Does dishwasher kill bacteria?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “does dishwasher kill bacteria?” and other queries related to the topic.

Does dishwasher kill bacteria? 

Yes, the dishwashing machine helps in disinfecting dishes and killing some bacteria. However, even on a washed and clean surface, there will always be a small number of bacteria left on the surface.

The boiling water interacts with the enzymes present in the soap making an effective way to kill bacteria and germs.

Dishwashers are a great way to remove dirt, food waste, and germs from cutleries’ surfaces thus making them safe for use. Luckily once the food is removed, the absence of moisture and food waste on the surface and cutleries, the germs and bacteria proliferation can be prevented.

How to know that a dishwasher gets hot enough? 

Once detergents are dissolved and activated along with removing food waste and grease we can ensure that the water temperature is high enough to provide clean cutleries and dishes. During dishwashing, the temperature of the water can reach 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), any dishwasher having a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit and below is considered as not very proper for cleaning food waste and too cold to ensure the needed temperature of water for effective cleaning of the cutleries, dishes, and pans.

In case you notice that your dishes don’t come out clean from the dishwasher machine or the detergents are not fully dissolved, you can assume that the water in it is cold or doesn’t get hot enough to remove waste properly.

Is dishwasher better than hand-washing? 

Yes, using a dishwasher machine can prevent all these problems that hand-washing can cause and it’s more hygienic since it doesn’t need a sponge or a towel to get clean and dry cutleries and dishes. Also, dishwashers can use incredibly hot water to get the job done and get rid of some germs.

For handwashing, we usually use a sponge to get rid of grease and food waste. Sponges, since they are porous and moist, are a perfect environment for bacteria and germs to proliferate and grow. Replace your sponge regularly to prevent germs from spreading.

Also, hands can not support and withstand the high temperature of the water which is about 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once we finish the washing procedure, a towel is needed to dry the utensils and the dishes. A wet towel can also carry germs and bacteria since it will be an appropriate place to proliferate.

Adding that some dishwasher products contain ingredients that make our dishes and cutleries sparkle.

Does the dishwasher sanitize dishes?

Yes, it sanitizes dishes somehow. To sanitize dishes, first, you have to wash your dishes, remove the dirt from their surface using soap which is eventually done by a dishwasher machine and then soak them in a disinfectant solution to kill bacteria.

There is a difference between “cleaning”, “disinfecting” and “sanitizing”, click here to see the definition of each term.

Dishwashers have a disinfection cycle when they warm water through an electrical heating element and kill the germs to acceptable ranges to ensure safe cooking, so this step guarantees clean and sanitized dishes. Moreover, leaving the dishes in the machine doesn’t mean they have been sterilized because this procedure requires professional equipment.

Does dishwashing Liquid Kill Germs and Viruses?

No, dishwashing liquid or dish soap doesn’t kill bacteria but it pulls them away from the surface so they can be easily washed off by water, however dishwashing liquids are very effective against most viruses. Washing dishes with hot boiling water alone is not enough to eradicate strong viruses and germs such as Covid-19. 

Regarding how soaps act on the germs and viruses, dishwashing liquid helps in forming a lather forms pockets (micelles) that trap and remove germs, these micelles allow the removal of it from the surface.

Some dishwashing liquids contain a substance called “triclosan” which is an antibiotic that stops the spread of a wide range of bacteria. Also, dishwasher detergents should contain some chlorine bleach as one of their ingredients.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does dishwasher kill bacteria?” and other queries related to the topic.


Does A Dishwasher Get Hot Enough To Kill Bacteria? (dishwasher

Does dishwashing Liquid Kill Germs and Viruses? – Home Lift Up

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