Dishwasher Lifespan, Savings and Return on Investment

small compact dishwasher

Your dishwasher is one of the most helpful tools you can have in your kitchen. Washing dishes by hand is a chore that no one wants to do. When you place a dish in your dishwasher, you can be thankful you don’t have to.

Today, we are going to learn about the lifespan of a dishwasher and how you can make yours last longer with proper maintenance.

What About Return On Investment and Savings?

Even if your dishwasher is energy star rated, it doesn’t mean that it is highly efficient. Older energy star dishwashers require 5 gallons of water per load and 0.64 kWh per load or 18.4 cents in operating costs.

Newer energy star models only require 3.2 gallons of water and 0.38 kWh or $0.38 with a total operation cost of 15.8 cents per load. If you wash one load of dishes each day, your yearly operating cost for an older energy star model would be $67.16. A new model would cost much less at $57.67.

Now let’s take a look at much older models. A dishwasher that was manufactured before the year 1995 uses 10 gallons of water and 1.27 kWh per load. This brings the total operating cost per load to 24.7 cents and a yearly cost of $90.15. Installing a new energy star dishwasher in your kitchen will save you a total of $32.48 per year.

The cost of a new dishwasher is around $400. In a little over 10 years, your new dishwasher will pay for itself. Since a dishwasher can last up to 20 years, you will have a return on your investment halfway through the total lifespan of your washer.

small compact dishwasher

How Long Does A Dishwasher Last?

According to Consumer Reports, a dishwasher typically last for 20 years. However, that number can be reduced greatly by the way you treat your dishwasher. In order to get the most out of your dishwasher, you need to take care of it. Proper maintenance will extend the life of your dishwasher.

Technology Is Always Evolving

In the past, dishwashers used a ton of water and they would put a strain on your electric bill. The dishwasher has been around since 1850 and over time a lot of changes have been made.

Flash forward to 2020, dishwashers have tons of features that make them highly efficient. These features also make dishwashing much easier and quicker. For example, most new dishwashers sold today come with a pre-wash feature that helps make dishes come out much cleaner.


Electricity and Water Use

Older dishwashers can use up to 16 gallons of water each time you use them. Dishwashers that are modern often use only 7.5 gallons of water. That is a huge difference when it comes to water usage.

When it comes to electricity, an aging dishwasher can add a lot of extra cost to your electric bill. Luckily, newer models use between 1200 and 2400 watts. The average dishwasher uses around 1800 watts. This makes them very efficient and more affordable to operate.

Is It Worth It To Upgrade Your Dishwasher?

There are several reasons why you may want to upgrade your dishwasher. Below are a few signs that your unit has seen better days and may need to be replaced.

Its Age

If your dishwasher is more than 10 years old, it may not be as efficient as it could be. Older dishwashers were made with technology that is obsolete. These models use more electricity and water which can run your power bill up.

You Notice Its Rusting

When you put a dish in your dishwasher and notice that it is starting to rust inside, you should replace it. If a dishwasher is rusting, chances are it will begin to leak. This could lead to water damage which no one wants!

The Door Doesn’t Lock Anymore

If your dishwasher doesn’t lock anymore, it is definitely time to get a new one. You may be able to get away with running it without locking the door but that could be dangerous. Not only could it flood the floor, but it could also cause injuries.

Your Dishes Aren’t Clean

Do you notice your dishes are still dirty after they have been in the dishwasher? If so, you may need to buy a new one. Over time dishwashers start to break down and they stop cleaning properly.

You Notice Water On The Floor

Have you noticed water on the floor while your dishwasher is running? This could be a sign that you need to shop for a new one. As we mentioned above, dishwashers can rust and begin leaking.

Tips For Buying A New Dishwasher

Are you in the market for a new dishwasher? Maybe you are tired of washing dishes by hand? If so, then you might want to go out and look for a new one. Below you will find some tips that can help make that process go much smoother!

Make Sure It Is The Right Size

Many people don’t know that dishwashers can come in several different sizes. Before heading out to the store to buy a new one, make sure to measure your old one. This will ensure that your new dishwasher will fit.

Water and Energy Efficient

While most modern dishwashers are water and energy-efficient, some are better than others. When you are comparing models, try to find one that is the most efficient. Having a highly efficient dishwasher is better for the environment and it will save you money over time.

Rack Options

All dishwashers are designed differently. Some come with large racks that can accommodate big pots and other large dishes. If you do a lot of cooking at home, you may want to find a model that comes with plenty of rack space.


Some people are big on features while others want a basic dishwasher that can get the job done. If you love to have all the bells and whistles, you should get a dishwasher that comes with a pre-wash feature and one that has a pots and pans set. If you are just looking for the basics, you can save money by getting a dishwasher that comes with only a few features. The choice is really up to you!


When you are replacing your dishwasher, you probably need to find one that matches the rest of your appliances. For example, if you have a stainless steel refrigerator and stove, it might look odd if you buy a dishwasher with a white finish.

Get One With A Filter

Most modern dishwashers come with a built-in filter that helps prevent the drain line from clogging up. However, some may not. While shopping online or at the store, make sure to ask if the dishwasher you choose has a filter. If not, you may want to select another one.

Portable or Installed

Last but not least, you will have the option of buying a dishwasher that is either portable or one that you can install under your countertops. Portable dishwashers are very useful because they can be placed anywhere you have a drain. But they can also be a pain to store and will often get in the way when they are not in use. Installed dishwashers fit nicely under your countertop and blend into your kitchen.


Ultimately your budget will determine which dishwasher you purchase. Dishwasher range in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Depending on your budget and personal needs, you should be able to find one that works for you. Even a dishwasher that costs $400 can do a great job of cleaning any dish you want to wash. Remember to shop around and find one that fits your needs.

Dishwasher Care

A dishwasher is a big investment so making it last longer is something most people want to do. Below are some helpful tips that will make your dishwasher last for many years to come. Make sure you pay close attention to this information.

Scrape Your Plates

Before placing a dish in the dishwasher, you should remove any food that may be stuck to it. This will keep your dishwasher from clogging up and it will last much longer.

Clean The Filter

Most modern dishwashers come with a filter. Many people don’t even realize they need to clean this filter at least a few times a year. When you clean the filter, it will allow your dishwasher to drain properly. It will also help your dishwasher run more efficiently. Remember, the harder your dishwasher has to work, the shorter its lifespan will be.

Repair Damage Racks

If the racks inside your dishwasher become cracked they can begin to rust. At the first sign of a crack, repair it by coating it with vinyl paint. This will prevent rusting.

Avoid Overloading It

It can be very tempting to pack your dishwasher full before you start it. You may save money on dish soap but you just might be limiting its lifespan. So avoid overloading it whenever possible.

Only Wash Dishes

Your dishwasher was made to wash dishes and nothing else. There are a lot of life-hacks out there that tell you that you use your dishwasher to wash car parts and other odd items. The truth is this will severely limit the life of your dishwasher.

Keep An Eye On The Spray Arms

Over time the spray arms inside of your dishwasher may become clogged. This can make the water pump work harder to get the job done. So keep an eye on them and clean them with a toothpick or pipe cleaner.

Clean The Door Seal

The next time you place a dish in the dishwasher, take a look at the door seal. If it is filled with gunk, you should clean it. The door seal is an important part of your dishwasher and it prevents it from leaking.

Now that you know more about your dishwasher, you can decide whether it is time for an upgrade. While technology is always evolving, as long as your dishwasher is efficient and running properly, you might want to keep it around a little longer. Remember that proper maintenance can help your dishwasher last much longer.