How to Make Space and Choose the Perfect Dishwasher Size

So, you’re considering a dishwasher. But which is the best fit for your kitchen and your family? To answer those questions, you’ll need to know how much space is available in your kitchen, and how many dishes you’ll need to wash. Read this simple, two-part guide to help you prepare your kitchen for a dishwasher and choose a size that fits.


Making space for a dishwasher

Kitchens can be cramped and overflowing with things you rarely use at the expense of things you do, or deserve, such as that new dishwasher. But if it isn’t obvious as to where you’d put it, rearrangements and a thorough inventory check may be in order. Follow these steps to prepare space for your new dishwasher.

Get together all your cleaning products, a box for charity, strong bin liners and a bucket of soapy water. Clear the counters and cabinet shelves until everything you own is in one place and you can see your kitchen as if for the first time.  

Pack up what seems like excess and move it away from the kitchen. Go through your vintage tableware and cutlery and box up anything that’s chipped or you wouldn’t serve to guests. Big serving dishes for dinner parties? The blender you only get out in the summer? They’ll only clutter your kitchen.

Box them up in plastic stacking boxes with lids to keep them clean and dry, and store them neatly elsewhere such as the garage, or give items that you’ll never use again to charity. If it’s a fancy, expensive gadget you might even be able to get some money for it on eBay or Craigslist.

Look at what’s unusable and unsuitable to sell, and throw it out. You don’t need split wooden spoons and greasy or rusting cookie tins leftover from the school bake sale, or oven tins you haven’t used for over a year. Saucepans with loose handles are unusable and dangerous, and non-stick frying pans without non-stick coating aren’t useful either. Dish towels with holes in them can be thrown away or taken as cleaning cloths.

Check canned and packaged food with a long shelf life. Look at the expiration dates and be realistic. If you’ve had a half-used tub of tomato paste for over a year, the best place for it is the trash. Wipe everything clean and, where possible, put food into labelled plastic storage bins so you can easily lift them out of a cupboard and find them. It prevents things getting pushed to the back and forgotten about when you’re putting away a grocery shop and storage baskets are a great kitchen space saver, especially if they stack.

Now that you’ve cleared your counters and cabinets, take an objective look at your space. What do you have room for? Where are your outlets? Do appliances, such as your fridge, need to be moved, too? You may be surprised at how much—or how little—space you actually have for that brand new dishwasher.  


Dishwasher sizes

It’s time to take measurements and determine what size dishwasher fits your kitchen. In general, there are two types of sizes: standard and space savers. For this part of the guide, Finish® has compiled common models and features to give you a reference point.

Standard size

A standard size dishwasher is about 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 35 inches tall.  But measure your space carefully, some models and brands can have slightly different dimensions, which can factor into your installation.

This dishwasher size is perfect for a busy household with a growing family, or one that likes to entertain frequently. It has a capacity for 12 to 15 place settings, and many have a timer facility, noise reduction systems and score the maximum energy efficiency rating.

As for aesthetics and convenience, this dishwasher size is available in fully or semi-integrated, and free-standing options.

If you like uniformity, an integrated dishwasher may be right for you, which sits flush against your counter and matches your kitchen cabinets. The difference between a semi and fully integrated dishwasher is the fully-integrated doesn’t look like it’s there until you open the door.

Free-standing dishwashers are versatile enough to fit under a counter, or on its own as long as it has access to the correct plumbing and outlets. It’s not tailor made to match your kitchen cabinets, but if that’s not a priority, it’s an effective solution.


Compact and small

If you live in a small apartment or have a tiny kitchen, have no fear; there are plenty of powerful dishwashers available that’ll do just the trick.


Compact Dishwasher

If you prefer not to lose any cupboard space, then a compact, countertop dishwasher is the perfect option.

Starting at 20 inches x 20 inches (no bigger than a large microwave), a countertop model has space for up to six place settings, making it ideal for single people, busy couples, small families and even for caravans and mobile homes.

Although countertop models are not plumbed in—you fill it with a connection to your kitchen tap and it simply drains down the sink—they provide exactly the same cleaning power as a regular dishwasher and use all the normal Finish® cleaning products. And because the machine’s not plumbed in, it makes for an excellent portable dishwasher. An ideal choice for those who rent.

Don’t let its small size fool you; it still packs some serious cleaning power. And when you add a powerful detergent like Finish® Gel Dishwashing Detergent  you won’t believe this kind of immaculate clean could come from a dishwasher the size of a microwave.

Whether you live in a small apartment with your partner or a bustling family home, there’s a dishwasher size that is perfect for your kitchen and your life. And of course, a dishwasher is only as good as its detergent. When you find that beautiful dishwasher, wash your dishes with Finish® Dishwashing Detergents.