A dishwasher is a good appliance because, firstly, it saves time and effort, secondly, it perfectly cleans and dries dishes at high temperatures, and thirdly, it saves water.
- For one cycle of its work, water is spent 4-5 times less, than at washing of crockery manually, the power consumption is small (in an economy mode, there are only 8 kW for 1 cycle, even the electric kettle consumes more!)
Besides, in a dishwasher, it’s possible to wash not only dishes but also combs, plastic children’s toys, baseball caps, rubber slippers, tools, the filter from an extractor fan, trays of a refrigerator, and many other things.
There are a few disadvantages, however:
- The need to buy the detergents.
- The machine occupies space in the kitchen.
- Dishwashers are quite expensive. (but you can find a quality product with reasonable price if you do enough research).
- Unfortunately, a dishwasher cannot load and unload itself and clean the scraps of the plates (otherwise there is a risk of clogging). Sometimes, it’s really easier and faster to wash dishes by yourself.
- Most often, the dishwasher is run 1-2 times a day, and before that, the dirty dishes are all put in it. If the process of accumulation is delayed, the chamber of the machine begins to “smell”. If you save utensils in the sink, it becomes uncomfortable to use it, and the dirty dishes don’t look cozy.
- Stuck food and soot may not be washed without preliminary or subsequent manual cleaning with, say, a scraper. The rest of the dirt (even old grease) can be washed in a single cycle.
- Unfortunately, not everything can be washed automatically. For example, cast iron and steel rusty utensils after a dishwasher are covered with rust, wooden utensils are broken, and crystal can become dull with time.
Types of dishwashers and where to put them
The machine is fully installed in the set, the front panel is hidden behind the facade, the control panel is placed on the end of the door. This method of installation is the most preferable, as it fits the kitchen interior. If you plan to install the kitchen set from scratch, then choose this option.
This machine can be integrated into the set partially, i.e. without a facade, or placed separately where it’s convenient. The color of the door of the stationary dishwasher is usually white, metal, and sometimes black. Stationary models have one more advantage. They are somewhat more convenient to use by placing the control panel on the door. Thus, to start the already loaded machine, you don’t have to open it, the timer shows the time of day and countdown of minutes before the end of the cycle. In which case to choose a partially integrated model? If the kitchen set is already equipped, if you plan to make a rearrangement in the future, or when you just don’t want to bother with the installation of the facade and choose the machine strictly according to the size of the kitchen.
If you don’t have enough space in your kitchen for a full-size machine, a portable mini-dishwasher, comparable in size to a microwave, will help. It’s connected to a faucet and is placed on a tabletop. The capacity of such an appliance is 4-6 sets of dishes. For a family of three, it will be enough.
The capacity of the dishwasher should be 2-3 times higher than the required minimum
Capacity is the most important criterion for choosing a dishwasher. It shows the maximum number of dishwasher sets that a model can wash in one cycle. 1 set of dishes includes two plates (deep and flat), a cup with a saucer, and a fork with a spoon.
- The dishwashers can hold from 4 up to 17 sets.
- Small portable dishwashers up to 20 inches high can hold only 4-6 sets of dishes.
- The narrow 18 inches wide dishwashers hold 10-11 sets of dishes.
- Full-size models can wash 11 to 17 sets of dishes.
Since the dishwasher is most convenient to run once a day, it should contain all the dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for all household members. So, for example, for a family of three, you should choose a dishwasher for at least 9 sets. It’s also good to add pots and pans to this minimum.
Pay attention to water and energy consumption
The less water the dishwasher spends per cycle, the less you will pay not only for water but also for electricity. Most modern models spend no more than 14-15 liters per cycle. Outdated models with water consumption of about 20 liters per cycle are rare.
- If you want to save even more, look for models with water consumption of 8-9 liters per cycle. However, such economical dishwashers are more expensive.
- When choosing a dishwasher, pay attention to water consumption both when working in economy mode and normal mode.
The standard set of 5-6 programs is quite enough. It is desirable that a dishwasher had a function of half loading.
You shouldn’t buy a model with a big set of temperatures and functional programs. As practice shows, to the majority of users, a base set of 5-6 modes of work is quite enough:
- with preliminary soaking;
- economical mode for washing slightly dirty dishes;
- the washing mode for fragile crockery (for example, glasses or expensive porcelain).
Here are a few more useful additional functions:
- Half-load mode allows you to wash not only a small number of dishes but also wash, say, dirty vegetables for lunch.
- If you like to cook jam, and also if you have a small child, a sterilization mode will be useful.
- The possibility of postponing the timer is very convenient. It will allow, for example, to load the machine from the evening, and automatically turn on the settings for the night, when everyone is asleep.
- For a family with a child, choose a model with the option of child protection when the door and/or control panel of the machine is locked. This is necessary not only to ensure that the baby doesn’t disrupt the settings but also to protect him/her from hot steam. By the way, not all models have this function, be careful and clarify this important detail.
Class A quality
Even the simplest modern dishwashers have an A wash class, which means that the machine washes dishes very well. Do you want the dishes to be washed perfectly? Choose models with the A+ mark (the more pluses, the better and more expensive a dishwasher is).
You should choose a fully leak-proof machine: There are two types of such dishwashers:
- The full spill protection system stops the water supply when it detects minimal excess or damaged hoses. If your kitchen has wooden or laminate floors, you should choose a dishwasher with this very protection system.
- Low-cost machines have partial protection against leaks. They are designed in such a way that the water supply stops when the special pallet is full.
A quiet dishwasher should have a noise level of up to 45 dB
This advice is especially relevant for the kitchen in the studio apartment, the combined kitchen-living room, and in case there are small children or just light sleepers in the house. Of course, the quieter the machine is, the more expensive it is.
- The minimum noise level of a dishwasher is 38 dB, the maximum is 55 dB.
Turbo drying is preferable if machine speed is a priority
Almost all modern dishwashers have a drying function, a condensing or turbo type.
- The simplest models dry dishes naturally: the washed dishes are first rinsed with hot water, then simply dried. The condensate accumulates on the walls of the chamber and flows into the drain. The duration of this drying principle is inconvenient.
- More expensive machines have a fan that blows at all the wet dishes with warm air and dries them pretty quickly.
You can’t say for sure which dishwasher is better, a model with a condensing or turbo-dryer. After all, if you load the machine only overnight (as often happens), there is no point in overpaying for the turbo-dryer.
- If you plan to wash dishes often and not only at the end of the day (for example, if you have to buy a narrow dishwasher and wash dishes after each meal), then turbo-drying will be very useful.