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How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

A dishwasher is a household appliance that can simplify your kitchen routine by saving you time and energy. In today’s busy world, having a reliable dishwasher can make all the difference, especially in a household where dishes pile up quickly. Imagine being able to load dirty dishes after a meal and simply pressing a button, rather than having to scrub away for hours.

The convenience of a dishwasher cannot be overstated, but it’s not just about convenience. A dishwasher can also help ensure your dishes are cleaned thoroughly, without leaving any bits of food behind, which can lead to the growth of bacteria.

There are many different types of dishwashers available on the market, each with their own set of features and benefits. The three main types are built-in, portable, and countertop dishwashers. Built-in dishwashers are designed to be permanently installed under your countertop, while portable dishwashers can be moved around your kitchen as needed. Countertop dishwashers are the smallest of the three and can be placed on top of your counter.

When choosing a dishwasher, it’s important to consider the size that will best suit your household needs. If you have a larger family, you’ll likely need a larger dishwasher so that you’re not running it multiple times a day. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the features that are most important to you, such as wash cycles, drying options, and special features like a delay-start function.

Types of Dishwashers

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

When it comes to choosing a dishwasher, there are a number of factors to consider. One of the most important is the type of dishwasher that best suits your needs. There are three main types of dishwashers: built-in, portable, and countertop. Understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed choice.

Built-in Dishwashers

Built-in dishwashers are the most common type of dishwasher found in homes. These dishwashers are installed underneath the kitchen counter, and typically require a dedicated electrical circuit and plumbing hookup. Built-in dishwashers come in a variety of sizes and styles, and can be customized to match your kitchen décor.

  • Pros:
    • Permanent installation
    • Quiet operation
    • Energy-efficient
  • Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Difficult to install
    • May require professional installation

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

Portable Dishwashers

Portable dishwashers are a good option for renters or homeowners who don’t want to make a permanent installation. These dishwashers are on wheels and can be moved around the kitchen as needed. Portable dishwashers typically require a standard electrical outlet and a water source, such as a kitchen faucet, for filling and draining.

  • Pros:
    • Less expensive than built-in dishwashers
    • No permanent installation required
    • Easier to move and transport
  • Cons:
    • Take up floor space
    • Noisy
    • May require additional plumbing connections

Countertop Dishwashers

Countertop dishwashers are the smallest and most compact type of dishwasher. These dishwashers sit on top of the kitchen counter and can be easily connected to the sink faucet. Countertop dishwashers are typically designed to wash smaller loads of dishes, and may not be as powerful as larger dishwashers.

  • Pros:
    • Small and compact
    • No permanent installation required
    • Easy to use
  • Cons:
    • Small capacity
    • May not clean dishes as thoroughly as larger dishwashers
    • May require frequent refilling and emptying

Choosing the right type of dishwasher depends on your household’s needs and your budget. By understanding the differences between built-in, portable, and countertop dishwashers, you can make an informed decision and enjoy the benefits of a reliable dishwasher in your busy household.

Size Matters

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

If you’re looking to purchase a new dishwasher, one of the most important factors to consider is its size. Choosing the right size of dishwasher for your household needs can make your cleaning routine smoother and more efficient, saving you time and effort in the long run.

When it comes to dishwashers, size typically refers to the number of place settings it can hold. A place setting includes a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, cup, saucer, and utensils for one person. Standard dishwashers typically hold 12 to 14 place settings, while compact models hold around 8.

Before making a decision, take a look at your household’s eating habits and needs. Do you cook at home frequently, or do you tend to eat out? Do you host large dinner parties or have a big family? The answers to these questions can help you determine the appropriate size of dishwasher for your home.

  • If you have a small household with one or two people, a compact dishwasher may suffice.
  • For a household of four to six people, a standard dishwasher with 12 to 14 place settings should do the trick.
  • If you frequently entertain guests or have a larger family, consider a dishwasher with 16 to 18 place settings.

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

Household Size Number of Place Settings
1-2 people 8 place settings
4-6 people 12-14 place settings
6+ people or frequent entertaining 16-18 place settings

It’s important to keep in mind that the size of your dishwasher also affects its energy and water usage. A larger dishwasher will require more water and energy to operate, which can impact your utility bills. On the other hand, a dishwasher that’s too small for your household’s needs may require you to run multiple cycles, which can also increase your energy and water usage.

In summary, determining the appropriate size of dishwasher for your household needs requires assessing your household size, eating habits, and entertaining needs. This can help you make an informed decision that saves you time, effort, and money in the long run.

Features to Consider

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

When buying a dishwasher, it is important to evaluate the most important features that fit your household needs. Dishwashers come with a variety of features, but not all features may be necessary for you. Therefore, it is important to understand and evaluate the features that matter the most to you.

