What is a Dishwasher?


A dishwasher, to put it simply, is a plumbing fixture that washes dishes and cutlery at the push of a button. Just as a washing machine is used for rinsing clothes, a dishwasher needs to be loaded with dirty dishes and switched on so the dishes can become clean.

What I like about using a dishwasher is that the time I may have spent scrubbing oil stains out of a pan, a dishwasher can do the same thing with far less effort on my part. All one has to do is load the dishwasher and run it when it is full. In the following sections, I will offer some context on how dishwashers work and other related information:

How Does a Dishwasher Work?

The main purpose of a dishwasher is to run the dishes through soap and water so that they come out clean. You only need to load the dishwasher, add the soap into the right channel and set the appropriate washing cycle. The machine will do the rest!

Once you have set all the parameters, then the machine will pull water from the connected source. But what is important about how a dishwasher cleans the dishes is that the water is set to a certain temperature. The following are some of the crucial steps while washing your utensils in the dishwasher:

Heating the Water

Once the machine pulls water into the washing area, it is heated to about 130-140ºF. Contrary to popular belief, the insides of the dishwasher will not fill up with water. If that happens, then water would start spilling out of the machine! Instead, there is a shallow tray at the bottom that fills up with water and where the water is heated.

Soap Rinse

Once the water reaches the right temperature, it is pumped into jets that spray the dishes and get any tough stains and grease out. The dishwasher also opens the soap tray at the right time so the dishes can be cleaned thoroughly. Once the dishes have been rinsed with soap and hot water, the dirty water is drained into the basin below again and out of the machine.

Final Rinse

Once the dirty water has been drained, the dishwasher will pull in more water to rinse the soap off the dishes. After this round of final rinse, the water will be drained out from the machine again.

Dry Cycle

This is an optional step in the dishwasher cycle. After all the water has been drained out from the basin, the machine will heat the air around the dishes and dry them. This is an optional step and you can also simply take the dishes out after they have been washed, and wipe them down with a clean cloth. If you are not in a hurry and want to conserve energy, you can simply skip this step and allow the dishes to dry by themselves.

Things to Keep in Mind

The following are a few things you may want to remember while using a dishwasher:

  • Do not overload the dishwasher as that will hinder the cleaning process. Leave space for the jets to spray water and clean thoroughly.
  • Use special dishwasher soap instead of regular dish soap or else the suds may overflow from the machine.
  • Use the dishwasher when the water pressure in your home is the highest, like at night.
  • Do not place plastic utensils in the bottom rack as the heating element may damage the plastic.
  • Keep the dirtiest parts of the dishes facing towards the jet spray.
  • Do not mix different metals when loading the dishwasher as the humidity will cause them to corrode. So keep metals like silver and steel separate.
  • Keep dishes that have similar shapes separate so that the jet spray has space to clean properly. Objects that are similar in shape may otherwise nest together and prevent the spray of the jet from getting in.
  • Do not pre-rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. However, do remove any large pieces of food to avoid clogging the drains.

Final Thoughts

A dishwasher is one of the best additions to any kitchen. I know the horrors of doing a pile of dishes after hosting a dinner party for friends. But with a dishwasher, you do not have to worry about any of that! Simply place the dishes in the machine and when you are winding up at the end of the night, start the dishwasher! With a good dishwasher, you never have to wake up to a sink full of dirty dishes.

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