Can a Dishwasher Catch on Fire? Reasons & Their Solutions

Dishwashers are becoming an essential element of everyday life. They are quick, simple to use, and reduce water usage. But can a dishwasher catch on fire? It is a major safety concern for all people who have a dishwasher in their kitchens.

Yes, fires can be caught in dishwashers. They are among the most commonly engaged items in fire accidents. This is because the main components of a dishwasher are electronic circuits, electrical cables, heating coils, and water. All of these components can be dangerous and pose a significant risk of fire.

What are the causes of fire and how to prevent the risk of fire in the dishwasher? Let’s explore it.

Can a Dishwasher Catch on Fire

Can a Dishwasher catch on Fire?

Yes! Heating components used in dishwashers are combustible and can cause a fire if they become overheated. Additionally, they are the second-most common non-cooking machines that are a source of household fires, based on CPSC reports.

Overall, there are fewer chances of a fire in the dishwashers as compared to other kitchen machines.  But they still can cause fire due to poor maintenance, incorrect usage, power outages, or broken parts.

You can prevent fire while using a dishwashing machine or dishwasher by following some precautions. Before going to sleep or leaving the house, you must remember to turn the dishwasher and washing machine off. They constitute a fire risk because of their high power, abrasion, and propellers. So, it would be good to follow the precautions.

What are the causes of catching fire in the Dishwashers?

What are the causes of catching fire in the Dishwashers

As dishwashers have utilized heating elements, they can cause a fire in your kitchen. However, there could be multiple reasons for catching fire in your dishwasher. Let’s discuss what are the common causes of fire:

Wiring Issues

Dishwasher fires commonly occur due to poor design or workmanship. Short connections set on the electric cables in the base of the dishwasher are a major example of wiring issues.

According to research in a well-known case from 2007, GE initiated a warning on 2.5 million devices that were sold during that time. They were sold with faulty wiring issues. Source.

After a few weeks of use, many customers of these items claimed seeing sparking, smoking, and fire outbreaks in their houses. The dishwasher’s heat source cannot correctly turn off because of a connection issue. It causes overheating and the risk of a fire.

Now several companies have enhanced the parts, capacities, and protection of their cleaning and washing goods. So, while purchasing a dishwasher, you must be sure to check for the finest companies available.

Damaged Electrical Wires

If part of the insulating material comes off when using a dishwasher with a worn-out cable, it could pose a very significant danger. In addition to the apparent risk of being electrocuted, a ragged cable might spark surrounding combustible materials. It can start a house fire that is difficult to handle at that time.

You should properly change the dishwasher’s power cables if it is damaged. If you have no previous experience with electrical components, don’t perform this DIY project. It is because choosing the incorrect wire could be hazardous.

Inappropriate Installation

Dishwasher installation errors commonly occur when you try to do it by yourself. Your dishwasher’s electrical cables can quickly become damaged and catch fire if you connect them over rugs.

Although it is a bit expensive to hire a professional, you should never try to set up your dishwasher yourself. The final cost can exceed what you originally expected.

Overloading your Dishwasher

It’s a good idea to prevent overloading your dishwasher. If you do so, you won’t get satisfactory results from it, and you might have to repeat the procedure to thoroughly clean your kitchenware and utensils.

As there won’t be enough time for the heat source to recover in between workloads, this can lead to overheating. It’s not a good idea to run the electric line under rugs because it will wear out the cable quickly. This can also be the major cause of fire in your dishwasher.

Incorrect Usage

Every dishwasher includes a user guide that specifies how to utilize the machine. Your machine has the risk of being harmed if the item’s recommendations are not followed.

The number of objects to place in the dishwasher rack for a washing process, the kind of detergents to use, and other information are all included in some dishwasher manuals. They will help you to properly use your dishwasher without causing any risk. So, you must try to stick to these recommendations and instructions to avoid damage or the risk of your dishwasher bursting into flames.

What should I do in case of a Dishwasher Fire?

What should I do in case of a Dishwasher Fire

You must never attempt to put out an electrical fire with water because it will pose the very serious possibility of decapitating yourself and it won’t put the fire out. The sparking can even extend to surrounding flammable substances.

Instead, you can use a category C fire blanket that is made for electrical fires alternatively. You can put baking soda on the flame to put it out if it is little and controllable, or cover it with a thick blanket.

If it is feasible, before leaving the building, you must disconnect the item, and then quickly dial 911 which is a helpline.

How to Prevent the Risk of Fire in Dishwashers?

You can prevent the risk of fire in your dishwasher if you will follow some precautionary measures that are given below:

  • For the first few weeks after purchasing a new dishwasher, you must pay attention to the company’s website. It is because the company can give a warning alert or possibly a return policy if there are any defective components.
  • You can utilize your dishwasher only if you have a complete understanding of how it is used. Although it is an easy way to wash and clean your dishes if you are a busy person, it requires proper attention and maintenance. If you will leave it working, it can be unsafe.
  • If you want to operate your dishwasher after dinner, which is late in the night, you must do it at a proper time with caution. You must keep checking whether it has finished the washing cycle.
  • You must ensure all the cables have the proper size before installing your dishwasher. It will help to prevent them from breaking or damaging.  
  • Furthermore, you need to confirm that the electric socket you are using to connect to the dishwasher can support the required voltage.
  • You must keep checking every part to ensure it is operating as it should. One possible scenario is that the lock on the opening where you insert the detergents is not closed or sealed correctly.
  • You can place a smoke detector that is completely operational in your kitchen or the room where your dishwasher is located.
  • Another benefit is to set a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher in a location where the dishwasher is placed. If a fire does start, this will assist you in containing it or putting it out.


According to Scott Wolfson of the federal Customer Product Safety Commission, it is not recommended to utilize a dishwasher at night. It is because it can enhance fire risks. So, you should not operate dishwashers and other electrical recharging items overnight.

When a dishwasher’s washing cycle emits a burning smell, the heat source is most likely at fault. This could be a large plastic box or cutlery that has been lodged against the dishwasher component. You must put attention to it.

While most kitchen items can be properly cleaned in a dishwasher, more fragile items like wood, some kinds of kitchenware, glass, plastic, and soft utensils can be ruined by extreme heat and detergents. So, you must read out the user manual before going to use your dishwasher.

The recall affects dishwasher versions such as DW2450 and DW2450WS with serial numbers between 20000100 and 20044445. This information will be given on the product rating panel for the dishwasher. The dishwashers were provided at household appliance dealers from February 2018 to May 2021.


This article is all about dishwashers and their fire risks. You can prevent risks of fire by following some instructions that are given in this article. So, after reading out this article, you are not going to search about can a dishwasher catch on fire. You will get the complete guide on it in this article.

It is essential to go through the manual guide before using the dishwasher because it will completely guide you about the usage of dishwashers. So, don’t start using your dishwasher without having enough information about it.

If you have any questions, please come in the comment section!

Mery kitchen aims

Mery Webber

Mery Webber, the founder of Kitchen Aims, is a passionate home cook with extensive experience in the kitchen appliance industry. Through her blog, she aims to share her knowledge and help readers create the perfect kitchen.

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