Best Dishwasher Buyers Guide

A dishwasher is one of the most time-saving household appliances, saving hours of time that would otherwise be spent chained to the kitchen sink.

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Dishwasher Buying Guide

If you are looking for the best dishwasher to buy for your home, this dishwasher buyers guide will give you some idea of what to look for and the different factors to take into account to find the best dishwasher to buy to suit your own needs and requirements.

Freestanding or Integrated?

Many people like to choose an integrated dishwasher as it will blend seamlessly into the kitchen decor. You can choose from either fully integrated, where the front of the dishwasher is hidden behind a cabinet panel or semi-integrated where you can still see the control panel at the top. The downside to this type of appliance is that they are not portable if you move home, whereas a freestanding model is easily transportable and can be sited in any kitchen as long as there is space. Available in a choice of colours, they can work with any type of decor, but are not virtually invisible like an integrated appliance.

How Big?

Dishwashers come in different sizes depending on the space you have available and the requirements of your family. A full sized machine is perfect for the average family, allowing approximately 120 to 150 items to be washed. Some full sized models can even hold up to 15 place settings, which is perfect for those who enjoy entertaining but probably too larger for smaller households. A slimline model is able to hold up to 100 items while being much narrower and more suited to smaller kitchens, and the smallest option of all is a compact appliance which is small enough to fit on a counter top. Able to hold up to 60 items, this is a great choice for small households or couples although it may be less energy efficient tha a larger model.

Features and Programs

The best dishwashers come with a host of added features to improve your dishwashing experience. Along with some basic essentials such as racks which can adjust to the size of the dishes that you need to wash, there are also some features which, while nice to have, can be overlooked if budget is a factor. Fold down prongs are handy if loading large items, while a large spray head is great for removing grime and baked on dirt on roasting tins. If you choose a dishwasher with a delay/start function, you can set your dishwasher to start during the night to take advantage of cheaper energy tariffs, while a child safety lock is a vital feature for households with kids. Some dishwashers have anti-flood protection built in, which allows the machine to sense if it is beginning to fill with water and prevents further water from entering the appliance, and if you are looking for more advanced features for cutting edge technology, a sensor wash facility will enable your machine to monitor the dirtiness of the water and thus adjust the temperature and wash cycle length accordingly.

Spray Arm Technology

Different dishwashers feature different types of spray arms, all designed to do a different cleaning job. You need to see which types are offered by the best manufacturers to ensure that they will do the best cleaning job for you. Most budget machines have traditional spray arms to the top and bottom that rotate while spraying water however more expensive models may have a satellite spray arm which is ideal for awkwardly shaped items or additional spray arms to the top rack which is ideal for cleaning cutlery and other small items at the top of the machine.

Energy Efficiency

In these modern times where our carbon footprint is becoming ever more important, increasing numbers of people are opting for an energy efficient dishwasher model. Some of the best dishwashers today use a very small amount of water to produce efficient and effective results, sometimes as little as 6 litres in a single cycle. This obviously will save you money if you have a water meter and will also have major benefits for the environment. The dishwashers made by some of the top manufacturers also use less energy for a single cycle and therefore are a good choice when trying to cut down on household bills at the same time as making your carbon footprint smaller.

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