How Long Do Dishwashers Last? What You Need to Know

A dishwasher is one of the most used appliances in any home. Knowing how long dishwashers typically last and what factors impact their lifespan can help you make informed choices when purchasing and maintaining your dishwasher.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Dishwasher?

Most full-size dishwashers last between 9 and 12 years. However, dishwasher lifespan depends on the quality of the model and how frequently it is used. Higher-end models generally last longer, around 12-15 years. With proper maintenance and care, some can even last up to 20 years.

On average, here is how long the major dishwasher brands last:

  • Bosch – 10-15 years
  • KitchenAid – 10-12 years
  • Maytag – 9-13 years
  • Whirlpool – 9-12 years
  • GE – 9-11 years
  • Frigidaire – 8-10 years
  • Kenmore – 8-12 years

Portable and countertop dishwashers typically have a shorter lifespan of around 5-8 years since their parts are less durable.

What Impacts How Long a Dishwasher Lasts?

Several factors contribute to a dishwasher’s longevity:

Usage Frequency

How often you use your dishwasher affects how quickly it wears out. Dishwashers that run daily can wear out in 5-7 years. Using your dishwasher 2-3 times per week makes it last 8-10 years. Occasional use of 1-2 times per week extends lifespan to 10-12 years.

Frequent cycles put more strain on the motor and internal parts. Infrequent use can lead to seals drying out. striking the right balance optimizes lifespan.

Water Hardness

Hard water leaves mineral deposits that create scale buildup inside the dishwasher. This can damage the heating element, spray arms, pump, and other internal components over time.

Using a water softener helps reduce mineral buildup and extends the dishwasher’s lifespan.

Loading Habits

Improper loading strains the dishwasher and causes uneven cleaning. Overloading restricts water and detergent circulation. Underloading wastes water and energy.

Properly loading the racks allows optimal cleaning and reduces wear and tear.


Lack of proper ventilation causes moisture to accumulate and corrode the interior parts. Proper ventilation is key for longevity.

Model Quality

Higher-end models made with sturdy materials and quality parts last longer than cheaper models with flimsier construction.

Brands like Bosch, Miele, and Asko are known for making long-lasting dishwashers. Avoid low-end brands that use plastic tubs and cheaper components.


Regular maintenance like rinsing filters, cleaning spray arms, descaling, etc. reduces buildup and damage, making dishwashers last longer. Neglected maintenance leads to premature failure.

Signs Your Dishwasher is Nearing the End of its Lifespan

Here are some signs that indicate your dishwasher is nearing the end of its lifespan:

  • Cycle time is longer, dishes aren’t getting cleaned properly
  • Dishes feel gritty or have a sticky film after washing
  • Strange noises like grinding or buzzing during the cycle
  • Leaking water from the bottom of the door
  • Rust spots inside the tub
  • Door latch or detergent dispenser fails to open/close properly
  • Controls and buttons malfunction or don’t respond

Once your dishwasher starts exhibiting persistent issues and requires frequent repairs, it’s typically better to replace it rather than sink more money into an aging appliance.

Tips to Extend Your Dishwasher’s Lifespan

Here are some tips to help maximize your dishwasher’s longevity:

Buy a High-Quality Model

Invest in a reputable brand known for reliability and durability. Avoid low-end models with cheaper construction.

Install and Position Properly

Improper installation or positioning can cause leaks and other problems. Have a professional install it properly.

Use a Water Softener if Needed

Test your water hardness and install a softener system if mineral levels are high to reduce scale buildup.

Don’t Overload the Racks

Load dishes correctly without overcrowding to allow proper washing action.

Scrape Off Food Before Loading

Don’t make your dishwasher work harder than needed. Rinse and scrape dishes before loading.

Use the Proper Detergent

Use only dishwasher-safe detergents. Fill the dispenser correctly based on soiling levels.

Run Regular Maintenance Cycles

Periodically run rinse-only or vinegar cycles to flush out deposits and clean the interior.

Clean the Filters Regularly

Remove and clean the filter monthly to maximize wash performance.

Dry Rubber Seals and Door

Wipe door seals and the tub rim after each wash to prevent moisture damage.

Replace Worn Parts

Replace worn parts like spray arms, tub seals, heating element etc. to restore performance.

Invest in a Service Contract

Consider buying a service contract to cover repairs if your model tends to need maintenance.

When Should You Replace Your Dishwasher?

Here are some general guidelines on when to replace your old dishwasher with a new one:

  • It is over 10-12 years old, depending on usage frequency. The average lifespan has been reached.
  • You’re spending more in repairs than a new dishwasher would cost.
  • Parts are no longer available for your model if it is outdated.
  • Energy efficiency improvements in new models provide cost savings on utility bills.
  • You want upgraded features like Wi-Fi connectivity, improved racks, or quieter operation.

Replacing an older dishwasher with a new Energy Star certified model can provide significant savings on water and electricity costs over time. If your current dishwasher still runs reliably and meets your needs, keep using it. But if signs of wear appear, it may be time to retire it and upgrade.

Finding the Right Replacement Dishwasher

When shopping for a new dishwasher, keep these tips in mind:

  • Look at reliability ratings and surveys to find well-made models.
  • Select the appropriate tub size and interior features for your needs.
  • Consider noise ratings if a quiet machine is important to you.
  • Look for energy-efficient models to reduce utility costs.
  • Choose options like delayed start, rinse aid indicators etc. for added convenience.
  • Pick models with short cycle times to wash loads faster if needed.
  • Compare pricing between stores and models to find the best value.
  • Read reviews of the model online to ensure satisfactory performance.

Take time to research and select the right replacement dishwasher for your household needs and budget. Investing in a quality model from a top brand will provide many years of reliable service.

FAQs About Dishwasher Lifespan

How long do portable dishwashers last?

Portable countertop dishwashers typically last 5-8 years with proper maintenance. Their lifespan is shorter than built-in full-size dishwashers.

Do Bosch dishwashers last longer than other brands?

Yes, Bosch is known for making high-quality dishwashers that last 10-15 years on average, longer than most competing brands.

How can I make my dishwasher last 15 years or more?

To maximize lifespan, buy a top-tier brand like Bosch or Miele, use a water softener if needed, run regular maintenance cycles, promptly replace worn parts, and follow all care guidelines.

Is it worth repairing an old dishwasher or buying new?

If yours is over 10 years old and needs major repairs, it is usually better to invest in a new efficient model that will last another decade rather than sink money into an obsolete appliance.

Should I replace my dishwasher before it stops working?

You can replace an aging dishwasher preemptively once it reaches 10-12 years to avoid future breakdowns. But if it still runs reliably, you can continue using it until replacement is needed.

How much does it cost to replace a dishwasher?

The cost of a new dishwasher including professional installation typically ranges between $400 – $1000 depending on the model features. High-end models cost even more.

Will a built-in dishwasher increase my home value?

Yes, upgrading to a built-in dishwasher typically increases home resale value. It is considered a desirable feature sought after by home buyers.


Knowing the typical lifespan and replacement signs for dishwashers helps you get the most value from your appliance. With some care and maintenance, a good dishwasher should provide around 10-12 years of service. Reduce costly repairs by replacing it proactively once it is nearing the end of its functional lifespan. Investing in a high-quality model and taking steps to extend its longevity are worthwhile to maximize usage before an eventual replacement is needed.