History of Dishwashers
Ideas and Advice

History of Dishwashers

It is not very uncommon for people to think that washing dishes by hand is far more sanitary and water efficient than cleaning them with a dishwasher. However, this myth has been proven wrong with the help of advanced features that current dishwashers offer. Even though some version of a mechanical dishwasher has been around for almost 160 years, studies have shown that the it's still the case that the average woman spends 66 minutes and the average man spends around 42 minutes every day handwashing dishes. The dishwasher evolution has come a very long way to rescue people from the most tedious work in the kitchen.

Percy Spencer

With a dishwasher at home, you shouldn't be worrying about having to clean or replace your dish sponges that are rife with bacteria and may pose health risks. You shouldn't be worrying about using so many dishes while cooking for fear of a monumental clean up job. You shouldn't be worrying about doing your dishes at all. Current dishwashers make the usual drudgery of cleaning up after meals practically effortless.

The Innovation of the Dishwasher

A man named Joel Houghton had the idea of creating the very first dishwasher with its wooden hand-turned wheel in 1850 and patented it shortly thereafter. This so-called dishwasher was barely effective as it only sprayed water on the dishes. A more successful attempt was made by a woman named Josephine Cochrane, who came from considerable wealth. Even though she, herself, did not wash the dishes, she was determined to create a dishwasher that would decrease the chances of her servants breaking expensive crockery. Thus, she invented the first automatic dishwasher that consisted of a wooden wheel lying flat against copper boiler. Her innovation of the hand-operated mechanical dishwasher would be pivotal in starting the company, KitchenAid.

Josephine with her dishwasher


In the 1920s, the dishwasher garnered an enormous amount of publicity. Dishwashers became more modern and easily accessible to middle class people. Especially with indoor plumbing becoming more widespread, the dishwashers made quite the splash in middle class households. Because the demand for dishwashers was increasing, it brought forth a boom in manufacturers who wanted in on the action. Miele was established in 1900, Bosch was established in 1906, Maytag was established in 1907, Whirlpool was founded in 1911, and Fisher Paykel was founded in 1934. All of them were made household names on the back of the dishwasher's popularity. Ever since then, each of those brands have made their unique contributions that turned dishwashers into we find in our homes today.

Original Radarange

The Future

It is very easy to see how the current, high-tech dishwashers differ from the hand-cranked oddities that were first conceived. The brands that contributed in the advancement of the dishwashers hold very specific places in the current market. For instance, Fisher and Paykel created the DishDrawer and completely revolutionized the design of the dishwashers. Bosch brought in features like stainless steel tubs and self-cleaning filtration to ensure the durability of the new dishwashers.

Kenmore presented their customers with adjustable upper racks and Turbozone, a bank of jets in the back of the dishwasher designed especially for post scrubbing. Maytag presents tiered racks and numerous additional side racks. These have come together as standard features we've come to expect in dishwashers.

So, the current dishwashers usually come with either plastic or stainless steel depending on what you prefer. Stainless steel tubs have the advantage of resisting hard water and provide better sound dampening. They also conduct heat better dry dishes faster.

Most dishwashers come with food disposal units to dispense leftover food directly into garbage. These units usually help dishwashers to reduce noise level. Most modern dishwashers include features such as sensors, microprocessors, various wash cycles, temperature control, and rotary switch.

1967 Radarange 1967 Radarange 1967 Radarange

Modern dishwashers also present features for lowering noise levels and completely drying the dishes right after the wash cycle is finished to save you from the chore of hand drying. Even though domestic dishwashers do not sterilize utensils, commercial dishwashers do so using methods like rinsing the dishes with extremely hot water or using a chemical sanitization method. Current dishwashers usually do their job quickly and efficiently to save you time, money, and energy.