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Rinse Dishes In Hot Or Cold Water? (Let’s Find Out)

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:28 pm

Rinsing dishes is a critical phase of the dishwashing cycle, and it is essential to get it done the right way. This is because after rinsing the dishes, you get to use the dishes that way.

So, if you don’t get the cleanest dishes during the rinsing phase, you are bound to use dirty or unclean dishes. That being said, should you rinse your dishes in hot or cold water?

It would be best if you rinse your dishes in hot water. Every dish cleaning session aims to have the cleanest dishes possible. With hot water, you can be 99 percent sure that you will rinse off the food residues and microbes on the plates. In addition, you won’t miss any food particles left from the washing cycle in the rinsing cycle.

Do You Rinse Dishes With Cold Or Hot Water?

I rinse dishes with hot water, and I recommend that you should too. Rinsing dishes with hot water is the most effective way of having the most sanitized dishes. The goal for every dishwashing session is to have the cleanest dishes possible. Using hot water helps you achieve this goal.

Hot water has a far greater cleaning potency compared to cold water. Often, we use dishes for meals and don’t get to get them washed immediately after. This means food particles have time to solidify on the dish surfaces. Furthermore, there is plenty of time for bacteria and other microbes to grow on the dishes.

Using hot water ensures that the hardened food particles are melted off the surface of the dishes. But, more importantly, hot water provides that the already growing bacteria colonies are killed off. Moreover, this is one of the methods used to clean surgical instruments for surgeries, to tell you how adequate hot water is.

Also, using hot water speeds up each dishwashing cycle. Firstly, you don’t have to wait for all the solidified food particles to come off, especially when washing them manually. Next, grease and other oily dirt are cleaned easily with the hot soapy mixture. Thirdly, rinsing with hot water ensures every food particle and microbe that escaped the first washing cycle is removed in the rinsing cycle.

A few times, some hardened food particles may escape the first phase of washing, especially when the plates are much, and you need to be fast. When you rinse with hot water, these hardened food particles that were softened from the washing cycle would be removed.

Additionally, you don’t need to use dishwashing liquid or detergent during the washing phase if you’re using hot water to rinse. This is because you know that whatever escapes the initial washing phase will not escape the final rinsing phase.

Lastly, rinsing with hot water helps your dishes dry out faster because hot water evaporates more quickly from the dish surfaces. This is because the surface tension of hot water is less than that of cold water. Therefore, it spreads over the surface of the dishes faster and easier than cold water.

It would be best if you used a dish rack to facilitate air-drying of the dishes. It helps drain excess water from the rinsed dishes so that no streaks and spots are left on the dried dishes. You cannot get all these advantages with cold water. If you are washing manually and using hot water, you need to wear rubber gloves.

This is so that your hands are kept safe when the dishes are being washed and rinsed in hot water. In addition, I recommend regularly cleaning your washcloth with rubber gloves so that bacteria growth and odor are curtailed.

Is It Okay To Rinse Your Dishes In Cold Water?

You can rinse your dishes with cold water. This is because some situations may arise where you may not access hot water. For instance, your dishwasher may be faulty, or you’re out of electricity or something. In such cases, you can use cold water. But this is to your detriment.

If, for instance, the dishes are not too dirty and grease-free, you can use lukewarm water or even outright cold water. But, there’s always this extra security hygiene-wise that comes with rinsing with hot water.

However, cold water does have some added advantages. For instance, cold water is denser, so it is better at removing the layers of soap off your plate.

Despite this, cold water does not give you all the added benefits of hot water. When you rinse with cold water, all the hardened food residues that escaped the initial washing cycle won’t be tackled. You can be sure of this.

Some microbes, too, may have survived the washing cycle. If you use cold water to rinse, this means they won’t be killed off, and your dishes won’t be maximally sanitized.

Also, if you rinse your dishes with a water cooler than 90 degrees Fahrenheit when your dishes air-dry, a greasy film is left on them. This is because cool temperatures tremendously reduce the ability of water to remove grease.

Moreover, dishes rinsed with cold water do not dry as fast as dishes rinsed with hot water. They also dry with some streaks and spots on them. Therefore, you may need to dry them by hand with a dishtowel; thus, you are spending more time and energy.

Also, because the dishtowel becomes soaked and damp, it favors the growth of bacteria. This means you spend a lot of time and energy cleaning your dishes only to sully them right after. Therefore, you should wash the dishtowel regularly to avoid transferring bacteria to your dishes.

What Is The Temperature For Rinsing Dishes?

For dishwasher machines, the average temperature during the primary cycle is about 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the soap residue, food residues, and grease are removed from the dishes.

However, during the rising cycle, dishwasher machines operate at a higher temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the dishes are entirely sanitized and very safe for meals.

If, however, you wash your dishes manually, the water temperature doesn’t have to be that ridiculously high, especially if you are not a fan of using gloves to wash your dishes. I recommend using water with temperatures between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit to rinse the dishes.

If the water temperature is not up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the dishes won’t be thoroughly washed as some greasy film may be on the drying dishes. It also helps the dishes to dry faster because they are warm after the rinsing cycle.

Does Washing Dishes With Hot Water Make A Difference?

Washing dishes with hot water makes a lot of difference. Firstly, you won’t have to fall sick due to improperly washed dishes. Using hot water ensures that every harmful microbe like bacteria or fungi gets eradicated from your dishes. Thus you don’t get to suffer from food poisoning, which will make you or your family spend more money and lose some productive time.

Secondly, when you use hot water to wash your dishes, you save time doing other things. This is particularly true for people in food businesses like restaurants. This is because the hot water wipes off every food residue and grease from the surface of the dishes.

Therefore, you don’t need to bother scrubbing the dishes so hard if you’re washing them with your hands. Additionally, they get to air-dry faster because they are warm after rinsing them with hot water. So the water on their surfaces evaporates more quickly. Finally, you don’t need to dry them out with a dishtowel, unlike when you use cold water.

Thirdly, using hot water saves you from spending so much on detergent. You need a lesser amount of detergent to wash the dishes; thus, you end up saving some extra cash for some other expenditures. Finally, your dishes are dry and spot-free with hot water, unlike cold water.


Rinsing dishes is the final phase of every dishwashing cycle before drying the dishes. I recommend using hot water to rinse your washed dishes to be utterly free from food residues and harmful microbes.

Hot water usage also helps your dishes to air-dry faster. Just remember to put on your gloves when washing your dishes with your hands.

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