New dishwashers have a lot of options on them. So many, it’s very easy to get confused trying to decide what’s important or even remotely essential. Basically, most people just want to put dirty dishes in and, an hour or so later, take magically clean ones out. In reality, for most people there could be anything from a Flintstones-style prehistoric pig or a miniature nuclear reaction inside while the door is closed, as long as it gets the job done.
Depending on the features you’re after, you can count dishwashers as one of the more affordable major appliance upgrades for your kitchen. While you can opt for a designer dishwasher with plenty of special features (and a price tag to match), there are also many available under $300. Regardless of the price, most dishwashers these days actually save water when compared with washing dishes by hand. So, in addition to conserving resources, you’ll save on your water bill, as well as our favorite reason: saving time.
What it gets down to are these three questions:
· What features are most important to have?
· How do you want your dishwasher to look?
· How will this dishwasher be used? (i.e., family meal prep, bachelor pad, cabin, wet bar, etc.)
Let's Get Started With Features
When shopping for a new dishwasher, you may be baffled by all the various features offered on current models. For example, recent innovations include high temperature option for sanitary concerns, internal garbage disposal, and folding racks.
To make it easier to shop for what’s important (remember, we’re talking about getting your dishes clean with the least muss or fuss), here’s a list of the most important features to look for when shopping for a dishwasher:
Multiple Spray Arms: the more water moving around inside your dishwasher from more angles, the cleaner your dishes will be.
High-Temperature Option: this will make sure your dishes are sanitized while being cleaned.
Internal Water Heater and Disposal: while this may seem redundant, the cleanliness of your dishes depends on your dishwasher’s ability to provide hot enough water to get the job done, and then efficiently remove food wastes to your drain. An internal water heater provides an efficient temperature boost without involving your whole-house water heater. And the internal disposal means you don’t have to pre-rinse or clean your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, saving you time.
ENERGY STAR: dishwashers are well-tested and built and will reduce energy and water requirements, saving you money on your utility bills as well as being dependable units.
|Someone whispering||15 dB|
|Normal conversation||60 dB|
|Gas lawnmower||90 dB|
|Car horn||110 dB|
|Rock concert/jet engine||120 dB|
|Gunshot or firecracker||140 dB|
Noise Reduction: thanks to better insulation, many dishwashers run more quietly than those made just a few years ago. Insulation helps keep the noise down as well as the water hot inside the washer, so you end up saving money and energy as well as reducing noise in your house. Many dishwashers come with a decibel rating to let you know how loud (or quiet) they are.
Clean Sensors: Some dishwashers, especially ENERGY STAR models, feature sensors which determine how much energy is needed to clean a load, thereby increasing or reducing the water and length of cycles to ensure you are saving resources.
Other Features: Less important features (but still nice one to have) include cycles for rinse or soaking, time-delayed start (for running at night or times other than peak energy), adjustable racks with folding tines, and adjustable utensil baskets that can be snapped together and used on either the top or bottom rack.
Cosmetic appearance of your dishwasher
Regardless of the level of remodel or dishwasher upgrade, you’ll want something that looks nice and complements the look of your kitchen. Dishwasher manufacturers are offering more cosmetic feature options like hidden control panels, increased selection of door style options, as well as custom materials and finishes to make matching your dishwasher up with your cabinets a breeze.
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Alternate Dishwashers To Consider
If you have a smaller kitchen or are introducing a dishwasher to your kitchen for the first time and don't have a place for a built-in model, try a portable dishwasher. While not as common as built-in models, most portables are full-size dishwashers with most of the functionality as their built-in counterparts. They’re designed to be wheeled over to a sink where a retractable hose attaches to the faucet for fresh water and also drains the used water back into the sink. Portable dishwashers are great for kitchens with limited counter space because they provide another work surface or can be rolled to a more convenient location.
Drawer-style dishwashers are becoming more common, where you have either a single- or double-stacked drawer you pull out and load up with a meal’s worth of dishes. This is also a perfect addition to a wet bar: simply load up your used glasses after a party and run it right there. Or, if you’re single and don’t do a lot of cooking, single-drawer dishwashers are a perfect fit.Back To Top