Dishwasher Features You Should Consider Before Buying
You no longer have to spend hours scrubbing the baking grime stuck on your pan. There is no more the risk of breaking delicate glasses while you are washing them under the tap. Life is more comfortable now, thanks to modern technology. One such indispensable device now found in almost every household is a dishwasher. Slow cleaning, express cleaning, high-temperature rinse, low-pressure wash- you can customize the cleaning for every unique kitchenware. According to Energy Star, a dishwasher can save you 230 hours a year! If you think that's a lot of time, read on. Sit tight as we arm you with some tips about the features you should look for in a dishwasher. Venture out to win the battle of buying the best dishwasher, among the many options available, customized to your specific needs. Let’s help you out...
1) Types of Dishwashers
There are many different types of dishwashers and you can choose one depending on the space available for it. Measure the area of installation and the dimensions of the dishwasher and keep a margin for extra space. The most common sizes available are 24 inches and 18 inches. You can opt for a built-in variant or a portable one. Models also vary according to what their inside components and exteriors are made of- either steel, plastic or hybrid. The stainless steel variant costs higher than its counterparts.
2) The Capacity
The capacity of the dishwasher you buy is very crucial to your decision. It is nothing but the place settings that can fit in a dishwasher. For reference,
1 place setting=1 large meal plate + 1 small snack plate+ 1 saucer+ 1 bowl+ 1 coffee cup+1 drinking glass+1 knife+2 teaspoons+ 1 dinner fork+1 small salad fork.
A typical dishwasher holds 12-16 place settings. For zeroing in on capacity, keep in mind the following factors:
Number of utensils you want it to wash in one go
Number of washes per day
Your family’s daily eating habits
Size and quality of all the utensils you have-whether all are dishwasher safe or not
Any special features you are looking for like foldable tines, third racks, etc.
A dishwasher on the higher end has lesser space between tines, which means more dishes can be placed. Some models have a small size, but help customize the capacity by providing options like extra and adjustable racks, etc. If you don't have much kitchen space, you can look at those models.
3) Cleaning Cycle
The filter is an integral part of the cleaning process. Mesh filters are used in many models that require only occasional rinsing. Consider the time a dishwasher takes to complete the cleaning process. If you are an individual on-the-go, you might prefer a quick or express cycle. Look for special cycles where you get an option for tough cleaning for pots and pans or a cleaning mode for delicate kitchenware. Some new features like Auto Clean automatically determine the exact time and water needed for a mixed load. Always check the instruction manual of a dishwasher for the cycles. Here are a few common types of washing programs and customizable options:
Light - Good for lightly soiled dishes. Applies low pressure.
Normal- Meant for utensils that have an average amount of soil. Suitable for daily use typical stacks.
Heavy/ Pot scrubber– Used in the case of heavily soiled kitchenware with stuck grime, generally for pots and pans.
Express or Quick wash- This takes 20-40 mins and uses hot water with high pressure.
Single rack/Half load- When only a single rack/ single wash zone of a dishwasher has been filled. This feature helps save energy as only a spay arm is used.
Delicate/ Crystal– Gentle rinse for fragile items like glassware.
Rinse and hold – It involves a quick rinse without detergent, before the full cycle.
Power wash – Full force cleansing for tough cleaning.
Smart wash- Differential cleaning for a mixed load.
Soak/Scrub- For additional scrubbing.
Heat dry- Dries the utensils using a heating mechanism.
Sanitizing cycle -Disinfects due to the high temperature of 140-150 degree Fahrenheit that is applied, instead of the normal temperature of 120 degree Fahrenheit at which the dishwasher functions.
Energy saver/ Eco wash- Cleaning mode to save energy.
4) Energy Consumption
Make sure your dishwasher consumes less water and energy and the temperature is regulated as that can have a significant impact on your bills. Buy the ones that have soil sensors that can detect the amount of cleaning required and one with an internal system for water heating. If you don’t use the dishwasher to its full capacity, ensure you have the “Single rack” feature, talked about above. Look for the Energy Star label on models for efficiency. You can also air dry the cutlery instead of drying it in the dishwasher to save more energy.
