dishwasher with few dishes

Is It Bad to Run a Dishwasher Half Empty?

While running a dishwasher that is half empty won’t be bad for the health of your dishwasher, there are other factors that come into play.

Today, we’re going to look at running a dishwasher half empty and why it isn’t the best idea in some cases. We’ll also discuss ways of saving money while running a dishwasher.


Is It Bad to Run a Dishwasher Half Empty?

woman putting dishes in the dishwasher

Whether running a dishwasher with half a load is bad greatly depends on the dishwasher you have.

If you have a dishwasher that has a half-load function, running it in this mode is absolutely fine. A lot of modern dishwashers do have this mode, as they are designed to be more economical.

So, you can run this mode, and your dishwasher will use less water and electricity, which will save you money.

If your dishwasher doesn’t have a half-load mode, though, you can still run it while it is half-empty.

There is more of a chance of breakages happening during the cycle as your dishes have more space to move around.

You will also be using the same amount of water and electricity as you would for a full load, so this will cost you more money over time.

Each half-empty load you run will cost the same as running a full load, so it’s better to run full loads if you can.


What Can You Do to Save Money Running a Dishwasher?

how to save money using the dishwasher

The best way to save money running a dishwasher is to always wash a full load of dishes (unless you have the half-load function we mentioned above).

If you find yourself always running your dishwasher with a half load because you run out of dishes, for example, buying some extra plates may be worth considering.

This way, you can create enough dirty dishes over a few days to create a full load and then wash them. This will save you a fair bit of money over the year.

Another good idea is to look at what modes your dishwasher has. You may find that yours has a half-load mode if it is a few years old.

Or, if it is nearly time to start looking for a new dishwasher, choosing a new one with this mode ensures that you aren’t going to spend as much on your energy bills as you currently are.


What Is the Half-Load Mode on a Dishwasher?

half load mode in dishwasher

The half-load mode on a dishwasher uses less water and energy to clean your dishes. It only releases enough water to clean the dishes in the dishwasher.

It also uses less energy to heat this water up because there is less water being used.

Some new dishwashers even have sensors that sense the quantity of dishes in the machine and then adjust the wash time, amount of energy and water used accordingly.

These are a great option if you always have varying loads of dishes, as it takes the guesswork out of it.

These dishwashers are pretty new on the market, so they aren’t the cheapest.

However, if you have the budget, a dishwasher with sensors can save you plenty on your energy bills moving forward.


In Conclusion

an open dishwasher with some dishes

Running a dishwasher that is half empty won’t harm the machine at all. However, over time, it can begin to cost you quite a lot when it comes to your energy and water bills, unless it has a half-load function.

Simply adding some new plates to your cupboard can allow you to wash a full load each time you run a cycle. And investing in a new dishwasher with a half-load function can help to save you money too.

If this dishwasher article helped you, why not check out In The Wash further. We have loads of dishwasher articles just like this. We also have lists of the best dishwasher available in the UK for all budgets right now too!