What Features Should I Look For When Buying A Dishwasher?
Choosing the right dishwasher can be quite a daunting task, especially with so many options available in the market. In order to make an informed decision, it’s important to consider the features that are most important to you. Whether it’s energy efficiency, noise level, or capacity, each feature plays a key role in finding the perfect dishwasher to suit your needs.
So, let’s take a closer look at the features you should be on the lookout for when buying a dishwasher.
Size and Capacity
The size of the dishwasher
When choosing a dishwasher, the size is an important consideration. You want to make sure that the dishwasher can fit comfortably in your kitchen without taking up too much space. Measure the height, width, and depth of the space where you plan to install the dishwasher, and look for models that will fit within these dimensions.
The capacity of the dishwasher
The capacity of the dishwasher refers to how many place settings it can hold. A standard dishwasher usually has a capacity of around 12 to 14 place settings, which is suitable for most households. However, if you have a larger family or frequently entertain guests, you may want to consider a dishwasher with a larger capacity. Some dishwashers also have adjustable racks, allowing you to accommodate larger items such as pots and pans.
Types of Dishwashers
Freestanding dishwashers are the most common type and can be placed anywhere in your kitchen as long as there is a water source and drainage. They are usually available in a variety of sizes and designs to suit your needs and preferences. Freestanding dishwashers are easy to install and can be easily moved if needed.
Built-in dishwashers are designed to be installed directly into your kitchen cabinetry, creating a sleek and integrated look. They are typically available in standard sizes to fit seamlessly into standard cabinets. Built-in dishwashers are a great option if you want a seamless kitchen design and have a fixed space for a dishwasher.
Drawer dishwashers are a unique and space-saving option, especially for smaller kitchens. They consist of one or two separate drawers that can be operated independently. This allows you to run smaller loads of dishes when needed, saving both water and energy. Drawer dishwashers are generally more expensive than other types, but they offer convenience and flexibility.
If you don’t have a dedicated space for a dishwasher or live in a rental property, a portable dishwasher can be a convenient option. Portable dishwashers have wheels and can be easily moved to wherever you need them. They connect to the kitchen faucet for water supply and drainage. Portable dishwashers are available in various sizes and can be a temporary or permanent solution based on your needs.
ENERGY STAR certification
When purchasing a dishwasher, it is essential to consider its energy efficiency. Look for dishwashers with the ENERGY STAR certification, as they are designed to meet strict energy efficiency guidelines. ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers use less water and electricity, helping you save on your utility bills and reducing your environmental impact.
Water and energy usage
Pay attention to the water and energy usage of the dishwasher you are considering. Look for models that have features such as soil sensors, which optimize water usage based on the dirtiness of the dishes. Some dishwashers also have energy-saving modes or eco-friendly cycles that reduce water and energy consumption. Choosing a dishwasher with lower water and energy usage can make a significant difference in the long run.
Washing Programs and Options
Standard washing programs
Most dishwashers come with standard washing programs such as normal, heavy-duty, and delicate cycles. These programs are designed to handle different types of dishes and levels of dirtiness. The normal cycle is suitable for everyday dishwashing, while the heavy-duty cycle is ideal for tough stains and burnt-on food. The delicate cycle is more gentle and suitable for fragile items such as glassware and fine china.
Specialized washing programs
Some dishwashers offer additional specialized washing programs for specific types of dishes or items. These programs can include options for sanitizing baby bottles, washing wine glasses, or cleaning heavily soiled pots and pans. If you have specific needs or frequently wash particular items, look for a dishwasher that offers these specialized washing programs.
Many modern dishwashers come equipped with sensor technology that detects the level of soil and adjusts the wash accordingly. This ensures that your dishes receive the optimal cleaning while minimizing water and energy usage. Sensors can also detect leaks or blockages in the dishwasher, alerting you to any potential issues.
