There are several types of dishwasher out there, mainly different by size and outer design. Let’s go over each one briefly.
Featured Types of Dishwasher Machines
1. Portable Dishwasher
Dishwasher on wheels! If you live in a rented place and cannot remodel your kitchen, or you want to bring your dishwasher away next time you move, portable dishwasher is one of your best choices. It is not fixed into your kitchen cabinets like the built-in or integrated dishwashers, so you can roll it out of sight when you need the space. Or you can use it as an extra cabinet for your dishes, and the top of it as an extra countertop space. Some of these are convertible into built-in dishwasher so that you can fix them into your kitchen cabinets next time you remodel your kitchen.
2. Countertop Dishwasher
The name says it. This dishwasher is small and sits on your countertop like a microwave oven. It’s smaller than the portable dishwasher and is perfect for couples without kids, or people who rarely cook at all. This costs less than full-size dishwashers and save you water and energy costs ONLY if you fit into the description above. That’s because if you have plenty of dishes to wash, you can get a full-size dishwasher for just a bit more in the price.
3. Slimline Dishwasher
This slimline dishwasher comes in both portable and built-in versions. It is only 18 inches wide, good for those who don’t have much space left in their kitchen.
4. Built-in Dishwasher
The standard 24-inch wide full size dishwasher. The built-in dishwasher is fixed into your kitchen countertop and all the connections to power and plumbing is invisible to the eye. Built-in dishwashers are always quieter than non-built-in ones. Some of these dishwashers are designed to blend in with the kitchen theme. That means the controls are kept out of sight and you won’t realize the dishwasher is there if you didn’t know it already.
5. Drawer Dishwasher
The drawer dishwasher is different from any other dishwasher in its design. For this one, you load from the top, like putting dishes into a drawer. The good thing is, you get two drawers for one dishwasher, and you can set them going separately. What’s the benefit of this? Why, you can save water and energy costs when you have only half load, and yet be able to wash all dishes at the same time when you have a full load! What’s more, you can run the two loads with different wash cycles, separating them one for china and one for pots, for instance.
Key Features To Choose A Dishwasher
If you’ve used a dishwasher before, you would know roughly what you want: a better dishwasher than your old one, of course. But if you’re buying it for the first time, and you’ve never even helped your mum load a dishwasher before, then you have nothing to compare and have to start from scratch. Don’t worry, this is how you do it:
1. Check the fundamentals
First of all you will have to decide which type of dishwasher you want. There are a few types such as countertop, portable, and fully integrated to suit different kinds of kitchens, because they are different in size, capacity and design. Read my post on Types of Dishwashers to find out more on each type.
Other than size and capacity, other things you want to bear in mind is the material of the dishwasher tub, and how much noise it makes when it’s running a cycle. Click here to read more about How to Choose the Best Dishwasher.
2. What other features would you like?
After knowing the important points to consider, now you can look at the details. There are many features available with dishwashers nowadays, like hard food disposer, sophisticated programs and soil sensors. I’ve made a short list of dishwasher features with descriptions here.
3. Adjust your needs to your budget
There sure are plenty of features for dishwashers, but you can usually see that the difference lies in the price. The price range doesn’t go gradually from $250 to $2000, but instead it goes like this:
$250 – $400 – Low end or basic standard size dishwashers, or compact dishwashers.
$600 – $900 – Mid end dishwashers.
$1200 and above – High end dishwashers.
Look at the range within your budget, then find out whether the features meet with your expectations.
How to Use Dishwasher Machine Correctly
Use a dishwasher correctly and get satisfying cleaning results with a long working machine. A dishwasher washes, clean dishes, rinses and dries dishes, plates, cutlery, pots and pans and glasses etc. all in one cycle. To ensure a satisfying, clean end-result consider the following:
1. Proper Loading of the Machine
Aim to load and use a dishwasher correctly. Avoid overloading as this will result in decreased cleaning performance and can damage relevant parts. Try to scrap food remains off plates and dishes, pre-soak baked on rests in pans and pots. This helps to save energy and water. It is good practice to load heavier and larger items into the bottom rack and more delicate glassware and smaller plates, cups etc. on the top. Make sure glasses, cups and pots are facing upside down. This way cleaning water will be able to run off surfaces and not been collected in them. Cutlery and flatware should be placed into baskets or cutlery trays. Avoid “cramming” too many cutlery pieces into the tray or basket as this way water cannot reach every surface and improper cleaning results would occur.
The same is advised for similar sized dishes, pots and plates: make sure surfaces can be reached by the water-jets. Make sure nothing sticks out and blocks the rotating spray-arms or hinders the unlocking mechanism of the detergent dispenser. Items that are too long can be placed safely onto the top racks. Keep items made out of different metals apart from each other. This prevents erosion and surface or flash rust. For your own safety you should put sharp and spiky items in the cutlery basket or -tray. This way you can avoid injuries during loading and unloading the dishwasher.
2. Use the right Dishwasher Detergent
Always use a dishwasher detergent that is recommended by the manufacturer. Normal washing up liquid will cause excessive foam production that can damage your machine and results in improper washing performance.
Modern detergents come in powder or tablet form. The all-in-one tablets are little “chemo-technical” power cleaner with 3 to 5 different components that are working timed according to specific sections within the washing-cycle.
To clean inner surfaces, racks, tines and valves let the dishwasher run a full cycle without placing any items inside using only white vinegar. (Just put some into the detergent dispenser or onto the bottom of the tub.)
3. Dishwasher Salt and Rinse Aid
Dishwasher salt is not equal household salt! Always use a dishwasher-recommended salt and rinse aid. This way you will ensure proper washing and cleaning performance and you won’t damage your machine. Salt is needed to prepare or soften water so that it can be used by the dishwasher safely. In a lot of places water contains varying amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium. These elements determine the grade of water hardness and if not “removed” or exchanged, they cause scaling of valves, hoses and relevant parts of the dishwasher. Rinse aid is usually a fluid placed into a separate dispenser right beside the Detergent dispensing unit. In modern detergent tablets rinse aid can be integrated in the tablets. For that read instructions of your tablets. Rinse aid helps water to flow off items more easily and prevents forming of speckles and marks on washed and dried dishes, plates, flatware/cutlery and glasses.
Understanding how a dishwasher works might not seem very relevant to everyone at first…but it’s been demonstrated in a number of studies that people who understand the basics of how their kitchen appliances (or other machinery they use) work, actually have fewer problems with breakdowns. So having even a basic idea of how it works may help you use a dishwasher more sympathetically and help it do its job better.