A dishwasher is one of the most useful appliances that you can have in your kitchen. This appliance can rid you of one of the most dreaded daily tasks: washing the dishes. Furthermore, it can help you save both time and money. However, finding a dishwasher that can actually suit your needs can be very tricky, since there are numerous brands to choose from and several types of dishwashers, each one with their pros and cons. With this dishwasher buying guide, we will try to simplify your research process by helping you decide on a type of dishwasher and by helping you understand the features which define a dishwasher’s efficiency and its capacity to satisfy your needs.
Advantages of using a modern dishwasher
If you own an old dishwasher which does a fairly good job, you might think that there is no point in investing in a newer model if the old one still works. However, modern dishwashers are a lot more efficient than they used to be. They come with improved features and countless upgrades, designed for your own comfort and conveniences. Here are the main advantages of modern dishwashers which will convince you to change your old dishwasher for a newer version.
The newest dishwashers consume considerably fewer resources than the older models.
There are several modern dishwashers on the market which can wash even heavily caked dishes without the need of pre-washing or rinsing the dishes before loading them in the dishwasher.
The latest dishwasher models can finish a load a lot faster than older models and even come with dish drying features.
Nowadays, dishwashers are quieter than the average conversation and some are even virtually silent. As such, you can even run them at night without worrying that they will disturb your sleep.
Types of dishwashers
Built-in standard dishwashers
These are probably the most popular dishwashers. Their design is very classic. They have a standard size, a permanent location and feature a drop-down hinged door. Due to their classic design, they can also be very affordable. Depending on their features, their price can vary between $300 and $1800. These dishwashers are best suited for medium-large households that wash a lot dishes on a daily basis.
- They have a modern stainless steel or white finish but can also feature customized doors so that they can match the kitchen cabinetry
- They are easy to access
- They have big capacities
- They are not very compact and can take more space than necessary
The compact dishwasher designs are rather new on the market. They were designed with space saving concepts in mind. They are best suited for RVs or apartments. They can fit as much or slightly few dishes than the built-in models, yet they take considerably less space. Their prices can range between $300 and $1000. They are ideal for kitchens with limited cabinet space.
- They take less space than built-in models
- They have a slightly smaller capacity than built-in models
These dishwashers are very economical but they do have some requirements. They need a counter or a stand sop that they can sit next to the sink. Furthermore, they get their water, directly from the faucet. They generally run as long as the faucet is on.
- They are economic
- They can come in a portable version (featuring wheels so that you can move them around)
- They are uncomfortable to use since you have to connect them to the faucet
The drawer models can come in various sizes. Some are so small that you can fit them in the sink. and can be used as an extra counter space as they have a flat top. There is also a bigger version which has a two drawer design. The two drawers can be used independently. This is very good because you don’t have to choose between a small or a big capacity dishwasher. You simply buy a drawer dishwasher and use it according to your varying needs. These dishwashers are very efficient, from an energy consumption point of view. The one drawer model can cost anywhere between $700 and $1200 and the two drawers version can cost as much as $1800.
- Consume little energy
- They come in two sizes so that you can choose the best one for your needs
- They handle small loads very fast
- They don’t need to be located near the sink
- They are expensive
- They can’t fit large or oddly shaped dishes
Understanding a dishwasher’s features
As we said, dishwashers nowadays feature a wide variety of settings and features which are meant to help you personalize each load, according to your own needs. When buying a dishwasher, you should make sure that its control panel is easy to read and use. Furthermore, you need to understand the benefits of each feature so that you don’t waste your money on a dishwasher with countless features, most of which you won’t end up using. Focus solely on those features which you actually need.
When shopping for a new dishwasher, the first thing that you need to decide upon is what place setting capacity it should have. Consider how many dishes you wash on a daily basis and decide what dishwasher size you need. Once you decide on the capacity, it will be easier for you to choose a type of dishwasher, provided that you also take into account your kitchen space. For a medium sized household (3-4 members) where people cook on a daily basis, you will need a dishwasher that can fit at least 8 place settings.
You can adjust the height of the racks or you can flip down racks in order to get more space to fit larger dishes
Some dishwashers feature an additional rack which increases their capacity by as much as 30%
Classic dishwashers only had 3 cycle options: light, normal and heavy. Newer models come with a wider variety of cycles such as express wash, quick rinse, delicate wash (for china and precious stemware) and much more. People with newborn babies can make an excellent use of dishwashers with sanitizing options.
Water jets and steam options
Dishwashers that feature well positioned water jets are more efficient in cleaning heavily caked dishes without the dishes being pre-rinsed. The same goes for steam options.
Dishwashers with designated wash zones are very good for when you want to run a load which contains both slightly dirty dishes and heavily caked dishes. Dishwashers with wash zone have a certain designated zone where you can load the heavily caked dishes so that they can benefit from a more thorough washing process.
The filters keep the food debris from redepositing on the clean dishes.
Whether you are concerned for the environment or for your budget, it will pay off to invest in an energy efficient dishwasher. In order to find that dishwasher, be on the lookout for the following features.
The Energy Star certification is proof that an appliance is among the most energy efficient appliances in its class.
Some may think that this is a performance feature, but it is in fact an efficiency feature. This sensor can detect the dishes’ level of dirtiness so that it can adjust its consumption accordingly.
If you really want a dishwasher to do all the work without causing any disturbance, you should look for one with numerous convenience features such as:
Hidden touch pad controls
Programming your dishwasher to start washing at a certain time can not only be convenient but it can also help you save time since utility prices in certain parts of the world can vary according to certain times of the day.
Warranty and durability
Since a dishwasher can be a big investment, you should protect that investment by choosing a dishwasher with a good warranty. Keep in mind that most dishwashers are only ensured for 1-2 years of labor and feature separate warranties for different parts. For example, stainless steep tubs are a lot more durable than plastic tubs. The stainless steel tubs are ussualy ensured for a lifetime.