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How Long Does a Dishwasher Run?

by Spencers TV & Appliance

Unloading a Dishwasher

At a Glance:

Why Dishwashers Run Longer Than Expected

Potential Problems That Can Affect Your Dishwasher

Top 3 Dishwasher Recommendations for Your Home

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Trust Spencers Appliance?

The average dishwasher takes around two hours to clean your dishes. Depending on the model you choose, a standard cycle might be closer to two and a half hours from start to finish. Knowing this can help you time your chores so your dishes are clean by the time you need to use them.

However, having an answer to how long does a dishwasher run can also help you troubleshoot issues when they arise. You can determine if your dishwasher is taking longer and identify why. This knowledge can also help you select from a variety of cycles – some of which might be faster or more energy efficient.

Learn more about the inner workings of your dishwasher so you can maximize its performance and get clean dishes every time.

Explore Our Dishwasher Selection

If you're not satisfied with your current dishwasher, it may be time to upgrade. Check out the latest models with modern technology to make after-dinner cleanup a breeze.

Dishwasher Options

Why Dishwashers Run Longer Than Expected

Getting an answer to how long does a dishwasher run is fairly easy. You can look at your user manual and learn about the different cycles. However, you might want to dig deeper to learn why dishwashers take multiple hours to run. Here are a few factors that can affect run times.

  • Cycle options: Different cycles will have different lengths. Look for faster cycles if you are in a hurry or opt for a lighter (and often shorter) cycle if you need to clean delicate glassware.
  • Energy efficiency: Many Energy Star dishwasher models use about four gallons of water per wash. Modern brands use different water-saving techniques to use less water while still maintaining the cleaning levels you expect.
  • Appliance age: Newer appliances are often designed with speed in mind. They might run faster and have shorter cycles because of new technological developments. If you have an older dishwasher, it might take longer.
  • Model type: more advanced dishwashers and luxury appliances often have more features. This includes different cycle durations.  

If speed is a big factor in the dishwasher you choose, ask about the cycle lengths of various models you are interested in. This can help you choose an appliance that is fast but effective.

Potential Problems That Can Affect Your Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is running for longer than it should or if your dishes aren’t completely clean when the cycle is done, there might be issues preventing your appliance from performing at its best. Not only is this frustrating for homeowners but it also indicates that a dishwasher is starting to wear out. Here are a few issues to look out for.

  • Clogs or obstructions: issues with filtration or drainage can slow the cleaning process because your dishwasher will take longer to remove the dirty water before cleaning and drying your cookware.
  • Buildup around the sensors: mineral buildup can block your sensors or make them pick up on grime that isn’t there. This could cause your dishwasher to lengthen its cycles to remove the grime.
  • Incorrect settings: sometimes issues arise with homeowners who don’t know how to set their dishwasher. Read your owner’s manual to make sure you are choosing the best options to balance power with time and energy usage.

Many dishwasher issues can be fixed with basic care and cleaning. In most cases, you won’t need to call a repair professional and can improve your dishwasher’s performance just by cleaning the filter or using the right settings. 

Top 3 Dishwasher Recommendations for Your Home

Answering how long does a dishwasher run on average can help you explore different models and research their various cycle lengths. Know that the length of the cycle doesn’t always correlate to energy efficiency. Some dishwashers use less water by recycling it or by using specialized jets. Here are three options if you want to add an energy-efficient dishwasher to your home that gives you the performance you need.

Frigidaire Gallery® 24" Smudge-Proof® Stainless Steel Built-In Dishwasher

Model# FGIP2479SF

Frigidaire Gallery Built In Dishwasher

Frigidaire Gallery Built In Dishwasher

This dishwasher is a wonderful option if you are ready to upgrade your old appliance with a modern one. A significant part of the cycle is dedicated to the EvenDry™ technology that removes water from your dishes. You won’t have to dry off plates or cups before you return them to your cabinets.

If you are in a hurry, use the 30-minute Quick Clean cycle. This is ideal for dishes that are lightly soiled when you need them cleaned in a hurry. Even if you opt for a longer cycle, know that your dishwasher won’t waste water. This model with a stainless steel tub uses 15% less water over the course of a year than Frigidaire’s plastic tub models.

See what other buyers have to say about this appliance by reading online reviews. One person says, “I needed to replace my old, poorly functioning dishwasher (different brand) and this was the model we bought. I am so impressed with how well it cleans, how well it dries, and how quiet it is in much shorter wash cycle times than my old dishwasher. I absolutely love it!”

KitchenAid® 24" Stainless Steel with Printshield Built-In Dishwasher

Model# KDTE204KPS

Kitchenaid Built In Dishwasher

Kitchenaid Built In Dishwasher

KitchenAid produces multiple high-quality dishwasher models that are known for their durability and energy efficiency. This model is one of the quietest in its class. It continues to remove grime from your dishes without loud churning, grinding, or draining.

Turn on the ProWash™ cycle which can read the soil levels through the use of sensors in the drum. The dishwasher will then adjust its settings based on your needs. How long does a dishwasher run? It depends on what you’re washing and how dirty it is. You can also opt for the extended heat dry option to thoroughly dry your dishes and make handling them easier.

You can read in-depth guides about this dishwasher or skim through customer reviews to see what other buyers have to say. One person writes, “Washes better than the 20-year-old KitchenAid it replaced. Love the top rack for cutlery and we don't even need the basket – this makes a whole bunch more room for large dishes on the bottom rack. It is so quiet, we can barely hear it running.”

LG 24" PrintProof™ Stainless Steel Built-In Dishwasher

Model# LDFN4542S

LG Built In Dishwasher

LG Built In Dishwasher

Rounding out the list of energy-efficient dishwasher models is this unit by LG. It is known for its QuadWash® system that approaches grime from multiple angles. If you are in a hurry, turn on the express cycle, which can clean your dishes in 33 minutes. 

More than 90% of buyers would recommend this dishwasher to others. One customer writes, “We love the room that this dishwasher provides. The third drawer is a must for anyone thinking of purchasing a dishwasher. But more importantly to choose the reliability of LG. We've used this brand for years and never had a problem.”


Why is my dishwasher running so long?

Most dishwashers take at least two hours to complete their normal cycles, so your dishwasher might be performing at its standard pace. To save water, a lot of dishwashers use hot cleaning temperatures and gentler sprays, so your dishes are soaked and the food gets sloughed off of them. To speed up your dishwasher, look for shorter cycles that might be better for smaller loads.

How does a dishwasher run on a normal cycle?

A standard cycle for a quality dishwasher is around two hours. This covers the amount of time it takes to heat the water, clean your dishes with detergent, wash them clean, and dry them. If you suspect that your dishwasher is running longer than it should, you can time the cycle manually to make sure the length is accurate and compare your results to the use manual.

What is a normal dishwasher cycle?

A normal dishwasher cycle uses hot water and jets to remove food and grime from your dishes. The food particles will be drained away and your dishes will be rinsed clean once again. The dishwasher will also dry your dishes. This whole process should take around two hours. You can explore other cycles that are gentler or more intense depending on what dishes you need to wash.

Why Trust Spencers TV & Appliance?

Since 1973, Spencers TV & Appliance has grown to 11 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction has always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.

Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencers and see what you’re missing!

Shop Dishwashers at Spencers

At Spencers TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop dishwashers online today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you find the perfect dishwasher. Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!