Should You Have Two Dishwashers In Your Kitchen?
Two dishwashers!? Why have two dishwashers? I got lots of these comments on a video where I drew a new kitchen design with two separate dishwashers.
But believe it or not the two-dishwasher (or double dishwasher, twin dishwashers) trend is definitely on the rise!
According to a 2023 Statista Study, 52% of US and 48% of UK homes had a dishwasher. (Germany had a whopping 71%.) For the UK, that’s a sizable increase from 18% in 1994.
In this post, I’ll examine why having two dishwashers in your kitchen is becoming more popular, the pros and cons and answer some common questions.
Let’s get into it!
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In a hurry? Here’s my key takeaway:
🧼 Two dishwashers in a kitchen offer enhanced efficiency and convenience, particularly for larger households or frequent hosts.
While it does come with higher initial costs and increased energy use, the practical benefits often justify the investment for those with busy kitchen lifestyles.
Read on to learn more…
Why Would You Want Two Dishwashers in Your Kitchen?
It may sound ridiculous (at first) but the concept of having two dishwashers in your kitchen is definitely growing in popularity over the past few years.
In fact, you can watch a YouTube video of me drawing and discussing a kitchen that has two dishwashers.
There are lots of benefits to having two dishwashers as part of your kitchen layout, which I’ll list in the pros and cons section next.
However, the two big reasons I come across most from clients are extra wash capacity and a continuous flow of clean dishes.
Extra Wash Capacity
A pretty straightforward idea. With two dishwashers, you effectively double the capacity for washing dishes.
This is particularly beneficial for large families or during events where a significant amount of dishes accumulate. It also helps avoid the situation where dishes pile up waiting for space in the dishwasher.
Having a second machine and that extra wash capacity also leads to time savings, as more dishes can be cleaned at once.
This is especially useful in households where dishes are used frequently, reducing the need for multiple wash cycles throughout the day.
continuous flow of clean dishes
Having two dishwashers allows one dishwasher to be used for dirty dishes while the other is either running, waiting to be unloaded or the clean dishes being used.
This system creates a cycle where clean dishes are taken directly from one dishwasher, used, and then placed in the other dishwasher once they’re dirty.
Essentially eliminating the need to store dishes in cupboards, which can save time in putting away clean stuff.
For families with many members or individuals who cook often, this system ensures that there are always clean dishes available and no backlog of dirty dishes piling up in the sink.
It’s basically, a cupboard of your everyday items clean and ready to use straight from the dishwasher throughout the day. With the second washer ready to take the dirty dishes.
Then at some point, you turn the wash cycle on and switch over the clean and dirty roles.
- Extra Wash Capacity: The additional dishwasher doubles the capacity for washing dishes, which is particularly beneficial for large families or during events where lots of dishes are used. It enables cleaning a larger volume of dishes at once, saving time and effort.
- Continuous Usage Cycle: With two dishwashers, you can maintain a constant cycle of use. Clean dishes are taken directly from one dishwasher, and after use, they go into the other dishwasher. This system eliminates the need for storing dishes in cupboards and constantly unloading and reloading.
- Time-Saving Convenience: Two dishwashers save time, especially in busy households. There’s no need to wait for one load to finish before starting another. This is particularly useful for quick turnaround of dishes needed frequently.
- Separate Cleaning for Different Dish Types: Having two dishwashers allows for the separation of dish types – one can be used for regular dishes and the other for delicate items or pots and pans. This helps in organizing and protecting dishes better.
- Accommodating Special Dietary Needs: For households with special dietary needs or practices (like kosher kitchens), having two dishwashers can ensure that different sets of dishes and utensils are kept completely separate.
- Reduced Load on Each Dishwasher: Spreading the dishwashing load between two machines can lead to reduced wear and tear on each, potentially extending their lifespan and reducing the frequency of repairs.
- Backup During Appliance Failures: If one dishwasher breaks down or needs maintenance, having a second one ensures that the convenience of a dishwasher is still available.
- Higher Initial Cost: The primary drawback is the cost of purchasing and installing a second dishwasher. This includes not only the price of the appliance itself but also any additional plumbing and cabinetry work required.
