Can You Run a Dishwasher Without Hot Water?

Unlike old dishwashers that you have to plug into an external heating device, modern dishwashers come with internal heaters in them. You just need to add the required amount of water, turn it on and let it do its job. If your heat supply gets broken, it might force you to use the dishwasher without hot water, resulting in less efficient cleaning.

So, the question is, can you run the dishwasher without hot water?

Cold water in a dishwasher is not bad if it’s clean enough. Coldwater will not break your dishwater. You use hot water in a dishwasher because hot water does better cleaning than cold water, especially with stiff grimes and stubborn dirt.

Why not get you through more about the dishwasher and its effects with hot and cold water. You will also find out if you can use your dishwater without hot water.

Can You Run The Dishwasher Without Hot Water?

As the dishwasher works better with hot water, can you run the dishwasher without hot water? You can run a dishwasher without hot water. Cold water doesn’t pose any threat to your dishwasher. Also, it will not get your dishwasher or dishes broken. Aside from using dishwashers, the conventional manual dishwashing with soap and sponge is mostly cold water.

Can You Run The Dishwasher Without Hot Water

All these years, it has not affected our dishes in terrible ways. So, cold water is no threat to your dishes either. Before now, manufacturers have made dishwashers with external heating elements. When those elements get bad, users don’t have a choice but to run their dishes with cold water.

Even modern dishwashers with internal heating elements get their heating elements broken. So, users have to use lukewarm waters on them. Coldwater won’t break it more than it has already broken.

Only that the hot water has a more positive effect on the dishes than the cold one. To enjoy the stress-free benefits of a dishwasher, you can get an affordable dishwasher for under 300 bucks.

What Is The Role Of Hot Water In Dishwashing?

Circumstances can make you use cold water for your dishwasher. It could also be a matter of choice to hook up your dishwasher to cold water. But hot water still places a better role in dishwashers than cold. This role might not necessarily be directly on the dishwasher itself, but the dishes.

What Is The Role Of Hot Water In Dishwashing

The roles of hot water in dishwashing are:

Cutting Through Grease And Oil

Grease and oil have a way of sticking to solid materials. When you eat oily food, mere rinsing of the plate doesn’t send the oil off. But with hot water, it takes just rinsing to wash the grease or oil off the plate. Cold water and a good detergent can send the oil off as well. But, hot water does a better job even without the support of a detergent.

When oil stick to a plate, there is no amount of cold water you can use to clean it. Instead, the cold water makes the oil stick more. But hot water will loosen the oil up and make it float off the plate, leaving the plate clean.

Killing The Germs On The Dishes

You may already know that heat can kill germs at a fast pace. This is the reason you heat your food, boil water to drink, and many other heating actions you take often. It also applies to dishwashing with a dishwasher.

Aside from the germs in leftover oil on plates, hot water also kills even germs we cannot see physically. Just rinsing a dish with hot water thoroughly is enough to kill the germs on it. Since personal hygiene is important, we advise you to use hot water to wash and rinse your dishes for germ-killing purposes.

Hot Water Serves As A Good Solvent

When you heat your water, the water molecules bounce off themselves and move quicker. There will be a bigger space between the molecules that dissolved solvents can fill when this happens. It makes hot water potent enough to dissolve more things than cold water can.

With this, hot water works better for cleaning sugar, salt, syrup, and other materials. Also, hot water heats up other things that come into its contact. For example, even soap gets hot when it comes in contact with it, making a better cleaning agent.

What Happens When I Use Cold Water In A Dishwasher?

When you use cold water in a dishwasher, it doesn’t make much difference on the dishwasher itself from when you use hot water. The effect is on the dish. The machine only washes off the dirt on the dishes.

Also, dishwashers are built with water heaters. So, the heaters automatically heat the water you put to its required temperature before starting washing.

