See the inner workings of a dishwasher


Discover what’s going on inside your dishwasher, how long most dishwashers run and why it beats handwashing.

3 Elements Deliver a Powerful Clean

Dishwashers combine detergent, wash systems and heat to help your dishes come out clean. For a heavy-duty clean that adds steam, check out the PowerBlast® cycle by Maytag.


Dishwasher detergent dispenser


  • Detergent dispenses at the optimal time of the cycle but can also be added to the prewash dispenser.

  • Tablets and packs are generally more effective than powder, liquid or gel detergents.

  • Rinse aid is essential for dry dishes while reducing leftover spots and white residues. Find answers to your drying questions with this article on rinse aid.


Dishwasher during a rinse cycle


  • Multiple spray arms rotate as they blast water throughout the tub to remove food from dishes.

  • As food washes away, it’s either disintegrated with a chopper and/or trapped with a filter.

  • Water drains through the drain hose and into your pipes or garbage disposal.


High temperatures help to break down food and activate detergent


  • Water on certain cycles can reach up to 156°F. Warmer than you can reach when handwashing from a faucet, helping sanitize dishes better.

  • High water temperatures help break down food while dissolving and activating detergent.

  • Heated dry options use an electric coil to heat air and evaporate water off dishes.




MAYTAG TIP: Stick to dishwasher detergent

Stick to detergent in the dishwasher — it’s specially formulated to activate with the high heat and dynamic wash action of your dishwasher. Don’t use dish soap — it creates suds that help when handwashing but may leak out of the dishwasher.




How Long DIshwashers Run

A “quick wash” will run 30 to 60 minutes, a typical “normal” cycle runs about 90 to 120 minutes and a “heavy-duty” cycle can last up to four hours. Some options, like heated dry, add time so check your settings if you want a shorter wash. Your home and hot water heater temperatures can significantly alter run time. 



Today's dishwasher cycles are able to use low amounts of water, but cycles last slightly longer.  A new ENERGY STAR® certified dishwasher uses less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand and saves nearly 5,000 gallons of water a year.1

Dishwasher during a rinse cycle



More helpful dishwasher info


How to fix a clogged dishwasher

Find out what could be causing your dishwasher to clog, and learn how to tackle it head on.

Guide to dishwasher parts
Guide to Dishwasher Parts

Understand the parts that drive your dishwasher and find replacements.

Person selecting a dishwasher cycle
Best Maytag® Dishwasher for You

See what Maytag has to offer and zero in on the right dishwasher for you.




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