Dishwashers are not only great time-saving devices, but they can also save water and energy over hand-washing the dishes. Hand-washing uses more water than you might think, as does pre-rinsing before loading the dishwasher. Do a little research before buying your next dishwasher — your dishpan hands will thank you.
Built-in dishwashers are the traditional 24-inch models that most people own, installed below the kitchen counter.
Double-drawer dishwashers can be installed in a traditional built-in space. They offer extra flexibility for both large and small loads.
Single-drawer and compact dishwashers are perfect for bonus areas, like media rooms, wet bars, secondary kitchens or butler’s pantries.
Portable dishwashers are convenient for small or temporary living spaces.
The key to getting dishes clean is using very hot water. Some dishwashers have a device that raises the temperature of the water coming out of your water heater.
Interior tubs come in different finishes. Stainless steel resists stains and odors; it also transfers heat better for faster drying. Gray or slate-colored tubs resist rust and minimize the appearance of stains. Plastic tubs, which are often found on more affordable dishwashers, are also very durable.
If the noise level is a concern for you, there is a standard measure to help you decide on the best dishwasher for your home. You want to check the decibel level. The higher the decibel level, the more disruptive it can be. A rating of 45 or under will be virtually silent. If the decibel level is between 45-50, the sound will be similar to a rainfall. A rating of 50 or above will be equivalent to the level of a normal conversation. The amount of insulation around the dishwasher tub reduces the noise, so check the thickness of the insulation.
A self-cleaning system uses a three-step filtration process to remove even the finest food particles. This allows for cleaner wash water, resulting in sparkling clean dishes with every load.
Make sure the dishwasher offers the cycles you need for the types of dishes you have. From pots and pans to fine china and crystal, there's a cycle for just about anything.
Make sure the rack system allows you to load the dishes easily. Some dishwashers feature fold-down shelving for greater flexibility.
Some dishwashers use sensor technology to detect how dirty the dishes are, adjusting the cycle accordingly. This feature prevents water from being wasted. Start the washer with a touch of a button, or use the delay-start timer to begin the load when energy rates are lower.
Choose an ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwasher to get your dishes clean while using less water and energy. You may be eligible for local rebates when buying ENERGY STAR qualified models. This rating is earned by products that meet energy-efficiency requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency.