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What Affects A Dishwasher’s Life Expectancy

The dishwasher has become an essential part of today’s modern kitchens. Originally created in the late 1800s by Josephine Cochrane as a way to keep her fine china from getting chipped, the first models were large, basic washers. But after the turn of the century, dishwashers became more streamlined, adding drains, propellers, dish cradling systems, and many more features, including introducing detergents to replace fatty and heavy soaps. Today, there are high efficiency machines that are built to be compact, with digital readouts and one-touch operation, among more trendy features that can increase a dishwasher’s life.

Dishwasher longevity

Especially in the commercial space, dishwashers are a great way to clean plates more efficiently and in bulk, saving you time and ultimately money. Using water to wash dishes by hand in the kitchen sink can increase water bills and require more dishwashing soap. And hand washing or stacking dishes can lead to breakage or chipping, which a dishwasher can help avoid. But like most appliances, dishwashers simply don’t last forever.

How Long Does A Dishwasher Last?

The average dishwasher is believed to last an average of 9 to 10 years, but some can last up to 12 or more years if used properly and not overworked. Other factors that can affect dishwasher life expectancy include cost, quality of the appliance, company brand, and owner maintenance. Bigger, more well-known brands such as Maytag, Kenmore, Whirlpool, and LG can often last longer than other brands.


Dishwasher choice

These popular appliance brands have actually been proven to last longer, according to studies by Consumer Reports and other consumer protection agencies. Do your research before buying a dishwasher for your home or business. Especially with so many models out there in a competitive market, be sure to select one that not only fits your space and does what you need, but also is built to last. Even with a manufacturer warranty or store service plan, you don’t want a dishwasher that keeps breaking down.

Tips for Extending Your Dishwasher’s Life Expectancy

There are many ways you can extend the life of your dishwasher, but most of them are easy to maintain. It’s a matter of being good to your appliance and not overworking it, as well as keeping it clean and free of any food or debris that could harm the operation.

  • Limit the use of your dishwasher to once or twice a week if possible by running full loads instead of multiple smaller ones
  • But please be careful not to completely overload it with dishes, glasses, and utensils so it has to work extra hard to get everything inside clean
  • Don’t put dishes loaded with food residue inside the washer, which may clog the filter drain; instead, rinse off overly saucy or dirty plates, bowls, and utensils in the sink beforehand
  • Always hand wash bigger pots and pans as well as larger dishes that could potentially jam in the washer
  • When loading the top rack, never place anything too high where it could affect the normal operation
  • Never load anything that will not fit within the racks and can rattle around inside curing the cleaning cycle
  • Hand wash sharp knives that might poke through the utensil basket, or utensil tray depending on the model you own
  • Use a rinse aid to help the efficiency of the dishwasher and make the cleaning process a little smoother
  • Purchase an Energy Star rated dishwasher to reduce normal wear and tear, as well as keep utility bill costs down
  • Only load dishwasher-safe items inside the machine – anything that’s hand wash only is designated so for a reason and could cause major damage to both the item and the dishwasher
  • Always consult and follow the owner’s manual to avoid any possible issues and for troubleshooting any problems you might experience

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

One way to ensure your appliance lasts a long time is to regularly clean your dishwasher. Without consulting an expert repairman, there are some things you can do easily to keep things running well with your machine.


Cleaning the filter from debris is a vital part of making sure your dishwasher runs well. Loose food can get stuck in the filter and should be checked and cleaned out as soon as you can. Use a damp paper towel to clean out the entire interior, as well as the outside, maybe with a dab of liquid soap to knock out germs.


Dishwasher Maintenance

Cleaning the filter from debris is a vital part of making sure your dishwasher runs well. Loose food can get stuck in the filter and should be checked and cleaned out as soon as you can. Use a damp paper towel to clean out the entire interior, as well as the outside, maybe with a dab of liquid soap to knock out germs.


More routine maintenance you can perform include changing the hoses every five or six years to get in front of any regular wear. Also try running the clean-dishwasher cycle on a timed schedule, like every three months or nine dishwasher loads, for example. When you run this cycle, try a special dishwasher cleaning solution that can be found at appliance stores or grocery stores, a great way to remove any mineral deposits inside the machine.

Realizing Your Dishwasher May be Starting to Fail

Understanding when your dishwasher’s life expectancy is nearing the end can be sad. Not only for the costs that may accrue if you need repairs – or unfortunately a brand new appliance – but also because a dishwasher can save you so much time in the home or at your business. Other ways to get a hint that your dishwasher will have to be replaced soon include:

1. Rust never sleeps- If you see rust inside the dishwasher, it may mean there’s a water leak, which could be extremely costly to repair.
2. Water, water everywhere – Are your seeing water buildup inside the dishwasher, or on the floor underneath or in front of the machine? That could definitely mean a leaky pipe, or worse, a part that’s rusted through.
3. The door is (always) open – If the door doesn’t lock properly, whether it’s the lock mechanism or something else obstructing it, the dishwasher simply won’t work.
4. Cracking up – When you find cracks or scratches inside the dishwasher, it may mean the appliance is getting old beyond its years.
5. What’s that noise? – Most dishwashers are quite noisy during their cleaning cycles, but if the noises you’re hearing from your appliance are something out of a scary movie or a new age composer, it may be time to go shopping. But check the average dishwasher life expectancy of any new machine before deciding to buy!


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