- Increased Energy and Water Usage: Running two dishwashers means potentially doubling your energy and water consumption, which can lead to higher utility bills and a larger environmental footprint.
- Takes Up More Space: In smaller kitchens, having two dishwashers can consume valuable space that could be used for other appliances or storage. This might not be feasible in compact kitchen designs.
- Complex Installation: Installing a second dishwasher often requires additional plumbing and electrical work. This can be complicated, especially in kitchens not originally designed to accommodate two dishwashers.
- Maintenance and Repairs: With two dishwashers, there’s a higher likelihood of maintenance issues and the need for repairs, doubling the potential for appliance-related headaches.
- Potential Underuse: In smaller households or those that don’t cook frequently, the second dishwasher may end up being underutilized, making it an unnecessary expense.
- Complexity in Kitchen Workflow: For some, having two dishwashers can complicate the kitchen workflow, particularly in terms of sorting and organizing dishes.
Can you get two dishwashers in one?
Yes, you can find dishwashers designed with dual compartments or drawers, which essentially provide the functionality of two dishwashers in one unit.
These appliances are often referred to as double-drawer dishwashers.
Fisher & Paykel are the brand that offers dishwasher drawers I have used and sold most over the years.
This can be a great alternative option to two full size dishwashers and is one I’m seeing more and more in recent kitchen designs.
- Two Independent Compartments: Double-drawer dishwashers have two separate big drawers that can run independently of each other. This means you can run a small load in one drawer while the other is empty. Or run both drawers at the same time with different cycles.
- Space and Energy Efficiency: These models are ideal for those who need the flexibility of two dishwashers but have limited space. They are also energy-efficient, as you have the option to run only one drawer for smaller loads. Perfect for small kitchens!
- Design and Convenience: Double-drawer dishwashers are designed to blend seamlessly into kitchen cabinetry, offering a sleek and modern look. They also provide the convenience of loading and unloading dishes at waist height, which can be easier on the back.
- Variety in Sizes and Styles: These dishwashers come in various sizes and styles to fit different kitchen designs and capacities.
- Cost Considerations: While double-drawer dishwashers offer the advantage of two-in-one functionality, they can be more expensive than standard single-drawer models.
Can you run Two dishwashers at the same time?
Yes, you can run two dishwashers at the same time as long as your home’s electrical and plumbing systems can support the additional load.
You may need to ensure that each dishwasher is connected to its own electrical circuit and plumbing line to prevent overloading and proper drainage.
Doesn’t having two dishwashers take up more space in your kitchen?
Yes and no.
On one hand, yes, two dishwashers do occupy physical space.
This space could otherwise be used for different appliances (oven, fridge etc..) or storage solutions like a built-in bin or additional cabinetry.
In smaller kitchens or layouts where every inch counts, dedicating space to a second dishwasher might not be feasible. Although you could consider opting for slimline dishwashers.
On the other hand, no, in terms of general cupboard space, the second dishwasher can actually serve a dual purpose.
Many people use one dishwasher for storing clean dishes, essentially using it as a ‘clean dish cupboard.’
This approach can actually save space because it eliminates the need for additional cupboards to store clean dishes.
Isn’t it more expensive to have two dishwashers?
Yes, having two dishwashers can be more expensive initially and in terms of ongoing costs:
- Initial Purchase and Installation Costs: Buying a second dishwasher involves an additional upfront cost. This includes not only the price of the appliance but also installation costs, which may include adjustments to cabinetry and plumbing.
- Increased Utility Bills: Running two dishwashers means using more water and electricity, leading to higher utility bills.
However, the financial comparison isn’t always straightforward:
- Substituting for Cabinetry Costs: If you didn’t have a second dishwasher, you might need additional cabinetry for storing dishes.
Depending on the design, material, and installation costs of such cabinetry, this could be comparable to the cost of a second dishwasher. High-end or custom cabinetry can be particularly expensive.
Because of this, the difference in cost might not be as much as you would think. When considering the convenience and efficiency a second dishwasher provides, particularly in busy households or for those who entertain frequently, the additional expense may be justified.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.