Informational Guide

Plastic Vs Stainless Steel Dishwasher Tub (2024 Guide)

We compare and contract the option for homeowners of getting a plastic vs a stainless steel dishwasher tub in your kitchen.

by Josh Mitchell

One of the critical components of a dishwasher is the tub.

This interior stops the water and soap from getting out of the dishwasher and onto your floor. It also helps dry the dishes and protect the electrics from water damage. 

Comparing Plastic Vs. Stainless Steel Dishwasher Tubs

Pros of Stainless Steel Dishwasher Tubs

  • Durable
    Stainless steel is a highly durable material that can resist high temperatures. During a cycle, it absorbs heat from the hot water. It releases it gradually, making drying the dishes a faster and more eco-friendly task.
  • Less Noise
    Dishwasher tubs made of stainless steel have an easier time absorbing noise than plastic ones. Noise dampening or canceling models are essential for smaller homes and apartments.
  • Energy efficient
    Stainless steel tubs' heat absorption properties create a more efficient drying system that uses less power and saves you money long term.
  • Eco Friendly
    Stainless steel is durable and better for the environment than plastic tubs usually are, and they often last longer overall.
  • Cleaner Dishes
    Being able to withstand hotter water means that your dishes will receive thorough cleaning and drying. More bacteria can also be targeted as a result of higher temperatures.

Pros of Plastic Tub Dishwashers

  • Low Cost
    Plastic tubs are cheaper to produce and often appear on cheaper dishwashers. This makes them an affordable option for students and budget buyers than stainless steel ones. 
  • Less Cleaning
    Whether you choose to clean your dishwasher tub with dishwasher cleaner or good old-fashioned sponges and soapy water, plastic tubs are easier to clean. They do not scratch as easily, making it possible to scrub without worrying about the finish. Fewer stains also mean that cleaning does not have to be as intensive a job. 

Cons of Stainless Steel Dishwasher Tubs

  • Requires frequent cleaning
    Stainless steel is easy to work with but can need more regular maintenance than others. While using a dishwasher cleaner or using the traditional methods can work, we do not recommend putting bleach into your dishwasher. It can stain or damage the finish. Maintenance on household items like the dishwasher can be difficult to upkeep in everyday life, so it is not suited to everyone.
  • High buying cost
    Dishwashers with stainless steel tubs tend to have a higher upfront cost than plastic tub ones. This is because they are of high quality and more expensive to produce than plastic. Although it can save you money long-term, this type of dishwasher can be a commitment.

Cons of Plastic Tub Dishwashers

  • Use more energy during cycles
    Plastic tubs cannot withstand the high heat that stainless steel ones can. This means that they use more energy when drying dishes than stainless steel ones, relying on stored energy and lower heating elements.
  • More Noise
    Plastic tubs are not as effective as stainless ones are when it comes to noise reduction. This is not necessarily a problem for larger homes but can be problematic for those living in small spaces.
  • Discoloration
    Plastic tubs tend to become discolored over time. This discoloration can come from old age, regular use, and staining foods. This is not a dealbreaker for all customers but is worth bearing in mind.

What Is A Dishwasher Tub?

A dishwasher tub is the interior box of the machine. Typically made of stainless steel, plastic, or a mix of the two, the tub helps protect your floor and the dishwasher's electronics, absorb noise, and clean or dry the dishes.

These tubs are designed to be dishwasher safe and durable to keep up with your regular cleaning schedule. They have different pros and cons depending on the materials it is made from.


Cost Comparison

Depending on where you get it from, you can get a real bargain on a dishwasher.

That being said, the typical price range would be $200-$600 for a plastic tub type and $600-$5000 for a steel tub one. The more convenience and high tech features you want, the more expensive the dishwasher will be.

If you want effective cleaning for a more affordable price, we would recommend getting a hybrid model. These tubs are made from both plastic and stainless steel to give the best of both.

white kitchen


What does a hybrid dishwasher tub mean?

A hybrid tub will contain elements of both stainless steel and plastic. This is a moderate upgrade from the completely plastic tub.

Does vinegar damage stainless steel dishwashers?

It can! Using it sparingly or occasionally is best as too much can damage the hoses and rubber gaskets over time. Vinegar can also permanently discolor your dishes when in contact with water.


There are plenty of pros and cons to each type of dishwasher tub. The dishwasher interior stainless vs. plastic debate winner depends on your needs. Consider what your home personally needs and find one within an affordable budget.

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.