off-peak hours stand for those hours in the day when people use their appliances the least. That’s when you should wash your dishes to save money on electricity.

To Wrap It Up

You’re likely to have to fix or clean your dishwasher more if you don’t run it frequently. To save on repairs, it’s suggested to use it at least 5 times a week. Another tip we have is that you only run it only when it’s fully loaded to save water and energy.

As an English major student at the time, Petra was stuck at home with online classes when the lockdown started. Soon enough, Petra discovered a passion for cooking and making pastries to pass the time. She started small with some experimenting and trying out new techniques inspired by French, Italian, and Asian cuisine. Since then, she has become a full-blown “little chef”, making dinner parties for her friends and expanding her knowledge with cooking classes.