What Does Auto or Sensor Wash Mean on a Dishwasher?

What Does Auto or Sensor Wash Mean on a Dishwasher?

If you’re like me and you’re quite new to the modern dishwasher scene, you might be confused by all the different programs your new companion has. One program, in particular, stands out for me, the ‘Sensor wash’, or ‘Auto wash,’ as you might call it.

I’ve tried this setting with a couple of different loads, and my dishes have come out in excellent condition and I’m very impressed with this new feature.

But for those of you who aren’t sure what ‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor wash’ is, here’s what it means on a dishwasher:

A ‘Sensor’ or ‘Auto wash’ setting detects how dirty the dishes in your dishwasher are.

In response to this, the dishwasher selects an appropriate cycle duration, sets the water temperature, and determines the amount of water needed to clean these dishes correctly.

Each time you pop a new load in the sensors change the settings on the dishwasher so that the cycle is in keeping with the load inside.

Auto or Sensor Wash Detects How Dirty Dishes Are

The ‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor wash’ is good because the dishwasher is able to adjust itself to whatever it has inside it. So, if you put a load of greasy plates in the machine, it knows that it needs to perform a high-intensity wash to thoroughly clean the dirt off.

On the other hand, if you only have some mucky plates in the machine, the dishwasher will set itself to perform a shorter and less intense cycle.

Let’s take a look at why you should choose this program over more traditional dishwasher programs.

Why Choose an ‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor Wash’ Over Other Programs?

Easy to use

The ‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor wash’ is great because the sensor judges your dishes when they are placed in the machine, and it decides exactly what it needs to do to get them all clean and dried.

Which means that you, the user, don’t really need to fiddle with the buttons and read the handbook to decide what’s what. You can just click the button, add in your cleaning products, and off you go.

No need to choose the settings yourself

The ‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor wash’ setting is also good for people who aren’t sure what cycle to choose in order to get the best cleaning results. It can be quite stressful choosing the right settings, but if you use the ‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor wash’ option, you’ll have a hassle-free wash. 

auto-sensor wash saves time and money

Saves time

The ‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor wash’ setting is handy to use because it can save you a lot of time.  Think about it, if the machine is deciding how long a cycle should be, there’s no risk of you choosing a wrong and long cycle.

So, if you need your dishes washed quickly, and they aren’t too dirty to begin with, the dishwasher will know that a short cycle is all that needs to be done. That’s a lot of weight off your shoulders.

Saves money

Choosing this setting can also save you money in the long run too. A fair amount of money is wasted around the home because we choose the wrong settings on various appliances.

A dishwasher that is able to set itself up correctly, by using an internal sensor, limits the amount of money wasted because it’s running appropriate cycles, and it’s using the right amount of water too. 


When Should You Use This Program?

There’s no reason why you can’t use this program every day if you want to. I find it quite useful myself.

It’s very easy to use, and the dishwasher does all the hard work for you while you sit back and relax.

Obviously, if you want to use other settings and cycles such as half load some of the time, that’s also fine to do. You can chop and change between programs after every completed cycle.


What Dishes Can You Wash on This Program?

You can wash most dishes on the ‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor wash’ setting. The dishwasher picks an optimal cycle based on what dirty dishes you’ve popped into the dishwasher, so there shouldn’t be a problem. 


Will This Setting Work for Hard Soiled Dishes?

Yes, the internal sensor will examine the dishes, and it will decide how long a cycle needs to be to clean off the old and mucky residue. This type of cycle could take a few hours to complete.


Is a Pre-Rinse Required?

A pre-rinse is not necessarily required, because rinsing the dishes removes the dirt from them.

‘Auto’ or ‘Sensor wash’ sensors need to be able to see the dirt on your dishes to clean them accordingly. Without dirt, only a short clean will be completed, but perhaps an intense clean is actually needed.



A ‘Sensor wash’ or ‘Auto wash’ checks your dirty dishes in your dishwasher to see how dirty they are. Based on this information, the dishwasher begins an appropriate cycle that will clean these dishes.

The water temperature, volume of water, and cycle length during this cleaning process is all determined by the machine.