Can You Use Dishwasher Without Hot Water?

When we run into a problem with our geysers or water heaters, and all of our hot water supply gets cut off, the appliances like our washing machines and dishwashers get affected. And the question that gets asked often is, “Can you run a dishwasher without hot water?”

Can You Run A Dishwasher Without Hot Water?

Yes, you can use your dishwasher without a proper hot water connection. If your dishwasher has a heating element that works well, it will heat the cold water itself.

And if you have an older model whose heating element is outdated, your dishes will get clean but not as well as they would have been with hot water. A cold-water connection will not harm your dishwasher in any way.

Most dishwashers take up water close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and heat it to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The colder the water supply, the more time it will take for the dishwasher to heat it to the required temperature of 150F.

In the case of an old dishwasher whose heating element does not work that well, the water may never reach the desired temperature resulting in a less effective cleaning process.

What Is The Role Of Hot Water In Cleaning Dishes?

Hot water is substantially more effective in cleaning out grease and burnt residue from utensils when compared to cold water. Hot water also helps in sanitizing the plates by killing any germs or bacteria present on them. Dishwasher detergents also work best at 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If we use cold water in place of hot water, the detergents will not work as effectively.

Is A Cold-Water Connection Harmful To The Dishwasher?

Cold water in no shape or form causes harm to the dishwasher. The only downside of using a cold-water connection is that the time of the cleaning cycle will increase because the dishwasher will take some time for heating the water before beginning the cleaning process.

Why Is It Recommended To Connect The Cishwasher With Hot Water Connection Even A Heating Element Inside?


Newer models of dishwashers can work pretty well with a cold-water connection because their advanced built-in heating elements are very efficient. Still, the recommendation is to connect these newer models with a hot water connection to save electricity.

Your geyser or water heater works 24/7, which results in excess warm water most of the time. Connecting this hot water to your dishwasher can help you in lessening your electricity bill. If the water supplied to the dishwasher is already hot, a dishwasher will not consume a lot of electricity to heat it to the desired temperature of 150 degrees.

Some older models of dishwashers contain outdated technology when it comes to their heating elements. These dishwashers can stop working if the water supplied to them is very cold. Since their heating elements do not work well, the wash cycle time increases indefinitely, and this causes them to stop the wash cycle altogether.

Can You Add Hot Water Manually To The Dishwasher?

Many people wonder if they can warm up water in the microwave oven or on the stovetop and add it manually to the dishwasher. The answer would be No; you should not try to add hot water manually to your dishwasher because your machine may get damaged.

Dishwashers change water 5-6 times during the whole wash cycle. The door of the dishwasher remains locked until the wash cycle is fully complete. If you forcefully try to pry it open to add the water inside, you can cause some serious damage to its locking system.

Some people have tried this method with their old dishwashers, and it works well for them, but since it can cause some serious damage to your machine, manually adding water is not recommended.

Dishwashers that come without a thermostat have an option for the consumers to add water manually during the wash cycle. If you have a dishwasher belonging to this category, read the instruction manual for understanding the proper mechanism of adding water manually. You will also have to be very careful about the temperature of the water because if the water is too hot, it can harm your dishwasher.

What Will Happen If Dishwasher Uses Cold Water During The Whole Wash Cycle?

If you have connected your dishwasher to a cold-water connection and its heating element does not work very well, it will use cold water for the whole wash cycle, and the dishes will not get as clean as they would have been with a hot water connection.  

Hot water is considered far superior when it comes to removing greasy and burnt food particles from utensils. But this statement does not entail that washing the utensils with cold water is ineffectual.

Cold-water can clean the dishes, but the results will not be as good as with hot water. If you are having some issues with your hot water connection, just use the cold-water connection for your dishwasher till all the issues get resolved.

Will Overuse Of The Built-in Heating Element By Dishwasher Impact Your Electricity Bill?

man stunned to see Electricity Bill

Yes, if your dishwasher does not have a hot water connection and relies solely on its heating element to warm up water for the whole wash cycle. It will consume a lot of power which increases your electricity bill. The colder the water, the more time and power will be required to heat it. A dishwasher uses up to 2-3 gallons of water per cycle which is a large quantity for the dishwasher to heat every single time, especially if the water is freezingly cold.

If you want to avoid these added costs, do not connect ice-cold water to your dishwasher. If possible, supply your dishwasher with lukewarm water, which will decrease the heating time of the water significantly, and as a result, your electricity will remain within bounds.

Final Verdict

Hot water is far superior to cold water when it comes down to cleaning dirty dishes, but if due to any number of reasons you are unable to supply hot water to your dishwasher, cold water can be an alternative. Coldwater causes no harm to your dishwasher or your dishes; it is simply less effective for the cleaning process.

The dish-washing detergents also work best when combined with hot water, as cold water decreases the efficacy of these detergents.