Skip Navigation

Plastic vs. Stainless Steel Dishwasher Tub Material

The interior of dishwashers are made in two different tub materials, plastic or stainless steel. If you're not familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each tub type, look at this comparison between plastic and stainless steel tub materials to help you decide which interior type will be better for your new dishwasher.


Stainless Steel


Long-lastingLong-lasting, but can rust over time



Heat Resistance

Can not with stand as much heatCan handle higher water temperatures and sanitizes dishes more effectively

Energy Efficiency

Less energy efficientMore energy efficient


Better at hiding hard water stains and calcium depositsQuick to show hard water stains and calcium build up


Less expensiveMore expensive

Plastic Tub Matierial

Advantages of plastic tub material

  • Fresh Apearance - A plastic interior won't show stains or water spots, so you won't have to wipe it clean as often.
  • Lower Cost - Models with plastic interiors are less expensive.

Limitations of plastic tub material

  • Uses More Energy During Cycles - Because the walls don't hold heat as well, your dishwasher has to use more heat and thus more energy during the drying cycle.
  • Discoloration - Plastic tubs discolor more easily than stainless steel, so the appearance may change over time.

Stainless Steel Tub Interior

Advantages of stainless steel tub material

  • Eco-Friendly - Stainless steel walls act as a source of heat during the drying cycle. You'll use less electricity and ultimately save money over time, even though stainless steel is more expensive initially.
  • Quieter - The thick metal walls inside the machine block vibrations from the water and reduce sound when the dishwasher is running.
  • Cleaner Dishes - Because stainless steel walls can handle water temperatures over 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat will help clean and sterilize dishes.

Limitations of stainless steel tub material

  • Requires frequent cleaning - Stainless steel is notorious for showing stains and water spots. Even though your machine might be clean, you'll need to wipe it down regularly.
  • Initial Cost - You'll end up paying more money up front for a stainless steel appliance.