If you’ve never owned a dishwasher before then going off to buy your first every model can seem a tad daunting. Appliances can be so complicated these days and it’s easy to get sucked into buying something with lots of bells and whistles – most of which you’ll never use in a million years (or rather a decade as that’s how long a new dishwasher should last these days).
So, when it boils down to it (no pun intended) what do you really need to know about your potential new dishwasher? Read our dishwasher buying guide to find out:
- What it can accommodate dish/cutlery-wise in the one go. Large dishwashers will take dishes for up to 12 place settings while you can also buy dishwashers equipped for nine place settings, or even four (a small tabletop version). Very few of us are going to be holding dinner parties for 12 or even nine guests most nights but remember you will have a day’s worth of dishes and if you like to cook, then no doubt a lot of bowls and pans too.
- How it looks. Appearance is important in our increasingly designer-led homes. It’s common these days to have an integrated dishwasher (ie one that fits under a cabinet door) for instance. There are also kitchens where the dishwasher’s front side is visible, with a worktop above. A freestanding dishwasher meanwhile will be easier to move around whenever the mood takes you.
- Programmes. Check if there’s an economy (eco) setting which will save you money over time. Any dishwasher buying guide should also recommend a programme for smaller loads (some machines come equipped with half load options) and a rinse-only cycle. There are also ‘baby settings’ which puts mum’s mind at ease by thoroughly cleansing plates of bacteria. How are the dishes dried? Some machines use heated air while others use a fan (the latter is more energy efficient).
Other aspects to bear in mind when purchasing a dishwasher
If you use a lot of painted or gold/silver rimmed china then maybe a dishwasher isn’t for you. That’s because the paint may fade. Similarly, iron pots and pans can fall prey to rust. Wooden implements shouldn’t be exposed to water for long periods and pearl-handled cutlery could crack.
Check out what type of water you have. Ideally you’ll want soft water – in which case buy separate dishwasher liquid, rinse aid and salt. You’ll also want to invest in a cleaner for the dishwasher itself in order to de-grease the inside. The filters too will need to be rinsed on a regular (weekly) basis.
In order to save money on your water and utility bill it’s a good idea to invest in the most energy efficient dishwasher you can afford. Trust us – it really will pay off in the long run.