11 Most Typical Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycles Explained!

Dishwashing is probably one routine you’ve to do every day unless you aren’t having your meals the whole day, and one dishwasher model you can count on is Whirlpool. But given the numerous cycles, this guide shall have Whirlpool dishwasher cycles explained.

We’ll look at the various Whirlpool cycles such as Pre Wash, Quick Wash, Normal Cycle, Sensor Cycle, Heavy Wash, Delicate Cycle, High Temp Cycle, Heat Dry, Sani Rinse, Extended Dry, and Soak & Clean.

I’ll explain the expected runtime for each of these cycles, the expected amount of water usage, and the types of dishes to wash. All that will enable you to understand your Whirlpool dishwasher better so you can enjoy and get the most out of it. 

After that, look at issues like beeping during a cycle, the dishwasher wash symbols, and cycle interruption. 

Let’s jump into it!

Whirlpool dishwasher cycles explained

In a rush? Below is a quick summary of the Whirlpool dishwasher’s cycles. 

Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycles Explained In Summary

CycleSuitabilityAverage Runtime Average Water Usage (Gallons)
1.Pre Wash Soaking baked-on and dried-on dishes6 – 8 minutes 10 gallons 
2.Quick WashFaster washing30 – 60 minutes 7 – 7.5 gallons 
3.Normal Cycle typical use 1.5 – 2 hours 2.5 – 10 gallons 
4.Sensor Cycle Automatically selecting the correct load setting depending on soil level, load size, and temperature 2 – 3.25 hours 9.25 – 10 gallons 
5.Heavy Cycle Cleaning hard-to-wash dishes 2.75 – 4 hours 9.25 – 10 gallons 
6.Delicate Cycle Cleaning fragile dishware 30 minutes 
7.High Temp Cycle Removing stubborn baked-on foods 5 – 13 minutes more 7.5 gallons 
8.Heat Dry Heat-drying dishes30 minutes more N/A
9.Sani Rinse Sanitization dishes1 – 1.5 hours more 7.5 gallons 
10.Extended Dry Extends the drying time 30 minutes more N/A
11.Soak & Clean Cleaning baked-on and dried-on dishes6.15 hours 10 gallons 

What Are The Cycles Of A Whirlpool Dishwasher?

Below are 11 Whirlpool dishwasher cycles worth knowing about and their application, average running time, and average water usage.

1.  Pre Wash 

The Pre Wash cycle is best for soaking dishes with baked-on or dried-on foods. These dishes may take longer to clean if you decide to use a Normal Cycle and may even use more water.

Since it’s a pre-soaking routine, Pre Wash takes an average of 6 – 8 minutes and uses about 10 gallons of water. 

See also  8 Bosch Dishwasher Cycles Explained (Plus How Long They Run)

2. Quick Wash (Whirlpool Dishwasher 1-Hour Wash Cycle)

Quick Wash, as the name suggests, guarantees faster cleaning results. This cycle takes a maximum of 1 hour, thus the name 1-hour cycle, but the average time is 30 – 60 minutes. 

And since it’s a quick cycle, you can only wash lightly soiled dishes, especially plates, and bowls. In terms of water usage, you need about 7 – 7.5 gallons to perform a quick Wash. if you factor in the wash and heated dry time, the quick wash will take 1.33 – 1.48 hours. 

3. Normal Cycle 

This is most likely the cycle you’ll use a lot. The Normal Cycle is ideal for typical usage. That’s when the dishes are averagely soiled. 

The wash cycle doesn’t use much water (2.5 – 10 gallons) and takes an average of 1.5 – 2 hours. If you factor in the wash and the heated-dry time, it will take about 2.43 – 3.09 hours. 

What is the normal cycle on a Whirlpool dishwasher

4. Sensor Cycle 

The Sensor Cycle, as the name hints, involves sensing the condition of the dishes. This cycle automatically selects the correct dishwashing setting depending on the dish’s soil level, load size, and temperature, thus best for dishes with varying soil levels. 

The sensor cycle runs for 2 – 3.25 hours and uses about 9.25 – 10 gallons. 

5. Heavy Cycle (Pots & Pans/Heavy Duty Cycle)

The Heavy Cycle is for washing the hardest-to-wash items such as heavily soiled pans and pots, thus the name pots & pans cycle. You can also wash grimy tableware with this cycle, which generally takes 2.75 – 4 hours to run while using 9.25 – 10 gallons of water. 

6. Delicate Cycle (Light /Glass Cycle)

The Delicate Cycle is for cleaning the most fragile and finest dishwasher, such as glasses. This cycle runs on low heat and is free from solid water bursts to avoid damaging the delicate articles. It takes an average of 30 minutes to run, making it one of the shortest. 

7. High Temp Cycle 

The High Temp cycle uses high heat to cut through stubborn baked-on foods and grimy residues. In most cases, the minimum running temperature is 1300F and is best when paired with rinse aid. 

Expect the cycle to run 5 – 13 minutes more and is about 7.5 gallons. The cycle is best paired with Normal, sensor, and Heavy Cycles. 

8. Heat Dry 

The Heat Dry cycle is handy when you want the dishes to dry much faster. This cycle generates hot air and circles it around the dishes to dry them quickly. 

See also  5 Things To Do If Your Bosch Dishwasher Can’t Change Cycle!

The cycle extends the dishwasher’s running time by at least 30 minutes. Heat Dry works best with Quick Wash, Normal, Sensor, and Heavy Cycles. 

9. Sani Rinse (Sanitize Cycle)

The Sani Rinse or Sanitize Cycle increases the dishwasher’s washing and rinsing temperature to kill potential microbes and sanitize the dishes. According to Whirlpool, Sani Rinse can kill 99.99% of food/soil bacteria.

