Should a dishwasher be on the right or left of a sink?

Your dishwasher's placement has an unrivalled influence on the functionality of your kitchen – here's how to get it right

Small kitchen painted blue
(Image credit: deVOL)

Should a dishwasher be on the right or left of a sink? While this query may seem relative, the answer significantly impacts the seamlessness of your daily routines.

Whether you need to find a specific utensil when cooking – or you're looking to accelerate the post-dinner party clean-up – your dishwasher's placement will impact the ease of your chore. And while you may know how to clean a dishwasher and how to ensure your cutlery comes out spotless – the discussion about where to locate this appliance is less well known. 

So, should a dishwasher be on the right or left of a sink? Here, experts find an answer that will work within your kitchen layout.

Should a dishwasher be on the right or left of a sink?

The answer is entirely personal and depends on which of your hands is dominant.

Dishwasher near a sink

(Image credit: Alamy)

'If you are right-handed, you should place your dishwasher on the left,' says Daniel P. Craig, the founder of Kitchen Deets. 'A right-handed person would stand at the sink holding a plate in their left hand so they can scrape or wipe the plate with their dominant right hand, and then reach with their left to place it in the dishwasher.'

Alternatively, if you are left-handed, Daniel recommends locating your dishwasher on the opposite side of your sink so that you can reach it with equal ease. 'It's more convenient and efficient to have your dishwasher facing away from where you wash dishes,' he says. 

How far can dishwasher be from sink? 

Kitchen designers such as Evan Nelson, a cabinet expert at Nelson Cabinetry,  recommend placing your dishwasher as close to the sink as possible. This makes the cleaning process easier and more efficient. 'From a plumbing standpoint, it's more logical to locate all the kitchen plumbing in a single place to save up on materials and make it as accessible as possible,' Evan adds.

Dishwasher near a sink

(Image credit: GettyImages)

And beyond the practicality, placing your dishwasher near your sink may have economic benefits, too. 

'Dishwashers are normally placed next to the sink as it is the most cost-effective,' adds Kristen Reyes, an interior designer and CEO of Sey Interiors. This is because the appliance is generally attached to the plumbing of your kitchen sink. 'Technically, this is not the only place a dishwasher can be located. However, it is the most practical place and where I always recommend my clients to have theirs when possible,' the designer adds. 

How far can dishwasher be from sink?

It is best to place your dishwasher as close to the sink as possible. However, if you're working with small kitchen ideas, you can still enjoy the convenience of a dishwasher – with a bit of creativity. 

'If you are tight on space, the dishwasher can also be located 90 degrees from the kitchen sink,' Kristen says. 'Paying attention to where you will stand when loading and unloading your dishwasher is important since it is utilized daily for most people.'

Or, if you're working with a secondary prep space like a wet bar or butler's pantry ideas, you may decide to locate another dishwasher in that space. 'You can install dishwasher drawers or an apartment-sized dishwasher to save on space when planning for these types of smaller-sized rooms,' she adds.

Now you know where your dishwasher should sit; the only thing left to check is how to unclog a dishwasher. You can read up on our guide here.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.