The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. It depends on the type of dishwasher you have, and how it works. There are two types of dishwashers: standard and heat pump.
Standard dishwashers use hot water to clean dishes, but they do not heat the water themselves. Instead, they use the hot water that comes out of your tap.
Heat pump dishwashers heat water before it enters the dishwasher, then use that warm water to wash dishes.
In either case, washing dishes in cold water is never a good idea. If you wash your dishes in cold water, you’ll get an incomplete cleaning job at best and possibly damage your dishes at worst.
The problem with using cold water for washing dishes is that certain types of stains — especially those caused by minerals in hard water — resist removal by heat alone. If you don’t use hot water for these types of stains (such as lime scale), they can remain on your plates and glasses even after washing them in soapy water. That’s why they’re called “hard-water stains.”
Last modified: November 18, 2022