What Happens When I Use Cold Water In A Dishwasher

By Using Cold Water

When you use cold water in the dishwasher, the dishwasher will have to heat the water to a certain temperature to wash. This is to ensure better delivery of its function. It might take time before this process completes because the water will the dishwasher requires is much.

So, the heating mechanism sucks more power and makes you pay more than usual for electricity bills. However, this is not too much of a problem because it is mostly a little above the initial bill.

By Using Freezing Water

Using freezing water in your dishwasher is even more consuming than using just cold water. When you use icy water from Fahrenheit below 120F, the dishwasher will heat it. But it will need more power to complete the process.

If heating normal cold water will take 5 minutes, heating icy water will take even more. Therefore, it will require more power to heat. It means more electricity bills and power consumption.

Also, the process will overwork the machine and reduce the machine’s half-life. So, we advise you to use an external heater to heat icy water before using it in the dishwasher.

Why Is My Dishwasher Connected To The Hot Water Line?

They connected your dishwasher to the hot water line for basic reasons like fast cleaning, better cleaning, and saving electricity. The dishwasher uses high temperatures to wash dishes, which can be power-consuming. So, the hot water line saves you from such losses and saves your money from going all into electricity bills.

Why Is My Dishwasher Connected To The Hot Water Line

More so, hot water cleans dishes faster. Therefore, it saves your time. Also, the hot water line supplies your dishwasher with hot water for a better cleaning of your dishes. When the water is hot, your plates get cleaner, and all the germs die.

Is Hot Water More Effective Than Cold Water At Cleaning?

Hot water is more effective than cold water at cleaning. From the time of old, people have always known this to be true. This is based on the molecular substance in cold and hot water.

The kinetic energy in hot water is more than the one in cold water, which makes the molecules in hot water move faster. The interaction of the hot water molecules with the surfactant in detergents strengthens cleaning energy. With this, washing away dirt from a material is faster.

Hot water breaks down the dirt and completes washing that could take days in hours. For instance, some people soak clothes with hot water to make them easier to wash. But cold water will not do this much.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my dishwasher if my boiler is broken?

If your boiler gets broken, you can still use your dishwasher. This is because the dishwasher has a boiling element that boils the water before it washes the dish. So, if your boiler gets broken, you can count on the dishwasher’s water heater.

Does a dishwasher require direct hot water input?

The dishwasher does not require direct hot water input. You can boil the water separately and put it in the dishwasher. Also, you can heat the water with the dishwasher water heater. It depends on what works better for you.

Where is the heating element in a dishwasher?

The heating element in the dishwasher is at the bottom of the machine. It heats the water you put in the dishwasher from the bottom of the dishwasher. The reason is that the heating element can heat any quantity of water from beneath. But, if it is at the top, put water to a certain level for the heater to heat it.

If the dishwasher boiler gets broken, can I use it?

You can still use the dishwasher if its boiler gets broken. The boiler does not determine the effectiveness of the dishwasher. It only boils the water for the machine. Since the dishwasher can work without hot water, you can use it if your boiler gets broken. Also, you can boil water separately and put it in the dishwasher.


Dishwashers run more effectively with hot water as hot water promotes efficient cleaning. It cuts grease and oil, kills germs, and makes washing faster. But, can you run a dishwasher without hot water? Of course, you can run a dishwasher without hot water, but you will not get the same cleaning result as when you use hot water.

The cold water may not be as efficient as hot water, but it’s water, mixed with cleaning agents, so it will clean. Although cold water can make fat and grimes stick to the plates, the detergent will do its job. So, when you have absolutely no way but to go with hot water, try getting the job done instead of leaving your dishes dirty.

Evans Wade

Evans Wade

Hi, this is Evans Wade, the founder and editorial head of Indoorhelper. I’m a Mechanical Engineer and a businessman. After completing my graduation, I worked for a dishwasher manufacturing company, and later I started my own business. I have created this site Indoorhelper to share my knowledge and experience about dishwashers with people who don’t know it properly.

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