Check sound ratings of the models. It can range from 30 Decibels to 50 Decibels. Stick to ones with 30-40 Decibels if you prefer a noiseless experience. Many old models create noise due to the grinders or hard food disposers attached to their self-cleaning filter systems. To address this issue, instead of a grinder, now, this system uses a mesh. Newer models have evolved with a manual filter that is quieter but requires little maintenance. Choose according to the noise level you are comfortable with.-
Your kitchenware might be in the dishwasher for long hours, which makes it susceptible to smelling bad. We suggest you buy a dishwasher with a tub made of stainless steel instead of plastic as plastic tends to absorb the smells. Also, make sure that the filter can be easily cleaned and the drainage doesn’t allow the backflow of wastewater so that there is no stagnation.
The interiors are primarily made up of:
Stainless steel tubs/plastic tubs/ hybrid tubs- Stainless steel tubs have clear advantages like durability, no staining or odour, resistance to high temperature, noise insulation, etc.
Adjustable racks and third racks- These are racks that are movable and help organize items of different shapes and sizes in a better manner.
Foldable tines -These are useful for holding small dishes or folding for making space for larger items. This feature allows for space customization.
There are a few things to take into account:
Material- The external body can be made of plastic or steel. New models with alternative and sturdier finishes are now being launched.
Colour- White and black are the most common colours available.
Control panel- It consists of a touchscreen or physical buttons and can indicate things like cycle progress.
Handle-The different types of handles are bar, recessed, scoop and pocket.
Nowadays, dishwashers not only serve a functional purpose, but they should also be aesthetically pleasing. You can choose the one that suits the look and feel of your kitchen. But remember, do not judge the quality of one by its external design.
8) Extra Features
If your budget is high, you can opt for a dishwasher with many more features. Some of the extra features you can look for are:
Safety lock -It prevents children from fiddling with the dishwasher.
Delayed start option- You can decide what time you would like the dishwasher to operate.
Plate warmer feature- Cold dishes can be warmed.
Wifi connectivity- For a smart home experience.
Apps- This helps in controlling the appliance directly.
Twist system -Meant for outstanding cleaning.
Add-a-dish-Putting in a dish mid-cycle.
Info light- Indicator that flashes a light when the dishwasher runs.
Bottom rack lift -Meant for easy unloading.
Aquashop-Prevents flooding in unforeseen circumstances.
A dishwasher typically lasts between 9-10 years, so the extra features you get might be worth it. Take your pick from one of these additional features. These are not essential but improve the overall experience.
9) Dishwasher Guidelines to consider
It is always better to seek professional help for the installation of any dishwasher-be it the integrated type or the freestanding kind. The installation involves plumbing, electrical work and connecting attachments. The professionals can also give you suggestions for general upkeep of the dishwasher. Many stores that sell appliances offer this service for free.
Manufacturers may display decibel rating, but they average the sound level of an entire cycle running only in the normal program. The rating includes the silent dry cycle and doesn't include other programs.
Look for a separate wash program for kids. Sanitizing cycle is good for infants as most of the bacteria get killed. If you have kids in the house, get one with the control panel on top and not in the front.
Do not overload the dishwasher as it can start leaking and the appliance can get damaged. Load according to the place settings in the dishwasher. For example, for a family of three, a dishwasher with a 12 place settings will work well, keeping in mind contingency space required. Follow the loading method given in the manual:
Make sure the time of the cycle is displayed and there is an indicator light on the control panel, in the case of very quiet devices. You might even forget that you were operating a dishwasher!
The inside may not be of the same material as the outside finish.
Just because a particular cycle does not exist, do not rule out the dishwasher. See what other cycles perform the same function.
Check dimensions, installation process, brand, model reviews, warranty period, after-sales service, etc. The same brand may have different models that perform differently.
Make sure you invest in a quality dishwasher. The higher range ones are an important part of the “smart home” trend today. Have a look at the additional features customized to your changing needs.
Today, choosing the right dishwasher is not an easy task. There are many options available at the consumer's fingertips. We are committed to providing you seamless customer experience. Hence, we decided to make the selection process easy for you. First of all, set your budget. Assess your needs. Dwell upon the features-basic or advanced that are most important to you and then narrow down your options accordingly. It’s always worth spending a little time getting to know all the features available before making a home appliance purchase since it will be in your home for a long time..