Wash Cycles:
The number of wash cycles in a dishwasher is an important feature to consider. Standard wash cycles include heavy duty, normal, eco, and rinse. Modern dishwashers may include additional cycles like express wash, sanitize, and steam clean. Understanding your household’s needs will help you determine which wash cycles are necessary for you. For example, if you frequently wash heavily soiled dishes, a heavy duty cycle is necessary. Alternatively, if you want to save energy, an eco cycle is a better option.

Drying Options:
Drying options is another important feature to evaluate. The two most common drying options available in dishwashers are heated drying and air drying. Heated drying uses a heating element to dry the dishes, while air-drying uses the natural air in the dishwasher to dry dishes. Heated drying is a faster option, but can be more energy-consuming. Air-drying, on the other hand, is slower but more energy-efficient.

Special Features:
Special features are unique and innovative options available in modern dishwashers. These features include soil sensors, adjustable racks, and third racks. Soil sensors automatically detect the level of food particles and debris on the dishes and adjust the wash cycle accordingly. Adjustable racks allow you to adjust the height of the racks to fit larger dishes, while a third rack provides additional space for utensils and small items. While these features may not be necessary, they can add convenience and efficiency to your dishwashing experience.

Feature Description
Soil sensors Automatic detection of food particles and debris levels in dishes
Adjustable racks Ability to adjust rack height to fit larger dishes
Third rack Additional space for utensils and small items

Overall, evaluating these features in a dishwasher can provide convenience and efficiency in your daily life. Understanding your household’s needs and preferences is key in determining which features matter the most to you. Keep in mind that some features may come at an additional cost, so it is important to evaluate your budget as well.

Energy Efficiency

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

When it comes to choosing a dishwasher, there are a number of factors to consider. One of the most important is energy efficiency. Not only is an energy-efficient dishwasher better for the environment, it can also save you money on your energy bills over time.

So what should you look for when choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher? For starters, pay attention to the dishwasher’s ENERGY STAR rating. This rating system, developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, rates appliances based on their energy efficiency. An ENERGY STAR rated dishwasher will typically use less water and energy than non-rated models.

  • Check the dishwasher’s features to make sure it has wash cycle options that use less water and energy. Look for options like “light wash” or “quick wash”.
  • Consider the dishwasher’s capacity. A larger dishwasher may be more efficient if you are washing a lot of dishes at once, as you will run fewer loads.
  • Think about the drying method. Some dishwashers use more energy to heat the water for the drying cycle. Look for models with air-dry options or heated dry options with automatic shutoff features.

Another factor to consider when choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher is the type of detergent you use. Low-phosphate and phosphate-free detergents are often recommended for use in energy-efficient dishwashers, as they are better for the environment and can help reduce the amount of water and energy used during the washing cycle.

Ultimately, the most energy-efficient dishwasher is the one that is right for your specific needs. Consider the size of your household, the number of dishes you typically wash, and your budget when making your decision.

Choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher is a smart way to save money on your energy bills and do your part for the environment. By considering the dishwasher’s ENERGY STAR rating, its features, and its drying method, you can ensure that you are making the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective choice.

Noise Level

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

Noise is often an overlooked factor when purchasing a dishwasher, but it can play a significant role in your overall satisfaction with the appliance. Deciding on the ideal level of noise for your household is important since it can impact your ability to comfortably enjoy your home while the dishwasher is running.

One of the first things to consider is your personal noise tolerance level. If you are sensitive to noise, you may want to opt for a dishwasher that operates at a lower decibel level. Most modern dishwashers operate between 44 and 60 decibels, with some models even quieter than that.

  • 44-50 Decibels: Dishwashers in this range are considered ultra-quiet and are ideal for open-concept homes where noise can easily travel. They are also a great option if you have young children or if you like to run your dishwasher during the night.
  • 51-60 Decibels: Dishwashers in this range are still relatively quiet and are suitable for most households. They are ideal if you are looking for a balance between performance and noise level.
  • Above 60 Decibels: Dishwashers in this range are considered loud and may not be suitable for households with children or noise-sensitive individuals.

Another important factor to consider is the location of your dishwasher. If your dishwasher is located close to your living room or bedrooms, you may want to opt for a quieter model. However, if your dishwasher is located in a separate utility room or garage, noise may not be as much of an issue.

Ultimately, the ideal noise level for your household will depend on your personal preferences and needs. If you are unsure which level of noise is right for you, consider visiting a showroom to hear the different noise levels in person. This can help you make an informed decision and ensure you are happy with your purchase for years to come.

Delay-Start Function

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

Do you ever wish you could just set your dishwasher to start in a few hours, or even overnight, so that you can take advantage of off-peak energy rates or simply avoid having to listen to the machine while you’re trying to relax? If so, you’ll want to look for a dishwasher with a delay-start function.

