Make cleanup easier with a dishwasher
After taking the time to prepare a delicious meal for your family, the last thing you want to do is scrub grimy dishes. In comes your dishwasher to the rescue! Aside from doing your dirty work, dishwashers can also save you money, water, and energy, making them an essential kitchen appliance for every household. When shopping for a dishwasher, you'll need to consider your cooking habits, space, and home décor in order to find the best dishwasher that suits your lifestyle.
Built-in dishwashers vs. portable dishwashers
Built-in dishwashers are the most common models and function flawlessly if you have extra space available. Fitting beneath your kitchen counter, built-in dishwashers seamlessly connect to your home's water and power outlets. They also come furnished with a drop-down hinged door and pull-out drawers so you can load dishes easily.
Portable dishwashers are a great solution if you're short on kitchen space. Equipped with wheels, portable dishwashers can easily be moved to your sink. Simply connect the hose to your sink, plug the dishwasher to an electrical outlet, and it'll take care of your dirty dishes in a flash. Once the cycle is complete, you can wheel the dishwasher away and hide it in a closet or store it in another room. Some models even have a kitchen work surface so you can prep meals when the dishwasher is running.
Standard and compact sizes
Your kitchen and its size will be a crucial factor when deciding on what type of dishwasher to get. Make sure to measure the height, width, and depth of your space so you have accurate measurements when shopping around. Standard dishwashers measure 24 inches across and are ideal for families or larger households. If you eat out a lot and don't do much cooking, you could opt for a compact model which has a width of 18 inches.
Do you love to host dinner parties and entertain guests? Consider a larger unit that can hold as many as 16 place settings. Compact units hold approximately 8 place settings, and are suitable for smaller households. Do you use large pans or wide pots when cooking? If so, investing in a tall tub unit may be beneficial. This type of model includes a spacious interior capacity to hold larger items and adjustable rack configurations for flexible wash loads.
Look and finish
The right dishwasher can provide a sleek look that matches the rest of your kitchen décor. A dishwasher with a stainless steel exterior can add a touch of sophistication to your cooking area, while a white exterior gives off a familiar and clean feel. Some dishwashers also feature custom paneling that blends perfectly with your cabinets.
Contemporary dishwashers are extremely effective in reducing the amount of water and energy needed to function. This means a new dishwasher can help lower your utility bills and reward you with savings over time. If you want a dishwasher with the best energy efficiency, look for a model that is ENERGY STAR certified. Equipped with soil sensors, ENERGY STAR dishwashers use the least amount of water and energy possible without sacrificing performance. Powerful water jets also require less energy, while dish racks are designed to maximize cleaning performance. With such advanced innovations, ENERGY STAR units are 10% more energy efficient that other models, and save an average of 1,300 gallons of water over their lifetime.
Other features to consider
Today's dishwashers offer a wide variety of features to provide additional convenience to your everyday life. If you want a quiet dishwasher that doesn't make a lot of noise, opt for model with a low silence rating of 45 decibels or less. You can also find units with adjustable or third racks to accommodate more dishes. Some dishwashers even come equipped with a child lock to keep little ones out, while others offer specialty cycles for tackling different jobs.
Want more info about dishwashers? Check out some of our resources:
Dishwasher Buying Guide
Review: Bosch Tall Tub Built-in Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub and Third Rack
Dishwashers explained: how to load your dishwasher
Dishwashers explained: how to measure your kitchen for a new dishwasher
How to fix a dishwasher that won’t rinse dishes well
Dishwashers 101 – What to Consider When Buying a New Dishwasher