How to Buy a Dishwasher

How to Buy a Dishwasher

Perhaps the most coveted kitchen appliance by those who don’t have one is the dishwasher. Whether you’re looking for a full built in 24 inch model for your kitchen, or a compact 18 inch for your wet bar, there are a few features and considerations to take into account.

Though traditional hinged door dishwashers may be the norm, drawer dishwashers are becoming more and more popular. They pull out at waist level which makes it a lot easier to load your dishes without having to bend over and double drawer washers allow for more efficient cycles. Removable racks can also make it easier to accommodate large dishes as well as pots and pans.

Depending on how close your dishwasher will be to your living area, noise level could be a concern when selecting a unit that’s right for you. Most models should indicate the decibel level at which they function; anything below 45 will be virtually silent, whereas 45-50 decibels will be equivalent in sound to a light rainfall. Levels of 50 or above will be approximately as loud as a person speaking.

Whereas in the past, dishwasher technology was essentially limited to “on or off”, today’s washers offer a range of cycles and features to efficiently accommodate whatever loads you throw at them. A “delayed wash” will allow you to start your cycle on a timer, which is great for running the dishes after you’ve left for work, or while you’re in bed. When you don’t have enough dishes to justify running the machine, “rinse and hold” removes food to cut back on odor and bacteria until you do, or if your dishes aren’t especially soiled, “quick-wash” can get them clean in less time and with less water.

There are also “wash programs” designed for specific loads. For wine glasses and fragile dishes, these programs will use more gentle pressure, whereas for more heavy duty items like pots and pans, they will be more aggressive. Sanitize cycles are great for washing baby bottles and cutting boards.

A good dishwasher will work for years and years to come. It doesn’t require much, but a little thought before hand can ensure a machine that works for your family’s specific needs.