How to buy a dishwasher
A dishwasher buying guide
With so much to do, dishwashers are kitchen appliance essentials. When thinking about how to buy a dishwasher, there are a few points you will want to keep in mind as you go looking for the best dishwasher to buy.
>> Consider your cleaning habits
Your cleaning habits will help you to determine how to buy a dishwasher that will fit your lifestyle. Maybe you prefer not to scrape the food off your plate. If so, find a dishwasher with a garbage disposal and power scrubbing modes. However, if you like to pre-rinse your dishes, consider a dishwasher without the heavy-duty scrubbing modes, self-cleaning filters and garbage disposal. Consider whether or not you want to wash big pots and pans, oblong bowls and dishes in the dishwasher or by hand. To wash all dishes in the dishwasher, consider adjustable trays and fold-down tines.
>> Consider the capacity you need
It is important to consider which dishwasher to buy based upon the size of your family. Dishwasher sizes come in 18-inch and 24-inch capacities. Smaller 18-inch dishwasher capacity is usually a good fit for two to three people and can hold up to eight standard place settings. However, a regular sized 24-inch dishwasher capacity is suitable for a larger family size and can hold up to 14 place settings.
>> Consider different types of dishwashers
As you determine how to buy a dishwasher, consider the different types of dishwashers as one may be more suitable to your lifestyle than another. There are three main kinds of dishwashers: built-in dishwashers, portable dishwashers, and drawer dishwashers.
- Built-in dishwashers: Built-in dishwashers are permanently installed into your home. They can be placed in between your cabinets or next to your sink. However, there must be a big enough space available for the machine. Measure not only the width and depth of the area, but the height to be sure the dishwasher will be level with your counter tops.
- Portable dishwashers: Portable dishwashers are much like a built-in unit. Usually they contain the same capacity; however, they can be moved from one house to another. With easy hook-ups that hook right to the faucets of kitchen sinks, they allow dishes to wash, then unhook and move out of the way. You can store your portable dishwasher up against the wall and use it as an extra counter top or put it in a closet to hide away. Consider portable dishwashers if you live in a rental house or apartment so you may take your dishwasher with you if you choose to move.
- Drawer dishwashers: Drawer dishwashers or counter top dishwashers are small kitchen appliances that are some of the best dishwashers to buy for apartment complexes as they are easily stored on top of your counter. These dishwashers are small and ideal for one or two people.
>> Consider dishwasher cycles
The most important and common dishwasher cycles are light, regular, pots and pans and econo settings. However, when distinguishing which dishwasher to buy, consider other cycles such as:
- The heavy duty cycle: This cycle cleans a larger load of dishes that are really caked with food and grime.
- The sanitize wash: This cycle sanitizes your dishes. It's great for baby bottles, pumps and other dishes that require sanitizing before using.
- The rinse cycle: If you don't enjoy pre-rinsing, consider the rinse cycle to rinse dishes.
- The quick wash cycle: If you pre-rinse your dishes, consider the quick wash to save time and power.
- The delayed wash cycle: Maybe you want to wash your dishes after you take a shower, but don't want to forget to run the dishes, the delayed wash cycle lets you set your dishwasher to start when you want it to.
>> Consider different types of features
There are several features of dishwashers that you can choose from:
- Sensors: There are four different features to look for when determining which dishwasher is good to buy for your needs: soil level, temperature, water level and detergent sensor.
- Adjustable racks: Adjustable and removable racks make it easier to customize the space available in your dishwasher to accommodate odd-shaped dishes.
- Hard food disposal: A garbage disposal makes washing dishes easy by allowing you to put dishes with hard food straight into the dishwasher without harming it.
- Filters: Filters prevent food and other debris from getting caught in your pipes, allowing your dishwasher to keep working like a pro.
>> Consider energy-efficient models
Saving money is always great, so when determining how to buy a dishwasher that meets your needs, consider an energy-efficient model. Energy-efficient models are strictly regulated by the federal government and established by the Environment Protection Agency as using 41% less energy than other models. If a dishwasher is energy efficient, it will proudly display an ENERGY STAR symbol as will any energy-efficient kitchen appliances. Some dishwashers have a low water or quick wash feature which saves you money on your water bill. Others have the delayed wash cycle, which can come in handy if you are using time-of-use electricity. The features and cycles play a big role in saving you money with their energy-efficient star of approval.