Buying a dishwasher isn’t easy, not especially if you haven’t bought one before – there are a lot to understand about dishwashers – and not even if you’ve used one for ten years and need to get a replacement, because the technology has advanced so much since!
But worry not, I have devised a step-by-step method for you to choose the best dishwasher.
Key Dishwasher Features To Check
1. Size and Capacity
The very first thing you think about when buying a dishwasher, is SIZE. I mean, think about it, you have to put that thing in your kitchen. You need to connect it with plumbing and power supply. Can you fit a full size dishwasher in your kitchen? Do you need it to be portable? Kept away when not using? Built-in with your kitchen cabinets?
Closely connected with size is capacity. The best way to save water and energy costs is to run a dishwasher with full load, so how many dishes do you wash daily? Averagely, I mean. If your family consists of two persons, or you only cook for dinner every day, why get a dishwasher that can wash twice as many dishes you use?
There are many types of dishwasher sizes and designs. If you haven’t done already, go to my Types of Dishwasher guide post and find out which type of dishwasher you want in your kitchen first. When you’ve eliminated all the types of dishwasher but one, come back here and read on. 🙂
2. Interior (Tub) Material
It’s either plastic or stainless steel nowadays. Both are good, really, but stainless steel is better. Plastic comes cheaper but they are lighter and vibrations will make more noise than stainless steel tubs. Stainless steel is also more energy-saving for drying cycles because they retain heat better.
Dishwashers can cause some noise. Is this a concern for you and your family? Do you run your dishwasher at night when you go to sleep? Built-in dishwashers are quieter compared to portable and countertop ones.
Well, that’s it basically. These three are the backbone, the things you MUST consider when you buy a dishwasher. The rest are all features that you decide according to price. It’s good to know about each feature before you start choosing the models though, so check out my guide post on More Dishwasher Features.
More Dishwasher Features
If this is the first time you’re buying a dishwasher, you might want to know what is what. I’ve explained the features below.
The tub is the internal container of the dishwasher. Choose a taller tub so that you can wash more dishes in one load or wash long/large items.
Find out whether the racks are adjustable to fit items of different sizes. Some racks are removable so you can fit in really large items like platters or pans.
How many wash programs do you need? That basically depends on the different types of things you will be washing. Basic programs are light wash for less dirty dishes, heavy wash for dirtier ones, and pots and pans wash.
Some dishwashers come with more varieties but they definitely add those in the price so decide whether you need them.
The sanitizing wash program is a useful one I recommend if you’re getting a mid-end dishwasher. It uses a higher temperature and sanitizes your dishes, but make sure you have a stainless steel tub for this to be efficient.
Dishwashers either use a hard food disposer or a filter. A food disposer cleans the residual food from your dishes and grinds them down before washing them away. Mid-end dishwashers might or might not have this feature.
If it doesn’t have a hard food disposer, then the food is caught in the filter and you’ll have to wash the filter regularly.
Number and placement of water jets and spray arms
The more the better! More spray arms and water jets means the dishes get cleaned thoroughly, but of course this adds to the price.
For your child’s safety, you might want to check whether the dishwasher has a child-proof door and control panel.
A very useful feature for the busy people. If you want to start the dishwasher later but might forget about it, this feature will help. The dishwasher will start automatically at the time you chose.
Single rack wash
Don’t always have a full load? The single rack wash feature lets you run the dishwasher to wash only one rack of dishes, saving you water costs.
Rinse and hold program
You don’t have a full load but the plates are going to sit in the dishwasher until the next meal finishes, so what do you do? Use this feature to rinse the dishes free of residual food so that they won’t smell or cake up, then you can wash them with the other dishes later when you have a full load.
Pause wash program
Oh no! There’s one plate left out on the table when the cycle is already running. Pause the wash program and add it in. If the dishwasher didn’t have this feature, you’ll have to hand wash that plate.
Time remaining indicator
Once you’ve had this, you will want it every time. This shows the time remaining for the running cycle, and most of them also tell you what cycle is running, in case you forgot.
The high end dishwashers have soil sensors that sense how dirty or murky the water is while it’s running. It will decide then whether to rinse your dishes one more time. This clever device will save you water cost and give you clean dishes every time.
Well, some of these features are common and can be found with the basic dishwasher, while some are only available with the higher end ones. Knowing these features is not enough to let you choose the best dishwasher; read my guide posts on Types of Dishwasher and How to Choose the Best Dishwasher now.