Is A Dishwasher A Computer? (Explained)

Open door of built-in dishwasher. Kitchen with integrated appliances. Plates and dishes in the dishwasher.


Can you live without your computer?

Probably not, because computers have taken over our lives so widely that we can’t pass a day without using them in one way or another.

However, not every computer has a keyboard, mouse, and case.

Many other devices that help us in our everyday lives also count as computers.

You may wonder whether household items like dishwashers are also computers.


Is A Dishwasher A Computer?

Housewife woman uses modern dishwasher for wash dishes and glasses at home kitchen


Yes, a dishwasher can be considered a computer.

However, a computer has many more capabilities than a dishwasher, such as handling logical operations, sorting and comparing input, and connecting to other computers.

We can only categorize an electronic device as a computer when it’s programmable, and dishwashers are to some extent.

Most dishwashers have a logic board or microprocessor that controls their operations and keeps track of the wash and rinse cycle duration.

It operates by following instructions given to it through programming languages.

Dishwashers carry out their functions by following instruction sequences already set, and this is pretty much the essence of what a computer does.

Also, some modern dishwashers have a memory to store and process data related to the washing cycles.

In addition, some can connect to Wi-Fi, which is another characteristic of a computer.

Wi-Fi-integrated dishwashers help you control your dishwasher from anywhere and save even more time.

Below are some differences between a dishwasher and a computer:


Differences Between A Dishwasher And A Computer

Transparent and black and white dishes as well as cutlery and glasses are washed in the dishwasher, inside view, drops and splashes of water.


Although we can somehow categorize a dishwasher as a computer, they have fundamental differences, including the following:


1. Function

Computers are complicated devices.

They receive data, perform complex operations, and then store the results in their memories.

You can use your computer for many different tasks, such as editing videos, emailing, and browsing the net.

However, even the most recent, smartest dishwashers have only one job: washing your dishes.

You can only select from a finite set of pre-programmed washing options to make your dishes spotless.

Dishwashers have an embedded system, a purpose-built platform designed for fixed functionality or a specific application.

In such devices, every reboot activates a fixed environment to help the machine do its job.


2. Programmability

Dishwashers have a set of built-in programs that you can choose from to have your dishes cleaned.

Like a computer, when you choose the program in a dishwasher, you won’t need to intervene until the task is done.

However, there are no tasks beyond those programs that a dishwasher can perform.

You can’t give a dishwasher a new set of rules.

They only do what they can!

The case is very different with computers as they’re highly programmable.

You can give a set of new instructions to a computer so that it stores them in memory and processes the input accordingly.


3. Display

Computers come with a monitor that can display different types of things, including images, videos, and texts.

Also, a computer’s high-resolution display can simultaneously open different windows and display the results of several calculations.

This monitor serves as the main interface between the user and the computer, enabling them to perform simple or complicated computing tasks.

However, a dishwasher only has a small display showing the washing time.

You can’t interact with it or change its contents after choosing the washing program.


4. Size

Computers and dishwashers both come in different sizes depending on their functions.

However, even the smallest dishwashers are larger than a standard PC, let alone a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Dishwashers must contain a lot of dishes, and the huge empty space makes them bulky.

A computer only includes a few chips ever-reducing in size thanks to technological advancements.

No matter how much technology advances, dishwashers still need to have enough space for your dirty dishes.


5. Power Usage

Although dishwashers reduce water consumption compared to hand washing, they use a lot of electricity.

They usually use between 600 and 2,500 watts, with an average of 1,400 watts, and most dishwashers consume around 1.17 kWh of electricity per cycle.

This number is a lot smaller for computers.

A standard desktop and all the attached devices use about 200 Wh altogether.

However, you should consider that we use dishwashers occasionally due to their limited functionality, while computers are on for hours daily.

On average, dishwashers use about 250 kWh a year.

In comparison, a computer that’s on eight hours a day has an annual power consumption of about 600 kWh.


6. Connectivity

You can generally connect two running computers using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to transfer data between them.

There’s also software, such as Remote Desktop, designed to facilitate this connection.

However, connecting two different dishwashers is (still) impossible, even with the magic of the internet.


Is A Dishwasher A Robot?

Open dishwasher with clean utensils in it


When we think of a robot, we mostly see a picture of a humanoid on the screen of our minds.

However, not every robot has to walk around and fight enemies, as we see in movies.

Although the definition of a robot is vague, some people believe it’s a machine that can carry out a set of actions automatically.

They categorize a dishwasher as a robot that washes and rinses dirty dishes, but only after you load it, add some detergent, select a washing cycle, and push the button.

Although this robot isn’t as autonomous as you would expect, it performs some critical functions on its own, so they call it a robot.

Some of these functions include adding and spraying water when needed, heating it to a specific temperature, dispensing detergent at the right time, and draining dirty water.

However, some would argue that a dishwasher isn’t a robot because all it does is follow preset sequences without perceiving its environment and responding interactively to it.

Many industrial robots also lack this perception, but they have another feature that makes up for it: versatility.

They believe that to call something a robot, it should have some degree of versatility.

In other words, it should have the capacity to be programmed for different tasks, even if it also involves preset sequences.

For example, a food processor can prepare food using different recipes.

However, a dishwasher’s hardware can’t adapt to different functions outside of its original domain, meaning that it can only wash dishes and can’t be programmed to do anything beyond that.


