Shopping for a dishwasher is complicated; not only is there performance to consider, but will it match the kitchen cabinets? Will everything fit? Does it have water-efficient features? To make things easier, Finish® has broken down common types of dishwashers and features to help you make an educated purchase.
Types of dishwashers
An important consideration when shopping for a dishwasher is what type and style fits your needs. There are several to choose from, such as built-in dishwashers that fit under the counter, non-traditional drawer dishwashers, dishwashers with recessed or pull handles and more.
1994 was a great year; The Lion King was the highest-grossing film in the U.S., and dishwashing manufacturers turned over a green leaf. Water-efficient dishwashers became available.
According to Energy Star, dishwashers built before 1994 wasted 10 or more gallons of water per use because they lacked several features available in modern dishwashers.
A soil-sensing dishwasher identifies how dirty your dishes are and adjusts how much water is needed to clean them. If you pre-rinse your dishes before loading them, the soil sensor detects this, and will use less water.
A dishwashing cycle can take at least two hours— with the same water being reused and recycled. Dishwashers with improved water filtration remove food from the water more efficiently as its sprayed back onto your dishes.
Dishwasher jets spray water and detergent over your dishes. When they’re energy-efficient, they use less energy for the same clean.
Strategic Dishrack Design
While filling up your dishwasher now seems like an aggravating game of Tetris, modern dishracks are designed to position your dishes to get the best clean, as long as you don’t overcrowd them.
Although water-efficient dishwashers run longer than pre-1994 models, they use less water than hand washing! You can also find water-efficient dishwashers in different styles that are covered below.
Built-in dishwashers are installed beneath your kitchen counter. They’re also convenient to operate given how near they are to where food is prepared. Flush against your kitchen cabinets, built-in dishwashers are available in semi-integrated and fully-integrated styles. What’s the difference?
These built-in dishwashers blend in with your kitchen cabinets, but have a control panel on the outside of the door. Semi-integrated dishwashers are ideal for homeowners who don’t want to open their dishwasher to change settings or stop a wash.
This style of built-in dishwashers completely blends in with your kitchen cabinets, with the control panel inside the door. Fully-integrated dishwashers are ideal for homeowners who want to completely conceal their dishwasher.
Built-in dishwashers are an aesthetic and convenient choice for homeowners. However, if you plan on moving in the future, a built-in dishwasher may not be the best option, as it is a permanently installed kitchen appliance.
This non-traditional dishwasher style is designed like the name suggests—as drawers. They’re perfect for a home with a small amount of dishes because they’re smaller than traditional models, but also require permanent installation.
You can find drawer dishwashers in single or double-drawer units. With a double-drawer, you can separate dishes by washing needs and preferences into different units.
Lesser-Known dishwasher features
As long as our dishes come out sparkling clean, what else is there? The incredible technology hidden in plainsight. Modern dishwashers contain many advanced features that are often overlooked.
Dishwashers with a delayed start feature allow you to start your dishwasher when you like. This is helpful if you’re about to do a load of laundry and don’t want them running at the same time. Load your dishwasher, add your detergent, such as Finish® Quantum Max® Fresh Scent, and set a start time.
This dishwasher feature supercharges your cleaning power. A sanitize wash boosts dishwasher temperatures far above what our hands can handle, and paired with a powerful detergent such as Finish® Max in 1® Dishwashing Detergent, this feature can produce an immaculate clean.
Rinse and Hold
Having guests over, but don’t have a full dishwasher? The rinse and hold feature will quickly clean dishes without using detergent, and requires much less water. This is perfect for dishes that aren’t very dirty that you want to set up sooner rather than later.
Rinse and hold is also great for keeping the interior of your dishwasher clean between full cycles, and helps prevent odors.
Forget something? The pause wash feature allows you to pause the cycle and add more dishes. However, the dishwasher only opens if it’s able to, so earlier is better, otherwise, grab a sponge and some dish soap.
Recessed and pull handle dishwashers
A pull handle or recessed handle can determine where you install your dishwasher.
Recessed handles are pulled open with an under-hand gesture, and don’t stick out beyond the frame of the dishwasher. These are ideal for dishwashers installed in corners adjacent to cabinets that frequently open and close.
Pull handles stick out beyond the frame of the dishwasher. This type of handle isn’t ideal for corners adjacent to cabinets because it gets in the way.
Choosing the right capacity
When shopping for a dishwasher, keep in mind how many place settings you’ll need to wash, and the size of the space where it’s being installed. A large capacity dishwasher will hold more place settings, but might not fit under your counter.
Some dishwashers can hold as little as four place settings or as much as 10. When you see one you like, open the door and imagine how it would look loaded with your dishes. Modern dishwashers use the same amount of water every full cycle, so choose the dishwasher with space that best accommodates your family’s dishes to avoid running more cycles than necessary.
While shopping for dishwashers can be confusing and complicated, it helps to understand the basic dishwasher types and features that are available to you.
On average, dishwashers have a life of around 10 years. This comprehensive guide is a great reference for when it comes time for a replacement.