Before You Buy
Before you buy a new dishwasher there are a couple of things you need to consider. You need to think about the type of dishwasher you want for your home, and how much space you have free. Most importantly, you need to make sure your dishwasher can be connected to a water source, outlet, and power source. Once these have been identified then you are good to go.
Before you start shopping around for your new dishwasher, there are a number different types to choose from. To help you decide which dishwasher will be right for you, we have set out the different types of dishwashers available and included a detailed description of handy features to look out for.
A freestanding model simply means that it is built into your kitchen. Generally, they will fit into every kind of kitchen, as long as they allow for it. The front door is designed to be completely visible when fitted in your kitchen. Because these machines are really common it’s easy to find one that fits your budget and they are also a lot smaller and can fit into snug spaces. If you ever decide to move house, then you can take your dishwasher with you.
An integrated model is one that is built into a custom kitchen. They can be put into two categories, fully integrated and semi integrated. Fully integrated models are ones that are completely hidden from view, as the front panel is covered behind a kitchen panel or door. Semi integrated options are partly covered by a kitchen cupboard door, with only the control panel visible. This type of dishwasher looks more streamlined but is harder to take with you if you ever want to move home.
These hold around 12 place settings and are the most common type available. Approximately they hold around 120-150 items and measure 60 cm wide. Some of the biggest models can actually hold around 150 items at a time. These are great for saving water and efficiency as many items can be washed at the same time, without having to use numerous cycles.
These are smaller than the traditional fully sized dishwashers. If you have a small kitchen or not too much space then they are perfect for you. You will have to compromise on capacity as it probably takes around 90 to 100 items per wash. They are around 45 cm wide and so are good to fit into smaller kitchens effectively. As you can imagine these are less efficient and eco-friendly so if you do have space then it will be better to go for the fully sized versions.
These are more commonly known as top dishwashers because they are small and compact enough to be placed on a kitchen surface. They have a significantly smaller capacity than the fully sized dishwasher and hold around 40 to 60 items per cycle. They measure in at around 55cm wide but are very compact. These tend to use a lot more water and electricity and so are the least energy efficient on the list.
Features & Programmes
Height adjustable upper rack so you can raise or lower the top rack to allow for big items to be washed. The most favoured kind of rack is one with two quick-release clips on either side of the rack
Child safety lock
This is a very good feature to have, especially if you have young children in the house. This means that they are not able to change any settings.
This enables the machine to determine how dirty the water is in the machine and to alter the heat and length of the wash accordingly.
Fold down prongs
This is a handy feature on any washing machine because it makes loading bigger items easy.
Most washing machines come with this feature and it means that you are able to program the time you want the machine to start working. You can set ithours before you want it to start.
To keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape and lasting longer, you will need to look after it and take the time to maintain its needs. Dishwashers need certain things to keep them ticking over smoothly. Before you buy, it’s smart to think about picking these items up so you are ready to go:
To soften water and help detergent clean your dishes effectively. Elements inside your dishwasher can become blocked with limescale if you don’t use salt, especially in hard water areas. Dishwasher salt ultimately helps your dishwasher last longer and wash more effectively.
Reduces drying times and saves you money on your electricity bill. It leaves dishes shiny and streak free.
Detergent is the cleaning agent that washes your dishes. They come in the form of a powder, tablet or liquid and are inserted into the machine before every wash.
This is important to keep your dishwasher fresh and grease-free. You can’t wash dirty dishes in a dirty dishwasher or it will be ineffective. It’s important to periodically spruce up your dishwasher with cleaner.
This provides a fragrant scent when the dishwasher door is opened. It is not essential but gets rid of bad odours.