Is A Dishwasher AI?

close up white plate on basket in automatic dishwasher machine for industrial


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a confusing concept because its definition is constantly changing, but what’s certain is that your dishwasher isn’t AI.

Although science fiction is repeatedly telling us that AI is a high-performance robot, it’s not so.

We can simply define AI as “intelligence displayed by machines.”

For example, we say Alexa is AI because it can converse with you through pattern matching and producing output based on the input.

Since we can’t see this level of intelligence in a dishwasher, we can’t call it AI.


Are Dishwashers Energy Efficient?

Smiling Young Woman Arranging Plates In Dishwasher At Home


Some of the appliances we use daily raise our electricity bill by large, and a dishwasher is among them.

Depending on its size and usage, a dishwasher uses an average of 1,000 watts of power per hour or about 1,400 watts per cycle.

Some of this energy goes to running the water heater.

The rest is dedicated to other functions, such as releasing the detergent and circulating water.

Even when a dishwasher isn’t used, it still drains some energy.

The electricity your dishwasher uses depends on many factors, such as what cycle you use, when you run it, how often you put it on, and most of all, what model and brand you use.

Knowing how many watts your dishwasher needs, how many times you run it, and the cost of electricity in your area, you can calculate how much you’re paying to run your dishwasher.

Although it seems like a dishwasher’s energy use is higher than hand washing, you should know that this is not true.

It takes so much energy to heat water, and as most dishwashers use less water than hand washing, we can conclude that they might be more energy efficient than hand washing.


Do Dishwashers Save Water?

Man holds invoice of water usage


Dishwashers filter the water they use and reuse it during a cycle.

Hence, they’re more efficient in using water than hand washing.

While an energy-efficient dishwasher consumes around three gallons of water per load, hand washing requires about 27 gallons for the same dishes.

This means the amount of water you need to clean a full dishwasher equals that of two minutes of hand washing.

These numbers are for modern dishwashers, but even the older, less efficient dishwashers are more water-saving than washing your dishes by hand.

Your kitchens devour 10% of our water usage, so an eco-friendly dishwasher can be a good start if you want to lead a sustainable life.


How Long Does A Dishwasher Last?

Open dishwasher with dishes inside


Dishwashers are so convenient that once you have one, you can’t think of living without it.

However, these appliances won’t last forever and have a finite lifespan.

The average lifespan of a dishwasher from most manufacturers, such as Bosch and KitchenAid, is about ten years, while others, such as LG and Miel, last longer.

No matter the life expectancy, many dishwashers will develop issues after the first five years.


How To Run A Dishwasher For Energy Efficiency

Diligent housewife putting dishes into dishwasher.


In addition to grabbing an energy-efficient machine, there are other ways to minimize the energy your dishwasher consumes.


1. Wait Until It’s Full

A perfect way to use your dishwasher most efficiently is only to run it with a full load.

Don’t feel obliged to run it on days when you have fewer dirty dishes.

Just wait another day until it’s full to prevent wasting energy and water.

However, don’t wait for so long because dirty dishes are a perfect place for germs to grow.

Sometimes, when you don’t have enough dirty dishes to fill the machine, it’s better to wash them by hand.


2. Don’t Overload It

Although it’s advisable to run your dishwasher when it’s full, it doesn’t mean you should overload it.

Dishwashers clean your dishes by spraying water on them.

Still, water and detergent can’t reach every dish when you overload the machine.

Therefore, your dishes remain dirty and compel you to run the machine again, thus wasting more water, energy, and time.

When your dishwasher is at capacity, keep the remaining dishes for the next round.


3. Don’t Pre-Rinse

Many still believe they should pre-wash their dirty dishes before putting them inside the dishwasher.

However, many detergents need to latch onto the debris to clean more effectively.

Also, pre-rinsing means wasting water resources.


4. Run It During Off-Peak Hours

Normally, people use less energy early in the morning and late at night, so these are the best times to run a dishwasher.

Some modern dishwashers have a delayed-start button, which you can set to run at the off-peak time.


5. Air Dry

Most modern dishwashers have a heated dry option that uses intense heat to dry the cleaned dishes.

This procedure consumes a lot of energy, that’s unnecessary.

It’s better to open the machine’s door and let the dishes air dry to use your dishwasher most efficiently.

If you don’t like air drying or need your dishes as soon as possible, you can dry them with a clean piece of cloth.


General Tips For Using Your Dishwasher Safely And Effectively

Washing dishes in the dishwasher. The man puts dirty dishes in the dishwasher


Your dishwasher doesn’t need your help in washing.

Still, it can use some help to operate more efficiently, so consider using the following tips:

  • Don’t rinse the dishes before putting them inside the dishwasher, but scrape the large pieces of food clinging to the dishes to prevent damage to the filter.
  • If you live in an area with hard water, you can add more detergent to have cleaner dishes.
  • Avoid putting cast iron, wood, fine china, and hand-painted or crystal dishes in the machine to prevent damage.
  • Put identically shaped dishes apart as they might nest together, preventing the water from reaching the whole dish.
  • Optimize your machine’s performance by using it when you have high-pressure water, and avoid using it simultaneously with another water-consuming device, like a washing machine.
  • As the heating element is at the bottom, don’t put plastic dishes on the bottom rack to prevent them from melting.

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