What Is The Best Time Of Day To Run Your Dishwasher?

An appliance professional from the Home Depot explains the answer.

There has been a lot of discussion about how to load a dishwasher, how to clean a dishwasher, and why aluminum foil and dishwasher salt may be your washer's best friends. There have been articles about why you should stop rinsing dishes, some surprising things you can run through the wash, as well as what you absolutely should never, ever stick inside your beloved appliance. However, not much has been said about when to run it. Since we all have busy lives and may not have given the subject much thought, we reached out to the appliance pros at Home Depot to find out the answer.

Dishwasher owners tend to fall into two camps: Those who load up the dishwasher with the dinner dishes and run it at night and those who wait until morning so they can tuck in the breakfast dishes, too. According to Amanda Poole, Merchant at Home Depot, those in the first camp can take a little victory lap.

Woman Starts Dishwasher
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The Best Time To Run Your Dishwasher

"Running your dishwasher at night is the most energy efficient and budget friendly time of day," says Poole. That's because nighttime tends to be off-peak hours for energy companies when the cost of running the dishwasher is a little lower. Peak hours are the time when customers use the most electricity and it costs the most to produce. If you remember back to that economics class you took in college, when demand goes up, so do prices. So when more people are using electricity, the power company raises the prices. That means that running your dishwasher during peak hours is going to cost more.

To be sure this is the case in your community, Poole recommends checking with your local energy company about what they consider peak hours and then run your dishwasher during non-peak hours. The same goes for washer and dryer and any other larger appliance. If you happen to have a newer model dishwasher, running a load during off-hours can be easy. "Contemporary dishwashers with a delay-start feature allow you to program your dishwasher to run during non-peak hours," says Poole.

If you're looking for other ways to save on your electricity bill, Poole recommends, "Maximizing your dishwasher by waiting until you have a full load to run! Unless you have a Top Rack Only option on your machine, the amount of energy you use to operate the dishwasher is the same whether you do a full load or a partial load."

Yes, your mother was right, once again.

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