How Long Is Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycle? [Inc. Normal]

Dishwashers are great for reducing your cleaning up time after dinner while ensuring that you have hygienic dishes in your cabinets. Maybe you have a Whirlpool dishwasher or are considering adding one to your kitchen?

Either way, you probably wonder how long the heavy or regular washing cycles run? We've researched these questions and have discovered well-researched information to share with you!

Whirlpool dishwashers' cycles vary in length depending on the selected cycle, how soiled the dishes are, and the water temperature. The quick wash cycle lasts one hour, and the most extended cycle runs up to eight hours.

Are you ready to learn more about Whirlpool dishwasher cycles? Or what are the differences between the normal and heavy cycles? These are great questions. Please continue reading; we have well-researched answers to share with you!

A Whirlpool dishwasher at a store, How Long Is Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycle? [Inc. Normal]

How Long Are Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycles?

The Whirlpool dishwashers are engineered to have three cycles and several add-ons, which vary in length from one to eight hours. Please note there are a few variables to keep in mind that will affect the cycle's length.

A small kitchen dishwasher at a store

Such as, how soiled are your dishes? Which make and model dishwasher do you own? Do you pre-rinse your dishes before packing the dishwasher?

For example, if you packed your dishwasher with soiled dishes from greasy burgers and dried ketchup. The dishwashers' sensors will extend the wash cycle to clean the stubborn grease off the dishes.


The normal wash cycle will run from two hours and 43 minutes to three hours and nine minutes. Select this cycle for everyday dishes that don't require a heavy cycle but require more than the quick cycle offers.

Please note this is the most utilized dishwashing cycle because of its reliability, and it pairs well with the add-on features.

Quick Wash

The quick wash, also called the one-hour wash cycle, takes about 30 to 40 minutes for timed drying. This cycle is excellent for washing light to medium soiled dishes quickly.

Generally, between washing and drying, you could expect your dishes to spend about 90 minutes in the washer before they are ready for the kitchen cabinets.


The Whirlpool sensor cycle is unique because it will use built-in technology to sense which cycle and water temperature would be best for a load of dirty dishes.

The running time will vary depending on which washing cycle the technology selected.

Heavy Duty

The heavy-duty setting is also called the pots and pans cycle, which will run for an estimated six hours and twenty-three minutes to eight hours and seven minutes for washing and drying.

The heavy washing cycle is the best option for loads of pans, pots, or heavily soiled dishes.

Soak And Clean

The soak and clean cycle is a prewash setting that allows you to soak your dishes with stubborn dried-on foods before starting the washing cycles.


The delicate cycle uses a lower temperature and a gentle washing cycle. The delicate cycle is specifically for lightly soiled China and Crystal dishes that only require light washing and gentle drying.

High Temp Wash

Whirlpool recommends selecting this cycle for extremely greasy dishes or pans with baked-on gunk. The high temp wash cycle will heat the water to 130 f to dissolve grease and remove stubborn burnt debris.

Please note that using a rinse aid is suggested to maximize the benefits of using this cycle.


Some whirlpool dishwasher models have the Sani Rinse, adding 90 mins to your washing cycles. The dishwasher will kill 99.999% of food soil bacteria by heating the water to 150 f.

You can add this powerful setting to a regular, sensor/auto, or heavy cycle.

Please note using this setting is recommended for protecting the immunocompromised, sanitizing baby bottles and children's dishes to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria, germs, and molds.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Dry Cycle Options

Whirlpool dishwasher for sale at a store

Heat Dry

The heat dry setting will add an extra 30 mins to the washing cycles because it will increase heat and air circulation to dry the dishes thoroughly.

Extended Dry

The extended dry setting will increase the length of the last washing cycle's temperature or extend the amount of time the heat dry will run.

The adjustments will depend on what the sensors deem necessary for a load of dishes.

See this rinse-aid on Amazon.

Are you interested in a natural rinse aid option?

See this one on Amazon.

What Is The Shortest Cycle On A Whirlpool Dishwasher?

A Whirlpool dishwasher

The quick wash cycle is the shortest and only requires an hour for washing time. However, the drying time will need another 30 to 40 minutes. Only select this cycle for lightly soiled dishes and utensils.

How Do You Know When A Whirlpool Dishwasher Is Done?

Great question. The Whirlpool dishwasher will illuminate the lights at the top of the dishwasher or the control panel to indicate the completed cycle.

Suppose your Whirlpool dishwasher isn't spraying water correctly. Click here to read: Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Spraying Water – What To Do?

What Is The Difference Between Normal Wash And Heavy Cycle?

Generally, the normal cycle is for everyday dishes that don't require a heavy cycle but require more than the quick cycle can offer. Please note this is the most utilized dishwashing cycle because of its reliability, and it pairs well with the add-on features.

The heavy washing cycle is the best option for loads of pans, pots, or any heavily stained or soiled dishes. Therefore most everyday dishes like coffee cups, flatware, and water glasses rarely require a heavy washing cycle.

What Temperature Should A Whirlpool Dishwasher Be?

According to Whirlpool, the ideal temperature is 120 F when the water enters the dishwasher to achieve the best performance possible.

Using cold water is the worst option because it will not clean the dishes well.

How You Can Load A Whirlpool Dishwasher To Get Cleaner Dishes

There are several simple ways to maximize your dishwasher's cleaning capacity, which will reduce how many loads you run monthly and help lower your home's energy usage and utility bills.

  • Set your water heater to 120-125 degrees f for the ideal temperature.
  • Don't overfill the dishwasher.
  • Keep plastic in the top rack.
  • Separate stainless steel and silver flatware to prevent a chemical reaction.
  • Secure the glassware between the tines.
  • Pack baking sheets, trays, and plastic cutting boards along the sides without blacking the jets.
  • Avoid allowing your dishes to sit in the dishwasher for days to prevent bacteria and germs.

Are you wondering if dishwashers help reduce energy and water usage? Click here to read our article that discusses this exciting topic Do Dishwashers Waste Or Save Water And Electricity?

Safety Tips For Using A Whirlpool Dishwasher

The American Cleaning Institute suggests using the following as a guide for running a dishwasher effectively and safely.

  • Always place knives and other sharp items pointed down in the utensil basket.
  • Place glassware gently into the dishwasher, and don't crowd the glasses.
  • Avoid overloading the dishwasher.
  • Wait until the dishwasher has cooled before removing the dishes.
  • Always close the door after loading or unloading to prevent accidental falls.
  • If you have small children, consider adding a child safety lock.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play inside the dishwasher.
  • Store the dishwashing solutions away from children and pets.
  • Always follow the dishwasher owner's manual maintenance instructions.
  • Don't fill the dispenser cups until ready to run the appliance.
  • Do not mix dishwasher solutions with other cleaning products.
  • Not every dish can go in the dishwasher; read your labels.
  • Do not remove the labels from the dishwasher detergent bottles.

To Finish

A Whirlpool dishwasher at a store

Today we learned how long each Whirlpool dishwasher cycle takes to complete, how to pack your dishwasher to maximize space, and a few safety tips to ensure quality hygiene in your kitchen.

We hope this article has helped you understand the Whirlpool dishwasher washing cycles and how to operate your appliance better.

Made it this far? Check out these helpful related posts!

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