Most of us take our dishwashers for granted. They are an essential appliance in many kitchens, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be unobtrusive. Some dishwasher models can be so noisy that it is difficult to watch television if the cycle is running in an open plan kitchen. So, how quiet should your dishwasher be?

Measuring the Noise of Your Dishwasher

Dishwasher manufacturers often advertise how quiet their dishwashers are and label them with a dBA rating. A dBA number is an expression of the weighted decibel level in human context for how quiet or loud the sound is to our ears, since humans perceive differences in sounds less sensitively at extreme volumes. Dishwashers in the marketplace have a noise output that ranges between 37 and 64 dBA, but what does this actually reflect in terms of how quiet it operates, and how much of this is simply hype?

Human speech is approximately 60 dBA, while light rainfall is approximately 50 dBA. A night in a quiet suburb is 40 dBA and whispers is 30 dBA. So, when a dishwasher manufacturer says their appliance is whisper quiet, it must be in the low 30s range when operating.

Modern Dishwashers 

In the past, you could expect a dishwasher to produce noise of 65 dBA on average. These days, many dishwasher models are far quieter, operating between 40 and 55 dBA. This means that they produce noise that is somewhere between scattered showers and dinner table chatter. This is a vast improvement and means that using a modern dishwasher doesn’t mean that you need to leave the room.

The quietest models tend to operate within a dBA or two. This difference is barely noticeable with some models operating at 37 dBA when using an Extra Quiet program, but there are other dishwashers that operate between 38 and 42 dBA in normal programs.

The choice of program is not the only factor that can influence the noise output of your dishwasher. Some experts argue that the soil level of your dishes can lead to louder operation. If you have dirtier dishes, the dishwasher needs to work harder to complete the cycle. This can lead to an increase in appliance noise output, but it is rarely more than 3 dBA, which is barely perceptible to human ears.

Determining Your Choice of Dishwasher

In the real world, a difference of a noise output up to 10 dBA is rarely noticeable. At the 10 dBA range, this is the point where audible sound doubles, you’re likely to start noticing the difference.

So, with typical dishwasher models operating between 40 and 55 dBA, there is very little difference in the noise output for the average household. If you’re deciding on a new dishwasher model, you need to assess whether you need a dishwasher to be whisper quiet or if you don’t mind a rainfall noise level. You need to think about your home layout and the types of activities in your everyday life. If you like to homeschool your children while sitting at your kitchen counter or have an open plan kitchen where the family likes to watch television, you may need to consider a dishwasher that has a quiet program. If you don’t tend to carry out important tasks in the kitchen, you should take the noise ratings into consideration with the performance and price to determine the best option for your home.

If you’re having difficulties with your dishwasher and are considering an upgrade, you can explore the options with this online collection of dishwashers or speak to a home appliance expert for a specialist service.