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How To Shop for a Dishwasher

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In today’s fast-paced world, a dishwasher has become an essential appliance for every kitchen. But with a plethora of options available, how can you choose the right one? This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the process and find the perfect dishwasher for your needs.


To shop for a dishwasher, first understand your specific needs including the size, capacity, and budget. Consider the cleaning and drying performance, noise level, and energy efficiency of the dishwasher. Look at the variety of wash cycles and options available, the design and aesthetics, and the brand’s reputation and reliability. Some reputable dishwasher brands include Bosch, Miele, and LG.

Understanding Your Needs

The first step in shopping for a dishwasher is understanding your specific needs. How many dishes do you typically need to wash at once? How much space do you have in your kitchen? What’s your budget? By answering these questions, you can narrow down your options and find a dishwasher that fits your requirements.

Size and Capacity

Dishwashers come in standard and compact sizes. Standard dishwashers are typically 24 inches wide and can hold 12 to 16 place settings, making them suitable for family-sized meals. Compact dishwashers, on the other hand, are around 18 to 24 inches wide and can accommodate 6 to 8 place settings, making them ideal for small apartments or kitchens with limited cabinet space.

For example, the Bosch 300 Series SHE53C85N is a standard-sized dishwasher that can accommodate up to 16 place settings, while the GE Spacemaker is a compact model suitable for smaller kitchens.

Cleaning and Drying Performance

The cleaning and drying performance of a dishwasher is crucial. Look for models that effectively remove food particles and stains from dishes and have good drying capabilities to prevent water spots and streaks. Energy Star certified dishwashers, for instance, are required to meet strict cleaning and drying performance criteria.

Noise Level

If your kitchen is close to your living or sleeping areas, you might want to consider the noise level of the dishwasher. Dishwashers with a noise rating of 45 dBA or lower are considered quiet. For example, the Miele Smart Dishwasher with AutoDos has a noise level of 42 dBA, making it one of the quietest models on the market.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another important factor to consider. ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers use less energy and water than standard models, saving you money on utility bills and helping the environment. The yellow EnergyGuide label can also help you compare the energy use of different models and estimate their annual operating costs.

Cycles and Options

The variety of wash cycles and options available should also be considered. Some models offer quick wash, heavy-duty, or eco-friendly cycles. Others have unique features like specialized jets for better cleaning, wine stem holders, or a third rack for additional loading capacity.

Design and Aesthetics

The design and aesthetics of the dishwasher should complement your kitchen decor. You can choose from various finishes, including stainless steel, black, white, and custom panels to match your cabinetry. Some dishwashers, like the KitchenAid KDTM604KPS, offer top control for a sleeker look.

Brand Reputation and Reliability

Finally, consider the brand’s reputation and reliability. Check customer reviews and ratings to gauge the reliability and performance of different dishwasher brands. Brands like Bosch, Miele, and LG are known for their quality and reliable dishwashers.

By considering these factors, you can find a dishwasher that meets your needs and preferences. Happy shopping!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Energy Star certification for a dishwasher?

Energy Star is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. It certifies products that are energy-efficient. An Energy Star certified dishwasher is 12% more energy-efficient and 30% more water-efficient than non-certified models.

What is a place setting in the context of dishwashers?

A place setting refers to the amount of dishes and cutlery that one person would use during a meal. This typically includes a dinner plate, dessert plate, single glass, tea cup, tea saucer, and a set of cutlery.

What does dBA mean in terms of dishwasher noise level?

dBA stands for decibels A-weighted, a unit used to measure the intensity of sound. In the context of dishwashers, a lower dBA means a quieter operation.

What is the advantage of a dishwasher with top control?

A top control dishwasher has its control panel hidden on the top edge of the door, giving it a cleaner, streamlined look. This design also prevents accidental button presses.

Are compact dishwashers less efficient than standard dishwashers?

Not necessarily. Compact dishwashers may have fewer features or smaller capacity compared to standard models, but their cleaning and energy efficiency can be just as good. It all depends on the specific model and brand.

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