The article below will answer all your questions when you want to buy a good dishwasher.
Although it is hard to choose a model as the best, I will try to advise you as best I can on what dishwasher to buy based on the specifications and reviews/options of the various models available on the market.
Why buy a dishwasher?
Until a few years ago people thought that having a dishwasher was just a fad and that doing the washing up was a normal activity. The trend has begun to change and many people discovered the advantages and utility of a good dishwasher.
A dishwasher consumes less water for the same amount of washed dishes.
Most models have a consumption between 6 and 11 litres of water for a full load of dishes.
That means at least 10 plates, a few pots, 10-20 cutlery pieces and probably a couple of glasses.
It’s easy to figure out how effective and how much water is consumed if you were to wash each of these separately leaving the water running.
A good dishwasher cleans most dishes and glasses much better than you could by hand.
The temperature when doing the washing up is somewhere around 30-40 degrees but a dishwasher works from 45 to 65 degrees, so your dishes will be 100% sanitized.
Any microbes, germs, bacteria or deposits will be removed better on these much higher washing temperatures.
Rinsing is more efficient as well and glasses or any glass object washed and won’t come out with stains as it often happens when doing the washing up manually. Dishwashers use a rinse fluid that leaves glass perfectly clean.
Even pots with traces of burns or more resistant deposits are cleaned more easily with a dishwasher by eliminating the need to boil the dishes and then washing them.
Although I left it behind, the time earned is another asset of a good dishwasher. Instead of sitting around washing plates one by one, you can rest or do another activity. You can even leave home because the dishwasher will complete the program and stop automatically.
So to conclude, a dishwasher will help you consume less water, gain time and have cleaner and sanitized pots and dishes.
Ok, but what about the disadvantages?
Right, there are also extra costs even though I wouldn’t call them disadvantages.
A dishwasher consumes electricity and needs special detergent for the washing program as well as softened salt.
These are the extra costs but with manual washing, we also have costs – washing detergent, sponges and washcloths. Somehow it compensates.
And one more thing. A dishwasher doesn’t always eliminate manual tasks. Some types of dishes are not cleaned well in the dishwasher, among them being the polenta pot.
Special care must also be taken with wooden objects (spoons, pallets) but from my own experience, they clean thoroughly in the dishwasher and don’t deteriorate.
Types of dishwashers by design
From the point of view of appearance and construction, we have 3 types of dishwashers.
Each of them fits a particular type of furniture and is the first criterion when choosing a dishwasher.
The 3 types are free-standing, built-in and semi-built-in dishwasher.
The free-standing dishwasher is actually the classic one, which is not built into the kitchen furniture. It can be placed anywhere, near furniture or between furniture parts in the kitchen.
The built-in dishwasher is the model that allows hiding the dishwasher behind with wood, MDF or particleboard. So, the dishwasher can become one with the furniture looking the same as the rest of the kitchen furniture. It’s the most sought-after model for this built-in feature.
The semi-built-in dishwasher is similar to the built-in one with the only difference being the display which stays visible.
There is no visible display or led on the built-in dishwasher, the only indication that the machine has started the wash cycle as well as when it ends is done by sound signals.
Some of the top-range dishwashers have a projector that displays the remaining time till the washing is done on the kitchen floor (similar to the projector clock).
Types of dishwashers by size
In terms of size, dishwashers are divided into two larger categories – those with a width of 45 cm and those with a width of 60 cm.
There are also models of smaller washing sizes and capacity that are positioned on furniture but those are rarer.
45 cm wide dishwashers generally have a washing capacity of 9 or 10 sets of dishes. Those of 60 cm wide have a washing capacity of 12-14 sets of dishes.
What’s a set of dishes? A set means a big plate, a deep one, a bowl, a dessert plate, a mug, a glass, a spoon, a fork, a knife and a spoon.
The interior shelves of the washing machine and water jets
70% are about the same as with any dishwasher.
However, the top dishwashers have an upper adjustable shelf, sliding up or down to allow the washing of larger pots or larger dishes.
If you have large pots look for a model with this option.
At the same time, the support wires are thicker and more durable on some dishwashers.
You should also check the glasses support to be well made and ensure stability during washing.
You wouldn’t want your glasses to break because of a precarious positioning inside the dishwasher.
The water jet is distributed by rotating on the dishes by 2 blades with holes.
The number of jets differs from model to model. Premium dishwashers have a larger number of water jet distribution holes that bring a much more efficient wash.
We’ve moved quickly over the basics. All you have to do now is decide on the size of the dishwasher you need. Take measurements of the furniture, make your plans, decide how much you need to wash and move on to the next step.
