Dishwasher Deals

DishwasherThere are few things in life as gorgeously self-indulgent as a dishwasher. Whilst you could obviously clean clothes by hand if you wanted to, that would be tricky and time-consuming in such a manner that most people would very much rather not choose to do so and so use a washing machine instead. Cleaning dishes by hand is nowhere near as time-consuming, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an absolute pleasure to just stack them all inside a dishwasher and allow that to take of the hard work for you whilst you have a cuppa or something.

It might seem as though the list of things that you can get in a dishwasher is small, but the truth is that there are a wealth of different options when it comes to picking the one that is right for you. The explosion of technology means that that shouldn’t come as a surprise, of course, given that you can even get dishwashers that tie-in to your smart home devices, but it’s not just how smart they are that you will need to consider. Everything from how big they are through to how the layout in the machine might help you needs to be taken into account.

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Dishwasher Buying Guide

Dishwasher Features

Perhaps the first consideration when thinking about which dishwasher to buy is also the most obvious: the capacity. If you’re a family of four, for example, then the likelihood is that you’re going to need to fit considerably more stuff into your dishwasher than a single person living alone. How many items you can fit into the machine, which is known as the ‘place setting’, is one of the first things that you’ll have to find out when you’re looking at a list of possible dishwashers. It is far from the only consideration that you’ll have to make, though.

Some dishwashers can offer you a host of different adjustable parts, meaning that you can drop a tray down in order to be able to fit bigger pots and pans in, say. You might want to think about the dishwasher’s energy rating if you’re someone that is particularly keen to look out for the environment. All of this might seem a little bit much, but it is the difference between getting a dishwasher that adds convenience to your life and one that genuinely improves it. It is why using this guide to find the right one for you can really improve your approach to finding what you need.

What to Think About

The second that you decide to buy a dishwasher, you might imagine that it’s quite an easy process. You head to the shops, find one that will fit the available space in your kitchen and you’re good to go, right? Sort of, is the honest answer. For starters, you’ll need to decide whether you want it to be free-standing or integrated. There’s even the possibility to get one that is semi-integrated, just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons. That is before you even begin to think about things like how many items it can wash at the same time.

The size of the dishwasher is obviously the main consideration that most people will make, both in terms of its overall size and in the sense of how many actual dishes it can fit. The space that you have available will dictate that in many ways, but you’ll also need to have a think about the following qualities and whether your dishwasher of choice boasts them:

  • Eco Mode
  • Quick Wash Setting
  • The Noise It Makes
  • Whether You Can Adjust The Baskets
  • Does It Have A Baby Cycle?
  • Can It Dry The Dishes Too?

Obviously that list is far from exhaustive, but it will give you a decent sense of the kinds of things that you’ll need to think about when you hit the shops. Some of them won’t matter to you whilst others very much will, but having a sense of which ones matter the most will make it much easier to narrow down the options in a very crowded field. Even something like whether or not your dishwasher can connect to the internet is something that you’ll have to think about, even if that might initially seem like a silly feature to have.

Eco Mode

Research by the Energy Saving Trust suggests that households use about 350 litres of water everyday, of which around 5% goes on washing the dishes. The result of this is that the very act of buying a dishwasher can put you in a position where you’re being more efficient before you even begin to look at the various different settings that you can use. One such program is the Eco Mode, which lowers the temperature on the wash and rinse to mean that less energy needs to be used to heat things up, thereby being better for the environment.

In simple terms, the numerous different settings that you have on your dishwasher are little more than variations on much heat, water or time is used to wash your dishes. Typically speaking, the hotter the temperature, the better the washing of the dishes will be. Eco Mode tries to strike a balance in order to ensure that the minimum amount needed to remove dirt can be reached whilst also keeping the things that are bad for the environment as low as possible. Whether it works well enough or not might well depend on what you’re washing and how dirty it is.

Quick Wash Setting

You might unload and install your dishwasher and notice that it boasts a ‘quick wash’ setting. The obvious questions will be about what that is and why people don’t use it all the time if it means that their dishes will be cleaned much quicker than a different setting. The answer is that it is a setting that really only works if your dishes are very lightly soiled, given that the very nature of a ‘quick wash’ is such that it buzzes through the normal cleaning mode as quickly as possible, reducing the chance of cleaning a deeply stained item.

In terms of just how quick it might be as a wash, it can take anything between 15 minutes and an hour to carry out the cleaning cycle. Obviously both of those are impressive, but unless you’re in a hurry and only have the likes of plates that have been licked clean or glasses that were used for water or something, it’s not going to be all that useful as a program for some people. If it’s a program that you think you’ll want then make sure that you check to see what the manufacturer says about it before you take the plunge.

The Noise It Makes

How relevant or otherwise the noise that your dishwasher makes will be to your life will depend on the circumstances that you find yourself in. If, for example, you live in an open-plan living space then having a dishwasher that can run pretty quietly whilst you’re watching the latest episode of Coronation Street will be important to you. If, on the other hand, you have a pantry area that the dishwasher is going to go into that is hidden away from the rest of the house, it probably won’t be a major concern for you.

Silent or quiet modes are becoming more and more common in dishwashers at the premium end of the market. The idea is that the machine makes much less noise during the filling cycle as well as the washing cycle, which will allow you to have them installed virtually anywhere on your property. It is the very definition of ‘personal choice’, given the manner in which it will really matter to some people and not matter at all to others, so you’ll have to weigh that one up in terms of where on the scale it fits for you.

