Can You Leave Dishwasher On When Not Home? (Is It Safe?)

Are you always in a rush and leave with the dishwasher on when not home? Worried about potential hazards?

You’re not alone. With the busy life of the current world, most of you happen to make this mistake. The question is, is it safe to leave the dishwasher on when you are not at home?

It is not recommended to leave your dishwasher on when not at home due to potential safety hazards. Water leaks, electrical malfunctions, and fire are just a few risks. So, it’s better not to run the dishwasher if you go away from home. If it is already running, turn it off before leaving.

This article will discuss the safety concerns of leaving your dishwasher running while not at home. Stick with me till the end to learn more and make an informed decision for your household.

Can You Go Out and Leave the Dishwasher On?

If you ask whether you can leave your dishwasher on and go out, you can. But should you? Then, I have to say no.

However, there are exceptions when you can go out and leave your dishwasher on without any worries.

The exceptions are with your dishwasher features. There are plenty of dishwashers out there that come with features that support keeping your dishwasher on when you go out. Let’s check out when you can go out and leave your dishwasher on.

If the Dishwasher Has an Automatic Turn-Off Feature

A lot of dishwashers these days come with an automatic turn-off feature. Even though this feature aims to save energy, you can still consider it for use when you are not at home.

This works because you will set up a timer, or the dishwasher will have a predefined timer that automatically turns off the dishwasher. So, whenever you go out, you can simply set the timer function on and go out without any worries.

However, this feature isn’t common and is only found in expensive dishwashers. Also, it doesn’t eliminate every adversity related to keeping the dishwasher on. It can only help in avoiding heat and electricity hazards.

Opens Door Automatically for Drying Dishes 

When you decide to leave your dishwasher on, you have to go through drying the dishes afterward. For that, you will need a feature that allows the dishwasher to open the doors after washing the dishes. This allows the dishes to dry properly.

Without having open doors to dry your dishes, it may heat up inside and burn any plastic dishes you may have in there. A dishwasher with an automatic door opening feature eliminates that possibility and gives you a worry-free dishwasher operation. Even if you are not home, you won’t have to think about it too much.

It Has an Emergency Safety Feature

This feature stops the dishwasher whenever it goes through any internal issues. The machine will instantly stop when it detects any malfunction in the dishwasher, even if it’s in mid-cycle.

It can be an overheating issue or can be due to shorting or even when the door isn’t opening or closing correctly. This doesn’t stop the problem from happening. But it controls the situation so it doesn’t get out of hand and cause further damage.

Typically, having any or all of these features in your dishwasher lets you leave your home without turning off the dishwasher. With these features keeping your dishwasher safe, you won’t have to worry about any damages.

Is It Safe to Leave the Dishwasher On When Not Home?

Right away, leaving your dishwasher running while you are out of your home is unsafe. Several things can go wrong with it, and these are serious issues. Let’s get through the safety hazards you may encounter while away and keep your dishwasher running.

Risk Of Fire 

This is one of the significant problems with keeping your dishwasher on when you are not at home. According to a consumer report, there were 1015 fire hazards due to dishwashers in 2002-2009.

First, if you are not at home, this can be a disaster and cause a massive fire in your house. You won’t have any control over that at all.

Secondly, this ruins the dishwasher, impacts the whole house, and may even put your neighbors in danger.

The reason for a fire hazard in an unattended dishwasher is overheating. The dishwasher will overheat when the washing cycle is done, but it keeps running. As a result of overheating, anything inside the dishwasher can easily catch fire. Melted Plastics inside the dishwasher can be one of the reasons for the fire.

Now, this can happen if you are at home as well. But in that scenario, you can cut off the power and extinguish the fire as soon as you notice it. So, the damage will be very minimal.

Electrical Hazard 

Like any other electrical appliance, short circuits and sparks in your dishwasher are always possible. This eventually leads to a fire hazard as well. So, you are still at risk of fire even if your machine has no overheating issues.

Now, if you are not at home to monitor the power surges of electricity, there is a chance that your dishwasher will get it by that in your absence. Also, things can get even worse if you have wiring issues with your dishwasher.


Aside from the safety issues, if you consider running your dishwasher while you are away, there is another concern: flooding. While the dangers aren’t as grave as fire hazards, it’s still a problem you won’t want to come across.

Leaving your dishwasher running while you are away can easily leak, flooding your kitchen or even your whole house. That’s why it’s better not to keep your dishwasher running when you are not at your home.

Well, these are the safety issues you will likely have to consider before leaving your dishwasher on and leaving home. Since they pose a huge threat, I suggest not leaving the dishwasher on at any cost.

Is It Safe to Leave the Dishwasher On Overnight?

Now, this can be a bit controversial. This allows you to attend to any problem when you notice any malfunction through noise or smell. You can get up and get the situation under control.

However, it also poses a massive threat to your life. If the dishwasher catches fire and somehow goes out of control, you can get stuck inside your home and eventually fall victim to the fire. So, I would recommend not leaving your dishwasher on overnight.

Should You Leave the Dishwasher Door Open?

Typically, it’s better to leave your dishwasher door open if you keep it running while you are away. Keeping the door open ensures the dishwasher’s inside isn’t getting too heated. It allows your dishes to try and helps the remaining moisture inside the washer to evaporate.

Altogether, keeping the door open ensures there isn’t any moisture damage in your dishes or dishwasher. It keeps the dishwasher clean for the longest time. So, yes, you should leave the dishwasher door open but make sure there isn’t standing water in the dishwasher.


To sum up, it is never safe to leave your dishwasher on when you are away from home. It can have serious fire and electrical hazards and may even cause flooding in your home.

So, no matter what you do, always stay close to the dishwasher when using it. Never keep it running without some exceptions that I discussed earlier here. Even then, it’s best not to keep it on while you are away.

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