Sanitize Cycle extends the runtime of the dishwasher by about 1 – 1.5 hours and uses about 7.5 gallons of water. Sani Rinse works best with Normal, Sensor, or Heavy Cycles. 

10. Extended Dry 

The Extended Dry Cycle is similar to the Heat Dry Cycle in that it is slightly more energy efficient and is unavailable on all models. 

This cycle extends the dishwasher’s runtime by at least 30 minutes and works best with the Normal, Sensor, and Heavy Cycle. 

Whirlpool dishwasher cycle time

11. Soak & Clean 

While the Pre Wash only pre-soaks dried-on and baked-on dishes, Soak & Clean pre-soaks and washes them. So, it takes much longer, and the average Whirlpool dishwasher Soak And Clean cycle time is about 6.15 hours.

This cycle uses up to 10 gallons of water, but it’s advisable to add prewash detergent for the best results. 

How Long Is The Cycle On A Whirlpool Dishwasher?

Depending on how soiled the dishes are, the cycle selected, and how long the water takes, most Whirlpool dishwasher cycles run for 1.5 – 4 hours.

Of course, there are some exceptions, such as the Pre Wash and Quick wash, which takes a shorter time, and others like Sani Rinse, Heat Dry, and Extended Dry, which extend the Whirlpool dishwasher cycle time by 30 or more minutes.

Below is a table showing the average Whirlpool dishwasher cycle time for the various cycles. 

CycleAverage Runtime 
Pre Wash 6 – 8 minutes 
Quick Wash30 – 60 minutes 
Normal Cycle 1.5 – 2 hours 
Sensor Cycle 2 – 3.25 hours 
Heavy Cycle 2.75 – 4 hours 
Delicate Cycle 30 minutes 
High Temp Cycle 5 – 13 minutes more 
Heat Dry 30 minutes more 
Sani Rinse 1 – 1.5 hours more 
Extended Dry 30 minutes more 
Soak & Clean 6.15 hours 

Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycle Symbols

A Whirlpool dishwasher displays some symbols when running to show the identity of the running cycle or the condition of the dishwasher. That brings us to the following:

  • Eco – Eco shows that the dishwasher is running on an energy-saving and water-saving cycle, which generally takes longer.
  • 1h (one hour) – 1h indicates a one-hour cycle such as the Quick wash.
  • ON Light – This symbol mainly indicates a running dishwasher.
  • Key Symbol (Child Lock) – The Key Symbol indicates an active child lock. The dishwasher doesn’t run in such a case.
  • Auto – This symbol shows an automatic cycle ideal for regular washing where the average temperature is 45 – 65 DC.
  • Glass 400C – The symbol indicates a low-temperature cycle which is best for fragile items.
See also  4 Reason Why Bosch Dishwasher Starts Then Stops (Plus Fixes!)

Consider looking at your dishwasher manual for more dishwasher cycle symbols and their interpretation. 

Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycle Interrupted

Two common scenarios could interrupt the Whirlpool dishwasher cycle, and they are as follows:

  • Opening the door before the end of a cycle – If you open the dishwasher’s door before the wash cycle ends, you’ll interrupt the process. Most Whirlpool dishwashers flash the start/resume light if that’s the case, and if so, close the door and restart the dishwasher. 
  • Power interruption – Expect a power interruption to interrupt the dishwasher’s cycle. If that’s the case, you should disconnect the dishwasher for at least 1 minute to reset it. 
Whirlpool dishwasher 1-hour wash cycle

Whirlpool Dishwasher Beeping During Cycle

A Whirlpool dishwasher may beep while running to indicate different things. Here’s what to know about the beeping. 

  • 30-second beep – The door will likely open if your dishwasher beeps every 30 seconds. So, you can stop the beeping by closing the door. 
  • Beeping plus blinking – A dishwasher will beep and blink to indicate leaking water. You may need to dry the leaked water with a dry cloth before restarting the dishwasher. 
  • Three times beeping – It’s possible that your dishwasher is leaking and the water is lying at its bottom. So, you’ve to find the source of the leakage. 

Other Reasons a Whirlpool Dishwasher May Beep 

Also, consider these issues if your Whirlpool dishwasher blinks:

  • Clogged filter 
  • Low water level (insufficient water entering your dishwasher)
  • Low rinse-aid 
  • Empty detergent dispenser 
  • Too many dishes (dishwasher overload) 

People Also Ask 

1. What Is The Normal Cycle On A Whirlpool Dishwasher?

The Normal Cycle on a Whirlpool dishwasher is the cycle you use for averagely soiled dishes. This cycle runs for 1.5 – 2 hours and uses about 2.5 – 10 gallons. 

2. What Is The Shortest Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycle?

The shortest wash Cycle on a Whirlpool dishwasher is the Quick Wash which averages 30 – 60 minutes and is best for faster washing. However, expect the Pre Wash, which is more of a pre-soaking setting to only last 6 – 8 minutes. 

3. How Long Is The Whirlpool Dishwasher Normal Cycle?

The longest cycle on a Whirlpool dishwasher is the Soak & Clean, which takes about 6.15 average. This cycle uses about 10 gallons of water and cleans the heaviest baked-on and dried-on dishes. 

4. How Long is a Normal Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycle?

When using a Whirlpool dishwasher, the Normal Cycle typically takes 1.5 – 2 hours. Expect the cycle to take slightly longer; however, if you pair it with another such as Heat Dry, High Temp, extended Dry, or Sani Rinse.

Closing Thought 

Above are the most common Whirlpool dishwasher cycles explained. You can thus use the information to match your dishes with the correct process when using your Whirlpool dishwasher. 

At least that’ll save you from wasting water, time, or energy, and that’s what you want when cleaning dishes with a dishwasher.

Also Read:

Leave a Comment