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How Long Should A Dishwasher Last?

It is important to know this so that you can budget accordingly for repairs and replacements. Your dishwasher may last longer or shorter than the expected lifespan for the particular model.

Dishwashers do a lot of dirty work, and over time they pay the price. Constant exposure to water can lead to corrosion and the buildup of acidic food scraps. The fact that most owners don't know much about dishwasher maintenance can hasten the dishwasher's demise. There are many others, and some are within your control, so look at how you're using and caring for your dishwasher.

How long should a dishwasher last?

A dishwasher has a life expectancy of 10 years on average. Most dishwashers will last between 8 and 15 years before they finally break. With a good maintenance routine and careful use, your dishwasher's chances of reaching that sixteenth-year skyrocket. Buying a new dishwasher yourself means you are guaranteed to get the full lifespan out of it. You also have full control over its use, allowing you to more easily predict how long it will last.

Factors that influence the lifespan of your dishwasher:

Frequency of use - In the average home, the dishwasher is cycled five times per week. Those who use their appliance less frequently are likely to need fewer repairs and get more years out of their dishwasher.

Quality - If you invested in a high-quality dishwasher from a trusted manufacturer, it may last longer than a model that doesn’t have top-of-the-line parts. Plus, you’re likely to experience fewer problems like loud dishwasher noises and inefficient water use.

Maintenance – Periodic maintenance, including cleaning, can help your dishwasher last longer than one that has been relatively neglected. We provide some maintenance tips for you below!

Repairs – The professionals you choose to repair your dishwasher make a difference. If you hire a repair technician who isn’t trained and experienced, or who uses aftermarket parts instead of OEM, your dishwasher might break again sooner than you expect.

Tips to help your dishwasher live long:

1. Scrape the plate—but don’t rinse it.

Most dishwashers don’t require a pre-rinse, but be sure to scrape off bones, toothpicks, and other solid items before loading your dishes. These hard bits can clog the drain hose, tear the filter, or damage the pump.

2. Give the filter a hand.

If you find food stuck on the filter of your dishwasher, you'll have to clean it manually. It's fine to use soft sponges and warm soapy water for stubborn food bits, but abrasive brushes or steel wool can damage the filter. Rinse the filter under running water until it's free of debris. If you find any holes, replace the filter immediately to prevent seeds or bits of bone from slipping through and into the pump.

3. Degunk the door seal.

Dishwasher doors and tubs can become clogged, smelly, and difficult to clean, so experts suggest cleaning them with a rag and white vinegar. Avoid using bleach-based wipes, harsh chemicals, scouring pads, and anything abrasive on a stainless door and tub. Buildup can cause odors, lead to mold growth, and potentially keep the door from sealing properly.

4. Remove hard-water residue.

If you live in an area with hard water, the inside of your dishwasher is likely to develop mineral films and discoloration. Use a citric-acid-based dishwasher cleaner, such as Affresh or Finish, to remove the deposits monthly. Bosch's Tarrant suggests using a regeneration salt in the water-softening system of the dishwasher to help prevent spotting and clouding.

5. Inspect the spray arms.

If you see food debris clogging a spray nozzle, gingerly try to remove it with a toothpick or pipe cleaner. Unscrew the center wash arm from the bottom of the top rack using a Phillips head screwdriver. If you need to remove the spray arms to clean them, the bottom one should lift off its base with a gentle tug.

6. Rustproof the racks.

If the plastic coating wears off, repair it as soon as possible with vinyl paint or replacement tine tips. Otherwise, the racks could corrode and allow small shards of rusty metal to enter the pump, says Chris Zeisler, technical service supervisor at Imagine the pump is the heart of the dishwasher and rust flakes are like plaque buildup, threatening the system with an inevitable clot and full-system shutdown.

7. Don’t overload it.

Cramming too much into one load will restrict the water spray patterns and prevent proper cleaning. You’ll have to rewash your dishes, running the machine unnecessarily, which whittles away the life span of the machine. “Mechanical parts wear out the more they are used,” says CR’s Ciufo. “You don’t want to run partial loads either, for the same reason.”

8. Dishes only.

You might find videos online that suggest you use the dishwasher to clean car parts. Car parts are greasy, and the dishwashers aren't made to handle this kind of grease. The biggest problem I see is people washing candlestick holders. The wax embedded into the crevices ends up destroying the components of your dishwasher.

A home warranty with dishwasher coverage can come in handy. Most repair people charge a flat fee for walking in the door, then charge per hour for labor in addition to charges for parts. A home warranty from one of the best home warranty companies can help extend the life of your appliances.

A home warranty involves paying an annual premium to cover whole-house systems, kitchen and laundry appliances, or a combination of the two. You'll be charged a flat, predetermined service fee for each claim you make, usually between $55 and $150. With service calls for a dishwasher repair averaging between $160 and $300, a home warranty can come close to paying for itself with a single call.

Food, grease, detergent, and water residue build up throughout the dishwasher. It can also damage the filter, resulting in expensive repairs or new appliances. Follow our dishwasher cleaning schedule to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Daily dishwasher maintenance helps prevent any long-term issues with the appliance. You can take small steps daily, weekly, and monthly that will make your cleaning schedule easy.