One of the greatest benefits of having a delay-start function on your dishwasher is that it allows you to set the machine to start running at a specific time, often up to a 24 hour delay. This can be incredibly convenient when you want to load the dishwasher after dinner but don’t want it to start running until you’ve gone to bed, or when you want to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.

Another advantage of having a delay-start function is that it can give you greater flexibility in terms of how you load your dishwasher. Rather than feeling pressured to load everything into the machine as quickly as possible, you can take your time and then schedule the machine to run at the most convenient time for you.

  • Delay-start function allows for greater flexibility and convenience when using your dishwasher
  • You can take advantage of off-peak electricity rates by scheduling your machine to run during certain times of the day or night
  • You can load your dishwasher at your own pace without feeling rushed to start the cycle immediately

If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, be sure to look for one that comes equipped with a delay-start function. It’s a simple feature that can make a big difference in terms of the convenience and flexibility of using your dishwasher. With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why a delay-start function is an important consideration for any busy household.

Water Softeners

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

Dishwashers are an essential appliance in any busy household, making life easier and saving time. However, many people overlook the importance of water softeners in dishwashers. Hard water can cause mineral buildup in your dishwasher, reducing its efficiency and lifespan. This can result in the need for costly repairs or replacements. In this post, we will discuss the importance of water softeners in dishwashers and whether you need one.

Firstly, it’s important to understand what hard water is. Hard water contains a high mineral content, specifically calcium and magnesium. These minerals can leave behind a residue on dishes and glasses, making them appear dirty and cloudy. Over time, the buildup of these minerals can also affect the performance of your dishwasher.

A water softener is a device that removes minerals from your water supply, reducing the likelihood of buildup in your dishwasher. Water softeners work by exchanging sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions, which are responsible for hard water. This process results in soft water, which is gentler on your dishwasher and your dishes.

Pros of having a water softener in your dishwasher: Cons of not having a water softener in your dishwasher:
  • Less mineral buildup in your dishwasher
  • Reduced risk of costly repairs and replacements
  • Cleaner dishes and glassware
  • Less detergent and energy needed to run your dishwasher
  • Increased mineral buildup in your dishwasher
  • Reduced efficiency of your dishwasher
  • Dirty dishes and glassware
  • More detergent and energy needed to run your dishwasher

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

If you live in an area with hard water, it’s highly recommended that you invest in a water softener for your dishwasher. Not only will this improve the lifespan and efficiency of your appliance, but it will also improve the overall cleanliness of your dishes and glassware.

However, if you live in an area with soft water, you may not need a water softener. Soft water already contains low levels of minerals and won’t cause buildup in your dishwasher. You can test your water hardness using a water testing kit, which can be purchased at most hardware stores.

To sum up, water softeners are an important component in maintaining the efficiency and lifespan of your dishwasher. If you live in an area with hard water, investing in a water softener is a wise decision that will save you money in the long run. However, if you live in an area with soft water, you may not need a water softener and can save yourself the expense.

Top-Loading vs. Front-Loading

When it comes to choosing a dishwasher, the design is just as important as the size and features. There are two main types of dishwashers: top-loading and front-loading. Both have their own set of pros and cons, and choosing the right one for your household will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

Top-Loading Dishwashers

Top-loading dishwashers are more traditional and have been around for a longer time. They have a door on top that you lift to load and unload the dishwasher. Here are some of the advantages of top-loading dishwashers:

  • They are generally less expensive than front-loading dishwashers.
  • They are easier to load and unload, as you don’t have to bend down as low.
  • They are more compact and can fit into smaller spaces.

However, there are also some drawbacks of top-loading dishwashers:

  • They don’t have as many features or wash cycle options as front-loading dishwashers.
  • They don’t clean dishes as thoroughly as front-loading dishwashers.
  • They are louder and use more water and energy than front-loading dishwashers.

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

Front-Loading Dishwashers

Front-loading dishwashers, on the other hand, have a door on the front that you pull down to load and unload the dishwasher. Here are some of the advantages of front-loading dishwashers:

  • They clean dishes more thoroughly and efficiently than top-loading dishwashers.
  • They are more energy and water-efficient than top-loading dishwashers.
  • They have more features and wash cycle options than top-loading dishwashers.

However, there are also some drawbacks of front-loading dishwashers:

  • They are generally more expensive than top-loading dishwashers.
  • They can be more difficult to load and unload, especially if you have back problems or are shorter in height.
  • They are larger and may not fit into smaller spaces.

