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Save water and energy with the hardest-working appliance in your kitchen – the dishwasher. Our dishwasher buying guide helps eliminate the guesswork for easy shopping, almost guaranteeing happiness for the life of your appliance.
A built-in dishwasher is a traditional 24-inch model that installs below the kitchen counter. A typical built-in can accommodate up to 12 five-piece place settings.
Compact dishwashers measure roughly 18 inches and can accommodate up to 8 five-piece place settings. Compact models are great for small spaces or bonus areas, like a wet bar, media room or secondary kitchen.
Drawer dishwashers are available in single- and double-drawer configurations and install in the same space as a 24-inch traditional built-in. Double-drawer models offer the flexibility of single- or double-drawer washing for efficient accommodation of small and large loads. Drawer dishwashers are also easier to load since the drawers slide out at work level for minimal bending.
Portable dishwashers are ideal for those who have no room for a built-in or for renters whose homes do not have a built-in. Special installation is not required, as this dishwasher has wheels and hooks up to the sink, and is easily stored when not in use. Portable dishwashers can also be taken with you when you move.
Homeowners with stone countertops should consider side-mount models when buying a built-in. Mounting the dishwasher to a side cabinet, rather than the countertop's underside, eliminates the risk of cracking the countertop.
Cleanability / Performance
Clean and sanitize dishes with advanced wash options.
If noise level is a concern for you, check the decibel level. A rating of 45 or under will be virtually silent. Decibel levels between 45 and 50 sound similar to a rainfall. Ratings of 50 or above will be equivalent to the level of a normal conversation.
Removable racks and adjustable shelves make it easy to customize tub space to accommodate oversized dishes, pots and pans. Also look for third rack options, fold-down tines, cup shelves, stemware holders and extra-capacity silverware baskets.
Regulated by the federal government, with ratings established by the Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwashers use less energy than other models. You may be eligible for local rebates when buying qualified ENERGY STAR appliances. Learn more about ENERGY STAR dishwashers.
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.
Removable filters make for easy cleaning.
Today’s dishwashers are equipped with sensors to ensure quality cleaning and energy savings.
Dishwasher cycles allow for a customized wash on all types of dishes, from pots and pans to fine china.
For additional water savings, scrape dishes instead of rinsing, which can save up to 20 gallons of water.