How Long Does A Dishwasher Cycle Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 90 minutes to 4 Hours

A Dishwasher is an electronic machine used to clean the utensils and cutleries, as it saves up time and energy which is used in washing the dishes by hand.

A typical dishwasher reduces manual labor by cleaning the dishes with hot water, rather than a person scrubbing the utensils for hours. The average temperature of the water it uses varies between 45 to 75 degrees Celsius. However, for more delicate dishes, a lower temperature is used.

The most popular use of dishwashers is in hotels and restaurants for mainly the reason that there is a need to clean many utensils at once, and manual labor cannot provide it in the speed and efficiency a machine can.

How Long Does A Dishwasher Cycle Last

How Long Does A Dishwasher Cycle Last?

A Dishwasher cycle mainly depends upon the kind of cycle you choose and the type of machine that is being used. There are mainly three cycles in a dishwasher, namely, the light cycle, the normal cycle, and the heavy cycle.

The light cycle is used to clean delicate items like glassware and fine cutlery. This is also called, “China Cycle.” A normal cycle is used to clean usual or everyday plates and utensils. A normal cycle is also known as “express wash” or “Quick wash” and even in some machines as “1 hour wash.” Whereas a heavy cycle is used for the utensils which need a rather intense cleaning. This mainly includes large pots and pans used for cooking.

As the different utensils need different cleaning cycles, the temperature of water in all three cycles varies, according to the need of the utensils being cleaned. While the light cycle takes the water at about 45-to-65-degree Celsius, the light cycle takes about 40 degrees Celsius as to not harm the delicate utensils. Further, the heavy cycle takes water at about 70 degrees Celsius but can vary from machine to machine.

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The dishwasher mainly sprays the utensils with water, mixed with soap, and rinses them to get cleaned.

The normal cycle can be finished at around 1 to 1 ½ hour, while the light cycle takes around 2 ½ hours. The heavy cycle, however, takes a full 4 hours to get done.

Type Of CycleTime Taken
Normal 1 to 1 1/2 Hours
Light2 1/2 Hours
Heavy4 Hours

Why Does A Dishwasher Cycle Last from 1 1/2 To 4 Hours?

Rather than the hassle of washing the dishes by hand, where you get the soap everywhere and have to move the dishes from one place to the other, a dishwasher makes the deal easier for everyone, by getting the dirty dishes inside and giving out fresh and clean dishes.

A dishwasher mainly works by spraying hot water mixed with soap onto the dishes from different directions as they get cleaned and then dries them inside the machine only. The dishes are placed upon plastic baskets, and a cycle is chosen which fits the kind of utensils being put into the machine.

Then as it is closed, a cycle begins to get cold water to fill the machine, and then it gets heated up to the temperature needed to clean the dishes, as the machine is filled with water sprayed around, it is important to note that at no point during the cleaning cycle, you can open the machine!

The water is sprayed strongly from the bottom of the machine to the top, so it is better to put the dirty utensils facing downwards at the side which is to be cleaned.

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The dishwashers need detergent, solid or liquid, to get the dishes clean along with water. Hence, the person needs to load the detergent in the dispenser part of the machine.

As the dishwasher takes up the cold water and heats it up according to the dishes, and then sprays them clean, it is only sensible that it takes around 1 ½ to 4 hours to clean.


A Dishwasher is the machine invented by a woman named Josephine Cochran, in the year 1887. It makes the work much easier by having the dishes be automatically cleaned and saves up time and manual labor. The machine takes around 1 ½ to 4 hours to clean the utensils, based on the type of cycle being used and the type of machine. The cycle depends upon the dishes that are to be cleaned as different dishes have different cleaning techniques.

The cycles are of three kinds, normal, light, and heavy. The dishwasher takes so much time as it has to load up water in the machine and heat it up to the temperature necessary for the cycle and dishes. It works by spraying the dishes clean with water mixed with soap, and then rinses and dries them at last, giving out fresh and clean dishes to use.  



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. This article provides a comprehensive and detailed explanation of how a dishwasher works and how long each cycle lasts. Very informative!

    1. I appreciate the historical context about the invention of the dishwasher. It adds depth to the article.

  2. I found the breakdown of the different cycle times and temperatures to be particularly informative. This article has expanded my knowledge on dishwashers.

    1. The detailed information in this article makes it a standout piece. Kudos to the author for such thorough research.

    2. I’m glad to see others appreciate the depth of insights provided in this article. It’s truly enlightening.

  3. The attention to detail in this article is commendable. A truly enlightening read that adds depth to our understanding of dishwashers.

  4. I found the explanation of the reasoning behind the different cycle durations to be particularly insightful. Great article!

  5. The way this article delves into the science behind dishwasher cycles is truly impressive. Well worth the read.

    1. The scientific explanations were quite enlightening. Kudos to the author for creating such an insightful piece.

  6. I never knew the different types of cycles in a dishwasher. This article has given me a better understanding of how dishwashers work.

  7. The historical background and comprehensive explanations make this article a must-read for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of dishwashers.

  8. The breakdown of the different types of cycles and their respective durations is incredibly useful. Well done!

    1. I couldn’t agree more. It’s refreshing to come across such detailed and enlightening content.

  9. The information provided in this article is invaluable for anyone who wants to understand their dishwasher better. Highly recommended read.

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