Dishwasher Buying Guide
With so many options available, it may seem daunting to find the right dishwasher for your kitchen. Size, style, and features all need to be well thought-out before making a purchase. Goedeker's wants to arm you with all the information you need to make these different choices when shopping for a new dishwasher.
Before installation of any appliance, measure the space in which the appliance will be installed. Note your measurements, and measure again just to double-check. Dishwashers are usually measured by the width of the widest portion of the unit, which is typically the outside of the front door. The most common dishwasher size is the standard 24-inch model, but the smaller 18-inch model is popular for smaller kitchens.
Dishwasher Installation Type
This dishwasher will be found in most kitchens. These models are typically placed under the counter and have pull-out racks and drop-down doors.
This dishwasher is installed under the counter top and functions just like it sounds. It is the latest style available today and can be installed with one- or two-drawer options. Simply pull open the drawer to load and unload.
Some models can be full-size with casters to not take up a permanent space in your kitchen. Others are a more compact size and fit on your countertop. Generally these hook up to your kitchen faucet for water.
Dishwasher Control Panel Style
Fully integrated dishwashers are designed to be streamlined and unobtrusive, blending in with their surroundings. There are no controls on the front of these dishwashers. To locate the dishwasher controls, open the door and look at the top of the door. The controls will line the top of the dishwasher door.
Everything's out in the open with a full console dishwasher. Controls for this unit are on the front door near the top.
Semi-integrated dishwashers have features of both the fully integrated and full console dishwashers. Most of the controls are embedded within the top of the door and out of sight, but some frequently accessed options will exist as buttons or knobs on the front of the unit.
Main Dishwasher Features
Dishwashers feature different types of preset modes to optimize cleaning.
- Light, normal, and heavy
- Quick clean/economy
- Express wash
- Steam prewash
- Rinse only/hold cycle
- High temperature wash or scrub
- Half loads
- Heat or non-heat dry
These hold the plates, silverware, pots and whatever else you are looking to wash.
- Silverware basket
- Adjustable and flexible racks
- Removable baskets and racks
- Multiple compartments
- Large capacity
Sensors & Timers
Advanced sensors and dishwasher timers can be used to make the wash cycles more efficient.
- Auto wash
- Load size sensor
- Water level
- Detergent dispenser
- Clean sensor
- Delayed start
- Last cycle memory
Other Features to Consider when Shopping
- Insulation & Noise Control - Dishwashers typically have insulation on all sides of the body and some models have insulation on the door to further reduce noise and escaping heat. The more insulation, the better the washing experience.
- Jets & Streams - The number of jets in the washing arm will determine the level on efficiency of the dishwasher. The more jets and the smaller they are, the better.
- Cycle Progress Indicator – This displays which cycle is currently taking place. Some models also have an end-of-cycle signal to notify you when your dishes are clean.
- Leak Protection – Some models include anti-leak safety features such as leak detectors and drip pans.
- Food Disposer – These grind up large food particles left over on your dishes so that they can be flushed out after the wash ends.
- Self-Latching Door – A self-latching door will hold at any open position, automatically shut when it reaches a certain opening angle, and will stay securely closed.
- Child Lock - Newer models can now keep small children from changing the controls or opening the dishwasher, which is especially helpful if there are sharp knives in the load.
- Color – The most common colors for dishwashers are stainless steel, black, and white. Other less common colors that are still available include red, slate, and bisque. You may even choose to cover your dishwasher with a custom panel.
- Water Softener – Advanced models have water softeners which help protect your dishes from damage and make your detergent more effective.
- Stainless Interior – Having a stainless steel interior helps the cycle heat up faster for less energy and water use and easy cleaning.
- Plate Warmer - This feature is available on some models for those that prefer to serve food on warm plates.
- Self-Cleaning Option - New models can now clean themselves with this function.
2013 Top Selling Dishwashers
What is Energy Star?
Energy Star is a program from the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency that certifies appliances as "energy efficient" and helps reduce environmental impact and utility bills. Models that are certified for energy efficiency use about 4 gallons per cycle, as opposed to 8-12 gallons per cycle on models that are not certified. For more information, visit the Energy Star website.