Brands of Dishwashers
As with washing machines or refrigerators, manufacturers are the same. Most models of dishwashers come from Bosch, Whirlpool, Indesit, Beko and Electrolux.
You can opt for a premium dishwasher such as Bosch or for one with a very good quality-price ratio such as those from Beko for example.
But, how do you choose a good dishwasher?
Choosing reliability, desired features and energy efficiency within the budget we have.
Now we know, the dishwasher can wash and sanitize glasses, plates and pots. They all do that. So what’s the difference between them?
When you want to buy a dishwasher you must look closely at the washing programs it has. Some models come with only 5 programs while others come even with 12 washing programs.
Likewise, check the duration of the programs and whether there is even a short program, as well as an economic one.
Program cycles to look for depending on what you need:
- ECO Program which, while it longer, will wash the dishes at a lower temperature saving power.
- Washing Program cycle for half-load. It will allow you to wash a smaller amount of dishes (usually on only one of the shelves of the washing machine) and will use a smaller amount of water and electricity. For peak models, there is also a program that automatically calculates the duration of the program and consumption using a load sensing sensor.
- Intensive Program (generally over 60 degrees) for cleaning very dirty dishes. It’s the ideal program for pots.
- Express or quick program cycle for quick washing (under one hour) of slightly dirty dishes.
Try to dispose of the leftover food in the garbage before putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Although the machine has a filter that captures such debris, it can clog if the residue amount is too high.
The dishes should not necessarily be rinsed before putting them in the dishwasher. If you think the dishes are extremely dirty use the pre-washing feature of the dishwasher. It doesn’t make sense to manually rinse them if there’s this option.
As a washing machine, a dishwasher can be noisy.
If noise in the kitchen bothers you, look for a silent one.
The noise level on some premium models goes as low as just 36 DB i.e. almost unnoticeable.
Electricity and water consumption
As I said above, water consumption is very low for a dishwashing cycle.
As for electricity consumption, the classification of dishwashers is be done by the usual criteria i.e. from class A to A + + +.
Depending on the budget choose the most economical dishwasher.
You are interested in 2 things – the lowest water consumption per cycle and a higher energy efficiency class.
Options of good dishwashing machines
We have already discussed the basic criteria. Let’s see the premium features of some dishwashers. The technologies below are available only on certain models from manufacturers and generally on the top range.
Complete drying cycle
Dishes are not always completely dry when the wash cycle ends. That’s why some manufacturers have introduced technologies for more efficient drying.
Bosch introduced Zeolith, a technology that allows complete drying (even of plastic containers/dishes) at the end of a wash cycle.
Likewise, Whirlpool introduced PowerDry for the dishes to be completely dry when the program finishes.
Automatic programs using charging and dirt sensors
The charging sensor detects the water level and will adjust the water consumption and duration of the program according to the load level. This way the dishwasher will only consume as much as it needs.
The dirt sensor measures the purity of the water and regulates the temperature as well as water dosing and detergent according to the results.
Basically, the dishwasher operates autonomously without you testing what program would be more optimal for the dishes you’re washing.
For Whirlpool this is called 6th sense but the technology is present in various manufacturers under other names.
Dishwasher capsule pickup support
Often times the detergent capsule doesn’t dissolve completely. Sometimes, that’s because it falls on the bottom of the washing machine after opening the detergent dispenser lid (that’s the way the operating system was conceived).
And even if it dissolves completely, being at the bottom the same amount of detergent won’t reach to the dishes at the top of the dishwasher.
Some models have solved this problem with a support which takes the undissolved capsule and maintains it in the water jet for more efficient use. Below is a photo of the Bosch system (called DosageAssist)
Some manufacturers offer an extended guarantee of up to 10 years against the occurrence of rust in dishwashers.
Estimated stage and washing duration
I mentioned above that in the built-in dishwashers it is more difficult to know if the washing program has finished if you have not been paying attention to the sound signal. Some manufacturers have introduced a light option that displays the remaining washing duration by projection. The duration is projected on the kitchen floor so you will know all the time how long the cycle lasts.
As with washing machines, some dishwashers are able to schedule the washing cycle at a specific time that we want.
Well, that’s about it. The brief summary of this guide is:
- Determine and measure the space for the dishwasher.
- Choose the type of machine – built-in or not.
- Look for the most energy-efficient and silent model to match your budget.
- Check to have the dishwasher program cycles you need.
- Determine if you want additional features which fall in the area of premium dishwashers.