Wet dishes on dishwasher rack

Do Dishwashers Use Hot Water?

Conquering the dishes after mealtime is an important part of keeping your household running smoothly, and a dishwasher is a simple way to get the job done. Although you’re probably familiar with the fact that dishwashers use hot water to clean your dishes thoroughly and conveniently, you may not know where that hot water comes from or how it gets to your dishwasher. Read on to learn more about dishwasher water temperatures and how hot water helps to get your dishes clean.

Maytag® stainless steel dishwasher in white cabinetry Maytag® stainless steel dishwasher in white cabinetry

Does a dishwasher heat the water?

Most modern dishwashers heat water with their own heating element. This enables the appliance to achieve the correct temperatures for different cycles and options. The most common connection for a dishwasher is a water supply of 120℉ and a 120V/15 amp electrical outlet.

Do dishwashers need a hot water supply?

Dishwashers are connected to your home’s hot water connection. Your dishwasher likely also has a heating element that is usually located at the base of the tub. The heating element can heat the water to an even hotter temperature than the water from your faucet. Learn what to do if your dishwasher is not getting water.

Person placing dirty dishes on dishwasher rack Person placing dirty dishes on dishwasher rack

How hot do dishwashers get?

The water should be about 120℉ when it enters the dishwasher. Your dishwasher’s heating element can then heat the water over 155℉. Due to the high temperatures of the water, certain items should not be placed in the dishwasher.

How long does it take for dishwasher water to get hot?

It typically takes a dishwasher about one minute to heat the water inside the appliance one degree. It typically takes a dishwasher about one minute to heat the water inside the appliance one degree. Most dishwashers will heat the main wash phase of the cycle to between 120-145℉ and heat it again in the final rinse to 140-155℉.

How much hot water does a dishwasher use?

Standard ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers use an average of 3-5 gallons of hot water per commonly used cycle. Some very powerful dishwasher cycles may use up to 9 gallons of water. Compact dishwashers that are ENERGY STAR certified use an average of 2.7 gallons per cycle. Learn more about the cycles and settings on your dishwasher.

Person pressing start on dishwasher Person pressing start on dishwasher

Can you run a dishwasher with cold water?

Dishwashers can run with cold water, but it is not advised. Cold water will not wash dishes properly and could leave behind food and soap residue. The dishwasher will attempt to compensate for the cold water and achieve good wash and dry performance, but the cycle times may be very long.

Water should be 120°F as it enters the dishwasher to achieve the best results. Hot water dissolves and activates the dishwasher detergent. Hot water also helps dissolve grease on dishes and glasses dry without spots.

Should you run hot water before starting the dishwasher?

In order to minimize cycle time, you can run the hot water faucet at the sink closest to your dishwasher until the water is hot. Having hot water enter the dishwasher right when the cycle begins can eliminate the need for long heating pauses.

Ideally, water should be 120℉ when it enters the dishwasher. If the dishwasher water temperature is too hot it can make some food residue harder to remove and cause certain detergent ingredients to not work.

If your dishwasher water is not getting hot, you may want to troubleshoot it, potentially replace or repair the heating element, with a genuine Maytag® replacement part, or schedule service to get it back in working order.

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