Maintenance and Care

How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

Maintenance and care for your dishwasher is an essential part of ensuring that it operates efficiently and lasts for its maximum lifespan. With proper maintenance and care, you can extend the life of your dishwasher, prevent costly repairs, and avoid unnecessary downtime. Here are some tips to help you maintain and care for your dishwasher:

  • Regularly inspect and clean the spray arms to prevent clogs and ensure that water flows freely through them during the wash cycle. Remove any debris or buildup with a toothbrush or other small brush.
  • Check and clean the dishwasher filter regularly to prevent food particles and debris from clogging the drain and causing damage to the dishwasher. Simply remove the filter, rinse it under running water, and replace it.
  • Inspect and clean the dishwasher door gasket to prevent leaks and ensure that the door seals tightly during the wash cycle. Use a damp cloth to clean the gasket and look for any signs of wear or damage.

Another important part of dishwasher maintenance and care is to use the appropriate dishwasher detergent and rinse aid. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using too much detergent or using the wrong type of detergent. Excessive detergent can cause buildup and clogs in your dishwasher, while the wrong type of detergent can damage the dishwasher’s interior.

In addition, avoid overloading your dishwasher, as this can cause poor cleaning results and damage to the dishwasher. Leave enough space between dishes so that water can flow freely and clean all surfaces evenly.

Finally, consider scheduling regular professional maintenance and cleaning for your dishwasher. This can help prevent major repairs and keep your dishwasher operating efficiently for its maximum lifespan.


How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

After considering all the factors, it’s time to make a decision on the best dishwasher for your household needs and budget.

First, consider the size and type of dishwasher that will best fit your kitchen layout and needs. This may vary depending on the amount of space you have available, and the number of dishes you typically need to wash. A built-in dishwasher may be the best option for a permanent fixture, while a portable dishwasher can be a great solution for smaller spaces or renters.

Next, evaluate the most important features for your household. Some dishwashers come with various wash cycles, drying options, and special features. Determine which ones will be most beneficial for your specific needs.

  • Wash Cycles: Dishwashers come with different wash cycle options such as normal, eco-friendly, quick wash, and heavy-duty cycles. Choose one that suits your daily use.
  • Drying Options: Consider a dishwasher with features like heated drying, after-dry options, or air drying to help dry your dishes and minimize water spots.
  • Energy Efficiency: Look for dishwashers that are Energy Star certified to save on energy and water bills in the long run.

Noise level is another consideration, especially if you have young kids or live in an apartment complex, where a quieter dishwasher may be a more suitable option.

The delay-start function can also be a convenient feature, especially when you want your dishes washed when you come home from work. Lastly, check the maintenance and care guidelines for the dishwasher you’re considering to ensure optimal and long-term performance.

With these factors in mind, choose the best dishwasher for your needs and budget. A little research and consideration can go a long way in securing the right appliance for your household.

(Right below, you can see the full list of the dishwasher bestsellers. To click their images is to jump to their standalone reviews. Why not try it?)

NoProductPriceCustomer RatingRating NumberColorShippingBuy on Amazon
#1Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank $299.994.3/5 3,253 Black/WhiteFreebuy on amazon
#2COMFEE' Portable Dishwasher Countertop, Mini Dishwasher with 5L Built-in Water Tank$299.994.4/5 1,475Whole BlackFree buy on amazon
#3Hermitlux Countertop Dishwasher$304.994.6/5 970WhiteFreebuy on amazon
#4Farberware Professional FCD06ABBWHA Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher$309.624.5/52,899 WhiteFreebuy on amazon
#5KAPAS Portable Countertop Dishwasher$292.204.5/5 1,857 WhiteFreebuy on amazon
#6Portable Countertop Dishwashers, NOVETE Compact Dishwashers $359.994.6/5 1,396WhiteFreebuy on amazon
#7EdgeStar DWP62SV Portable Countertop Dishwasher$329.004.4/5 1,813SilverFreebuy on amazon
#8EdgeStar BIDW1802SS Dishwasher$539.004.3/5 677 Stainless SteelFreebuy on amazon
#9Danby DDW631SDB Countertop Dishwasher$359.994.2/5 854Stainless SteelFreebuy on amazon
#10Danby 18 Inch Built in Dishwasher$479.994.3/5604 Black Freebuy on amazon


  • Merve Bademci

    Hey there, fellow foodies! I'm Merve, a 25-year-old kitchen enthusiast who lives for trying out new recipes and gadgets. Cooking has been my passion for over a decade, and I'm always looking for ways to make it more fun and efficient. I mean, who doesn't love a kitchen hack that saves time and energy, right? When I'm not in the kitchen, you'll find me hunting for the latest kitchen appliances and sharing my honest opinions about them on my blog. I believe in giving my readers the real deal, so you won't find any sugar-coated reviews here. If a gadget isn't worth the investment, I'll tell you straight up. I also love connecting with other foodies out there, sharing tips and tricks, and finding inspiration from their cooking journeys. So, if you're looking for a friendly and authentic voice in the world of kitchen gadgets, you've come to the right place. Let's cook up some magic together!