A Guide to Dishwasher Buying

Buying a dishwasher is exciting – especially if you’ve been washing your dishes by hand until now. Like any appliance, however, buying a dishwasher can be an overwhelming process.

With so many types and models on offer, how do you choose the best dishwasher? And how you can be certain you won’t be spending a fortune on appliance replacement parts in the future? In this guide, I’ll offer some essential tips for buying a dishwasher.

  1. Decide what size dishwasher you need

Measuring the space that your dishwasher will fit into is, of course, an important part of buying a dishwasher. When it comes to the size of your dishwasher, there are other things to consider too.

Dishwashers usually come in ‘standard’ or ‘compact’ size. A standard dishwasher is usually 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 35 inches high, perfect for families. A compact dishwasher, on the other hand, is usually narrower – 18 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 35 inches high – and is ideal for a 1-3 person household and apartments.

  1. Figure out what type of dishwasher you want

Other than size, there are three typical ‘types’ of dishwashers: built-in, portable, drawer, and countertop models. If you own your home and can afford to splurge a bit more on a dishwasher, a built-in or drawer model is ideal.

If you’re renting or on a budget, you’re better off going for a portable or countertop model. Countertop models are usually the cheapest type of dishwasher, but they are smaller than standard dishwashers so aren’t ideal for families.

  1. Check the dishwasher’s energy efficiency

In the US, dishwashers often have an Energy Star rating. These dishwashers are better at saving energy, which means they cost less to run than a non-qualified dishwasher.

If you want to save on energy or water, there are certain features of dishwashers you should look for. A delay start option means you can run your dishwasher when your energy is cheapest, such as at night if you have a time-of-use energy rate. Some dishwashers also have low-water and quick-wash options which are great if you are trying to save on your water bill.

  1. Investigate self-cleaning and food disposal features

Self-cleaning filters in dishwashers mean you won’t have to remove and clean the filter on a regular basis. When buying a dishwasher, check the filtration system so you know how easy it will be to maintain.

If you’d prefer not to scrub and rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, finding a dishwasher with a hard food disposal feature is important. This stops the food on your dishes from swishing around in the dishwasher as it is eliminated in the first clean cycle.

  1. Consider the dishwasher’s stacking, racking, and cutlery trays

Standard dishwashers have two racks and a cutlery tray. Some high-end dishwashers have special trays and racks built in to accommodate tall glasses or large oven dishes.

Removable cutlery trays let you take the tray out when you unload the dishwasher and carry it over to your cutlery drawer. Some dishwashers have smaller, built-in cutlery trays. Check which option your dishwasher has before buying if you have a strong preference.

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