The half-load option allows you to run a smaller load of dishes without wasting water and energy. This can be useful if you don’t have a full load or need certain items cleaned before the next meal. The dishwasher adjusts the water and energy usage accordingly, providing efficient cleaning for a smaller load.
The delay start feature allows you to set a specific time for the dishwasher to start its cycle. This can be beneficial if you want to take advantage of lower electricity rates during off-peak hours or if you want the dishwasher to be ready when you wake up or arrive home. You can load the dishwasher and set the delay start to ensure the cycle begins at the most convenient time for you.
If you have young children in your home, a dishwasher with a child lock feature can provide peace of mind. This feature prevents children from accidentally or intentionally starting the dishwasher or tampering with the settings. It ensures the safety of your children and prevents any potential accidents.
The noise level of a dishwasher is an important consideration, especially if you have an open-concept kitchen or if you run the dishwasher during the night. Dishwashers are typically rated in decibels (dB), with lower decibel ratings indicating quieter operation. Look for dishwashers with a decibel rating below 50 dB for quiet operation.
Insulation and soundproofing
To reduce noise, dishwashers are often equipped with insulation and soundproofing materials. These materials help absorb and minimize the noise generated during the washing cycle. Dishwashers with good insulation and soundproofing will operate quietly, allowing you to carry on with your daily activities without disruptions.
Many dishwashers come with self-cleaning filters that help remove food particles and debris from the water during the cycle. These filters automatically clean themselves, ensuring optimal performance and reducing the need for manual cleaning. Self-cleaning filters save you time and effort while maintaining excellent cleaning results.
Triple filtration system
Some dishwashers feature a triple filtration system, which includes multiple layers of filtering to ensure that the water used for washing is clean and free from food residues. This system helps prevent clogs and ensures the wash water remains clean throughout the cycle. A triple filtration system is particularly useful if you tend to wash dishes with larger food particles that can easily clog the dishwasher’s drainage system.
Hard food disposer
Dishwashers with a hard food disposer can grind and dispose of food particles to prevent them from clogging the dishwasher’s drainage system. This feature eliminates the need to pre-rinse dishes and removes the hassle of manually removing food debris. A hard food disposer is especially beneficial if you frequently deal with dishes that have more substantial food remnants.
Racks and Interior Design
Having adjustable racks in your dishwasher allows you to customize the space to fit differently sized dishes and cookware. Look for dishwashers with racks that can be easily adjusted or folded down to accommodate larger or awkwardly shaped items. This flexibility ensures that you can maximize the dishwasher’s capacity and effectively wash a variety of dishes.
Fold-down tines are another useful feature in the dishwasher racks. These tines can be folded down to create additional space for larger items such as pots, pans, or cookie sheets. Fold-down tines provide versatility and make it easier to load and unload your dishwasher, especially when dealing with bulky or oddly shaped items.
Silverware and utensil holders
Consider the design and convenience of the silverware and utensil holders in the dishwasher. Look for models that have separate compartments or baskets for silverware and utensils. Some dishwashers even offer specialized holders with individual slots or clips for each item, ensuring that they are properly cleaned and reducing the risk of damage during the wash.
Many dishwashers now come with a third rack, located at the top of the dishwasher, which provides extra space for utensils or small items. This additional rack frees up space in the lower racks for larger items and allows for more efficient loading. The third rack is particularly useful for washing cutlery, serving spoons, or small bowls that may otherwise take up space in the lower racks.
Some high-end dishwashers feature interior lighting that illuminates the inside of the dishwasher during operation. This lighting makes it easier to load and unload dishes, especially in low-light conditions or if your dishwasher is located in a dark corner of your kitchen. Interior lighting adds a touch of convenience and enhances the overall user experience.
Heated drying is a common method used in dishwashers to ensure that your dishes are thoroughly dried after the wash cycle. The dishwasher uses heat to evaporate the moisture on the dishes, leaving them dry and ready to be put away. Heated drying is effective but can consume more energy compared to other drying methods.