Whether You Can Adjust the Baskets

For many people, the size of the dishwasher will be the most important factor that they’ll want to weigh-up before taking the plunge to buy one. Many of us are limited when it comes to the real estate that we have available to us in our home, so keeping things small in terms of the dishwasher’s overall size can be the difference maker. With this in mind, some dishwashers offer the ability to adjust where the baskets sit within the machine, meaning that you can fit bigger pots or pans in by shifting the baskets around a bit.

If you know that you’re constantly using a massive frying pan because that’s the best way of cooking for your family all in one go, it will be pointless to buy a dishwasher that isn’t big enough to fit the pan in and which can’t be adjusted. Equally, if you live with just one other person and you only ever use plates, glasses and cutlery, you don’t need to worry too much about the ability to adjust the baskets. Either way, it is something worth thinking about in terms of what matters to you and what definitely doesn’t.

Does It Have a Baby Cycle?

There are some dishwashers that so specifically cater to parents of babies that there is a section of the machine that is reserved for the likes of plastic cutlery, bottles and dummies. Given the extent to which so much baby stuff is made of plastic, it is hardly a surprise that there is a need to keep the washing temperature as low as possible when washing baby equipment. Of course, you don’t necessarily want the temperature to be too low in case that means that things aren’t being cleaned properly.

The result of this is the baby cycle, which keeps temperatures low enough to allow the baby equipment to survive a wash whilst also killing 99.99% of bacteria. These machines will often also allow you to wash with only a half load or opt for a rapid cycle, both of which can make a massive difference when you need a quick turnaround on what you’ve used. Manufacturers are cottoning onto the fact that offering settings that help make the life of a parent easier is becoming more and more of a sales point for them, with baby cycles being one such example.

Can It Dry the Dishes Too?

In the vast majority of cases, modern manufacturers of dishwashers use the condensation method to dry the dishes in the wake of a washing cycle. This involves using really hot water to wash the dishes, which then gets pulled towards the cooler interior walls of the machine, allowing it to drip down the drain. It is a preferable working method than using hot air, which we’re obviously realising is not very good for the environment, with many manufacturers steering away from that as a result.

In truth, the vast majority of dishwashers in the modern era will dry the dishes in one way or another. The big question that you need to answer when you’re looking at buying a new machine is what that method is and whether you’re ok with it. It is not good practice to put wet dishes away into the cupboards, with bacteria likely to grow on stacked wet dishes if they’re allowed to stand for 48 hours or so. Some machines will automatically pop the door open at the end of the cycle in order to allow the moist air out, as well as letting you know the cycle is complete.

What Matters to You?

The above list offers examples of what some people think is important, but there will be plenty of things on it that don’t matter to you at all. The good news is that the proliferation of dishwasher manufacturers is such that you’ll be able to get a machine that doesn’t the thing that you do care about. The best way of ensuring that that happens is by making a list of things that you want to get from your dishwasher, allowing you to narrow down the deals that you’re looking at when buying your new machine.

As an example, are you married to a specific brand of dishwasher? Do you want it to be from the same company as your washing machine and your microwave? Or are you just interested in getting a good brand? You might well have been recommended the dishwasher of a specific brand or read good reviews about them, which will help you to narrow things down when you hit the Black Friday sales and attempt to pick it up. What you want from your dishwasher is likely to be a very personal thing.

Can It Be Integrated?

For some people, they don’t want guests to their house to be able to see things such as the dishwasher, spoiling the illusion that nothing is automated and everything is done by hand. One way of creating this illusion is by opting for an integrated dishwasher, which can be hidden behind a cupboard door in order to give your kitchen a much more uniform look. Not all dishwashers can be integrated, however, so you’ll need to do some research in order to find out whether the one that you’re looking at buying can be.

There is nothing that says that you have to have an integrated dishwasher, of course. Many people will be just as happy with a free-standing one. The most important thing to remember on that front is that there needs to be enough room for the various different types of pipes and fittings to go behind the dishwasher so that it can operate. Some people might choose a dishwasher that goes on top of their counter, which is much smaller in size but far more convenient for those with extremely limited real estate to work with.

Dishwasher Maintenance

Another thing that you might need to think about is whether or not the maintenance of the machine is time-consuming. Never maintaining it can prove to be something of a false economy, given that it will save you money, time or both, but the life of the dishwasher will be cut short as a result. You’ll need to think about things such as whether or not you’re in a hard water area, meaning that the jets are more likely to block up with limescale over time. If this is the case, you’ll need to buy dishwasher salt in order to keep things in good condition for longer.

Whether you use dishwasher cleaner, rinse-aid or a specialist detergent, it is really important to keep your dishwasher maintained as often as possible. The question that you’ll want answering before pulling the trigger on the dishwasher that you’re going to add to your home is about whether or not the dishwasher requires specialist maintenance or just regular stuff. The former is likely to cost you more money, but if you can afford it then it might mean that you can keep your dishwasher almost as good as new for longer.

Smart Connectivity

For many people, the very idea of being able to link their dishwasher up to a smartphone will be entirely pointless. After all, it’s not as if your iPhone or Android device is going to be able to load the dishes for you, so what good will it do to have it linked to an app? The answer comes in the form of being able to program your dishwasher to come on at a certain time and run on a certain wash all without needing to touch the actual dishwasher itself. That might seem unnecessary, but for some it can make a huge difference.

If you’re the sort of person that has grown used to having their entire home work linked up to a smart network, being able to add your dishwasher into that can allow for mass-automation of your life. Imagine being able to say ‘I’m going to bed’ to your smart speaker and have your lights turn off, the alarm go, your front door lock and your dishwasher start its program so that your dishes are clean for in the morning? That would only be possible if your dishwasher of choice has smart connectivity, so it’s absolutely worth thinking about.