Should You Go For Plastic or Stainless Steel Dishwasher Tub Material?


The tub is the interior part of a dishwasher and it’s what usually matters to a very large extent. The tub material is either plastic or stainless steel.

Unlike before when the internal part was made of metal (that easily corroded), the plastic and stainless steel tub are sturdier so they last longer.

When deciding on the type of dishwasher to buy, it is important to consider the different features of each tub material, so here you have them compared:

What Are The Advantages of Stainless Steel?

Miele Futura G6105SCSS Crystal Stainless Steel Dishwasher

Less Noise

  • The heavy steel walls of the tub usually absorb most of the noise the water makes when the cleaning process is running.

Energy Efficient

  • The stainless steel tubs help with the drying process as they are capable of absorbing more heat than plastics hence they use need power during this process subsequently leading to electricity saving. The stainless steel tubs end up saving around 200 watts as compared to plastic tubs in the process.

Cleaner dishes

  • The stainless steel walls can sustain temperatures of more than 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water accentuates the detergent’s washing power leading to not only cleaner, but also well-sterilized dishes. A plastic tub is less efficient.


  • Stainless steel tubs usually are less prone to cracking due to the strong thick, walls. Dish stains occurs less compared to plastic tubs.

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What Are The Disadvantages of The Stainless Steel?

Whirlpool WDF520PADM Built-in Stainless Dishwasher - Installation typ

High buying cost

  • You will end up spending more on a stainless steel tub dishwasher with compared to a plastic one. The cost is usually determined by a variety of factors, known by the manufacturers.

Frequent Cleaning

  • Compared to plastic tubs, then stainless steel ones will get some stains when you use hard water that has a lot of calcium. Using water softener is highly recommended here. Some of the more expensive models have this feature already implemented.

What Are The Advantages of Plastic Tub?


  • Plastic made tubs are usually cheaper as compared to those made of stainless steel.

Less Cleaning

  • A plastic tub is good at hiding stains as compared to the stainless steel.

What Are The Disadvantages of Plastic Tub?

Energy Inefficient

  • The walls of the plastic tubs are not as strong so they don’t hold as much heat during the cleaning and drying process. The energy consumption will be greater.

More Noise

  • The plastic tubs are not able to absorb as much noise but nowadays the latest models do have extra layers of insulation.

See what are the best dishwashers on the market on my comparison page


A plastic tub dishwasher may be cheaper initially but down the line, considering electricity and maintenance costs, it may be a better idea to spend a little more and get a dishwasher that has a stainless steel tub. I for one, would recommend doing so.

Last update on 2021-07-27 at 21:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. Unless you’re going to throw it away at the first problem get stainless. Have a plastic one right now with a hole burned in it from the element getting to close to the plastic. Wouldn’t have happened with stainless.

  2. A question:
    I am toying with the idea of a total kitchen remodeling in my condo. Want to change the linoleum to tile and changed the cabinets and the dishwasher. My dilemma is what comes first, the tiling wall to wall, or hooking up the dishwasher first and tile afterwards?

  3. Less Noise
    •The heavy steel walls of the tub usually absorb most of the noise the water makes when the cleaning process is running.

    This isn’t really the case, the stainless steel used on tubs of dishwashers is .018” thick, barely more than foil. What makes them quiet is that the manufacturer adheres a thick bitumen mastic (up to 4 mm thick) to the majority of the tubs surface and that is one factor that helps absorbs the sound. Without that it would be way louder than a plastic tub dishwasher. Also, SS dishwashers almost always use a much quieter motor verses cheaper plastic dishwashers and they typically have far more insulation wrapped around the tub, in the door and in the base of the unit. It is all these things that make the SS dishwasher quieter than plastic tub dishwashers.

    What Are The Advantages of Plastic Tub?

    •Plastic made tubs are usually cheaper as compared to those made of stainless steel.
    This is definitely true, the cost to mold a one piece plastic tub is far less than the cost to fabricate multiple pieces of SS and join them together.

    Less Cleaning
    •A plastic tub is good at hiding stains as compared to the stainless steel.
    This is not true, plastic tubs are notorious for showing red/pink stains from tomato based soils especially if the plastic is white. This is a big reason many manufacturers are now offering gray plastic tubs.

    Other things of note about plastic tub dishwashers is that they usually use cheaper PVC coating on their racks which tends to fail rather quickly which leads to rack tines corroding. The racks in SS dishwashers usually use more expensive Nylon coating on their racks which is far more durable and longer lasting.

  4. An engineer has just attended to our dishwasher with a plastic tub and he showed me where it is starting to fail where the base meets the sides, allowing water to seep out. This happens as a result of the constant heating and cooling.Eventually the water is of sufficient quantity to stop the machine. He gave ours 6 to 12 months!