Condensation drying is an energy-efficient drying method used by some dishwashers. After the wash cycle, the dishwasher rinses the dishes with hot water, and then the residual heat inside the dishwasher causes the water to evaporate. The steam condenses on the cool dishwasher walls and drains away, leaving the dishes dry. Condensation drying saves energy but may take longer than heated drying.
Fan-assisted drying combines heated drying with a fan to speed up the drying process. After the wash cycle, the dishwasher uses a fan to circulate air within the dishwasher, helping to evaporate the moisture on the dishes. This method ensures quicker and more effective drying results. Fan-assisted drying is an excellent option if you want your dishes to be ready to put away immediately after the wash.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
Consider the control panel layout and design of the dishwasher. A user-friendly control panel with clearly labeled buttons or touch controls makes it easier to navigate and select the desired settings. Look for dishwashers with intuitive control panels that are easy to understand and use, even for first-time users.
Touch or button controls
Dishwashers offer either touch controls or button controls to operate the various functions and settings. Touch controls provide a sleek and modern look and allow for easy operation with a simple touch. Button controls are more traditional and offer tactile feedback when pressed. Choose the control type that you find most comfortable and convenient to use.
A dishwasher with a digital display provides clear and detailed information about the selected program, remaining time, and any additional features or options. This allows you to monitor the progress of the wash cycle and adjust settings if needed. A digital display enhances the overall user experience and makes it easier to customize the dishwasher’s operation.
Indicator lights are a helpful feature that provides visual feedback about the dishwasher’s status. They can indicate when the dishwasher is running, when a cycle is complete, or when additional actions are required, such as refilling the rinse aid or adding salt. Indicator lights help you stay informed and ensure that your dishwasher is functioning optimally.
Ease of cleaning
Consider how easy it is to clean both the interior and exterior of the dishwasher. Look for models with removable racks, filters, and spray arms that can be easily cleaned and maintained. Some dishwashers also have a self-cleaning cycle that helps remove residues and buildup inside the dishwasher. Easy cleaning ensures the longevity and performance of your dishwasher.
Dishwashers with filters require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Some dishwashers have self-cleaning filters that remove the need for manual cleaning. Others require manual cleaning or rinsing of the filter to remove food particles and debris. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining the filter to keep your dishwasher running smoothly.
Brand and Warranty
When purchasing a dishwasher, it is advisable to go for reputable brands with a proven track record in manufacturing quality appliances. Well-known brands have a reputation to uphold and often offer reliable and durable dishwashers. Research customer reviews and look for brands that consistently receive positive feedback for their dishwashers.
Consider the warranty coverage when choosing a dishwasher. A warranty provides assurance that the manufacturer stands behind their product and will repair or replace it in case of defects or malfunctions. Look for dishwashers with a substantial warranty period, covering not only the parts but also the labor. This ensures that you are protected in the event of any unforeseen issues.
Customer support and service
Good customer support and service are essential when purchasing a dishwasher. Look for brands that offer reliable customer support, whether through phone, email, or online chat. It is also helpful to check if there are authorized service centers in your area, ensuring that you can easily access repairs or maintenance when needed. Great customer support adds value to your purchasing experience and ensures that any concerns or issues are addressed promptly.
In conclusion, when buying a dishwasher, consider the size and capacity that best suits your needs.
Choose between freestanding, built-in, drawer, or portable dishwashers based on your kitchen setup. Look for energy-efficient models with ENERGY STAR certification to save on utility bills. Consider the washing programs, options, and noise level to meet your specific requirements.
Evaluate the water filtration system, racks, and interior design for practicality and convenience. Assess the drying performance, ease of use and maintenance features, and warranty coverage.
Opt for reputable brands that provide reliable customer support. By considering these features, you can find the perfect dishwasher to simplify your kitchen chores and enjoy clean and sparkling dishes with ease.
What Features Should I Look For When Buying A Dishwasher?