dishes on dishwasher overnight

Is It OK to Leave Dishes in the Dishwasher Overnight?

If you have ever left your dishes in the dishwasher overnight, you may be in some people’s bad books.

This is a big no-no in the cleaning community, but is it really such a big deal?

Are your dishes going to become dirty again? Will your dishwasher punish you for leaving dishes in it overnight?

Well, no, actually. Most people agree that it is perfectly OK to leave your dishes in your dishwasher overnight.

You can leave dirty dishes in your dishwasher overnight if you like. Or, if you’ve put on a cycle and are too tired to empty the dishwasher before retiring to bed, you can leave them for the next morning.

Just open the door of the dishwasher to air out your dishes, and it will be completely fine!

using dishwasher overnight


Should You Run Your Dishwasher Overnight?

Leaving your dishes in the dishwasher overnight, clean or dirty, is absolutely fine, but what about running the dishwasher?

Well, we don’t recommend running your dishwasher while you are sleeping. In fact, it isn’t a good idea to run your dishwasher when you aren’t there to keep an eye on it.

If the dishwasher started to malfunction, this could result in damage to your electrical circuits or even a fire.

Some people will say that running a dishwasher overnight is perfectly safe to do, but we’d recommend leaving it until the next day when you are around to act if you need to, just in case.


How Long Can a Dishwasher Sit Without Being Emptied?

dishwasher full of dishes

If you like to stack the dishwasher as you go and only run it every few days, this is a great way of ensuring that every cycle is washing a full load, and you can save quite a lot on your energy bills doing this.

However, many are concerned that leaving dirty dishes in your dishwasher can lead to mould and bacteria growth. This is certainly true, but how long can you leave your dishwasher with dishes in it?

Of course, this greatly depends on how much food is on the dishes, but in general, around four days. Whether your dishes are clean or not, you shouldn’t leave them in your dishwasher for any longer than four days.

After this, a build-up of mould or bacteria can begin to form, and this means you’ll need to clean your dishwasher very thoroughly to get rid of it.

If you set your dishwasher to run and then leave the house to go on holiday, they should be fine to use when you get back as long as you’ve only been gone a few days.

If you’ve left them for a week or longer, it might be best to wash them again just in case bacteria has developed on the surfaces.


In Conclusion

woman using dishwasher

Leaving your dishes in your dishwasher overnight, whether clean or dirty, will be absolutely fine.

It’s actually a great way of ensuring that you are washing a full load each time you use your dishwasher. Just make sure you open the door slightly before you go to bed to air it out.

This will keep any smells at bay and ensure your dishes are nice and dry when you come down in the morning to unload them.

If this dishwasher article answered a burning question in your brain, our others might too.

We have loads of dishwasher articles just like this one on In The Wash. We have the very best dishwashers available in the UK for all budgets too. So, make sure you explore In The Wash further.