Why Do You Need Insulation Around a Dishwasher?

A dishwasher may look like a hard stainless steel box, but there are actually plenty of soft parts hidden inside. The insulation around a dishwasher serves a variety of purposes, and while its not essential to its operation, it does make a big difference. That means you shouldn't just toss this material out when installing your dishwasher.

Calm gorgeous model kneeling next to dish washer
credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Lightwavemedia/Getty Images
Insulation helps to keep your dishwasher quiet.

Sound Reduction

Dishwashers make a lot of noise. Water sprays during the wash cycle, the gurgle of the drain and the hum and buzz of dishwasher parts all contribute to the din that takes place inside an average dishwasher. This is what makes insulation so important: It muffles the sounds your dishwasher makes during its cycle. And soundproofing technology has come so far in recent years that you may not be able to hear your dishwasher at all. As John Dries, the president of Dries Engineering told Appliance Magazine, "We are now at a point in dishwasher evolution where the best dishwashers simply cannot be heard in a normal kitchen with normal background noise."

Reducing Vibration

Fancy motors and other parts may help cut down on dishwasher vibration, but insulation plays its part in keeping your dishwasher still as well. Many dishwashers are installed inside wooden cabinets, and the insulation between the cabinets and the dishwasher tamp down on vibration and stop your appliance from rattling in its cage. Insulation in the doors of dishwashers also stops the front of the machine from rattling.

Heat, Steam and Water Protection

If you've ever touched the front of a dishwasher while it's running, you know that these appliances can get pretty hot. Dishwashers use extra hot water to complete a wash cycle, which turns the entire machine into a scorching metal box. The heat, as well as the steam or water that escapes from the dishwasher can warp wooden cabinets and damage flooring, which often leads to costly repairs. Once again, insulation helps. It acts as a protective layer around the dishwasher, keeping the appliance from damaging other surfaces.

Types of Insulation

Dishwasher insulation is commonly made from materials such as fiberglass, felt and foam. Often the insulation comes in the form of a blanket that is draped around the machine. Recently though, manufacturers have begun using new insulation materials in their designs that don't have the limitations that old styles of insulation have. Richard Allen, the product manager for Asko Appliances, told Appliance Magazine, "The days of just throwing an itchy fiberglass blanket on a plastic tub and declaring it good enough are over." These new insulation materials, brand name or proprietary products, deliver even more defense against sound, vibration and heat.