Dishwashers buyer's guide
The dishwasher is fast becoming an essential item of kitchen furniture, which is not surprising when you consider that the average household spends up to 500 hours a year washing dishes! But before you invest in that dishwasher you always promised yourself, take a look at our buying guide to get some idea of the different types on offer, what they can do and how efficient they are.
Choosing the right sized dishwasher will depend upon your needs and storage space. A standard-sized machine measures around 85x60x60cm – the same as a washing machine – and may offer the option of being integrated. For smaller kitchens there are slimline options which measure just 45cm across.
A standard-sized machine will handle 12 complete place settings: that’s 12 plates, soup dishes, dessert plates, cup, glasses and required cutlery. These are ideal for families or households which do a lot of entertaining. A slimline option usually holds nine place settings, so it’s a great choice for households with a smaller amount of kitchen space. Worktop compact models cater for just four place settings, so are a handy option for couples, those who live on their own, or anyone with a very compact kitchen.
Energy and washing efficiency
Dishwashers are rated on a scale of ‘A’ to ‘G’ according to their energy efficiency. ‘A’ rated appliances are the most efficient and therefore cheaper to run and better for the environment. You will also find ratings for their cleaning and drying efficiency.
This will be measured in litres and lets you know how much water a wash cycle consumes. If you’re on a water meter, the lower amount of water a wash cycle uses, the better – amounts will vary between 8 and 15 litres.
Dishwasher noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The lower the dB, the quieter the appliance will be. Levels vary from 40dB, similar to someone whispering, to 55dB, similar to a standard conversation level of noise.
A standard wash mode runs at around 55c, but most machines usually offer a number of alternative wash programmes. A rinse or quick wash is useful for light loads. An economy option generally uses less power and water, while a delicate mode is suitable for glassware. Finally, an intensive wash at 70c will help shift even the most stubborn of baked-on dirt.
All dishwasher cycles include a period of drying, either using residual heat from the wash, or via heated air, which is sometimes circulated by a fan. Heated air is quicker and more energy efficient.
Care and maintenance
As well as dishwasher detergent, all machines need dishwasher salt to help soften the water and clean more effectively, and rinse aid to brighten and help dry the load. Most dishwashers will have some type of indicator to let you know when these need refilling.
Take Home Today
If you need your new dishwasher quicker than our standard delivery times, look out for selected items with the ‘Take Home Today’ logo. These items are available in selected stores for same day collection. Simply contact the store to check that the item is in stock and then collect.