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Dishwasher Buying Guide


Dishwashers are often an overlooked appliance in the kitchen. Whether you use them or not, new dishwashers are probably a good financial investment. There has been documentation of mechanical dishwashing machine schematics as early as 1850 in the United States as a patent. Honestly, mankind’s fascination with automating chores and labor has been around since the scientific revolution because manual labor wastes time. Every chore in the house if done in a traditional sense would take up to an entire day or more to complete, appliances may be taken for granted, but there is no denying we can’t get anything done without them.

Sometimes, it’s easier to use a dishwasher to clean away stuck on food debris left by the likes of oatmeal, egg yolks, melted cheese and jam among others than scrubbing away by hand. The added appeal of having dishwashers alleviate you of this chore is that you can preload dirty dishes and wash them at a later time when you’re ready. Other things to consider is the size of your household, as typically, larger families produce a lot of dirty dishes, pots, and pans. After a while, it can become quite exhausting. However, dishwashers today aren’t just good at doing large loads, some machines are built for smaller households and some dishwashers are designed with isolated wash zone capacity.

There has been a lot of debate on whether dishwashers are more efficient in conserving water and resources than traditional hand washing.

Dishwashers versus Hand Washing


The main feature a good dishwasher should provide is being able to satisfactorily clean your dishes. Here are some of the features worth considering when purchasing a new dishwasher.



Today new dishwashers are equipped with the latest technology and one of those are automated sensors that detect either water level or soil level.

Water Level Sensor: Certain dishwashers can sense when something goes awry with the water level or pressure of your dishwasher and will automatically turn off the water supply preventing further damage and destruction from water leaks.

Soil Sensor: Some model dishwashers also have a soil sensor which can detect and automatically adjust water spray to ensure your dishes come out clean.

Delayed Start

Delayed Start

This feature is intended to be used when you leave your home so as to not deal with the noise disturbance generated by your dishwasher. Delayed start is also good for situations when you want to load the dishwasher ahead of time for whatever intents and purposes. Set it to run on a delayed start after you load the dishwasher for fluid flow of productivity. This is also a usefl feature to have for areas that include peak and off peak energy hours.



One of the main features to look for on a new dishwasher is capacity.

Racks: A good dishwasher will come with customizable racks to accommodate odd shaped cookware and glasses.

Bottle Jets: The latest innovation on dishwashing technology are these bottle nozzles that can accommodate tall bottles and jars.



Typically, a dishwasher washes dishes heats water up to a range between 130° – 150 °F. A sanitize feature on select dishwashers are capable of heating water between 160° - 170°F. This will effectively render utensils and dishes food safe if desired. Most dishwashers capable of sanitizing dishes come with a NSF rating.


Water Seal

Some folks may have encountered this a time or two using a dishwasher, they sometimes leak. Nowadays, some dishwashers are fitted with new preventative measures and technology that can avoid leaks and stop water flow in the event of a leak.

Purchasing a New Dishwasher



When buying a new dishwasher, the top concern is how much you’re willing to spend. Depending on the amount of features, expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $2000.



Dishwashers commonly come in a 24” width variety with some designed in a smaller size at 18” to accommodate smaller spaces.

Types of Dishwashers

There are a few types of dishwashers on the market. Depending on your needs, there is a right dishwasher designed particularly to your situation.

Built-In Dishwasher

Built-In Dishwasher

These dishwashers are amongst the most common in most households. They are typically located next to or in close proximity to the kitchen sink for convenience. A built-in dishwasher is also designed to fit flush underneath counters and cabinetry. Additionally, they require a plumbing hook-up with water being fed in and water being drained out, as well as, access to electricity to power the machine.

Drawer Dishwasher

Drawer Dishwasher

This type of dishwashers is designed to be more compact in size. It is similar to a built-in dishwasher where it can fit flush with kitchen cabinetry. These models of dishwashers are fairly new to the market and are intended to be an innovative new offering. Drawer dishwashers come in either a single drawer or double drawer design. For double drawer models, they can either run a single drawer or double drawer wash cycle depending on user needs. In addition, these dishwashers require a simple plumbing and electrical setup similar to a built-in dishwasher.

Countertop Dishwasher

Countertop Dishwasher

These dishwashers are typically the most budget friendly. Countertop dishwashers are an economical offering which require a faucet connection and sink close by for a water supply and water drain, respectively. These compact styled dishwashers are ideal for couples and single family households because of their smaller capacity, and would not waste too many resources.

Note: Faucet cannot be used when this dishwasher is in operation.


Panel Ready Dishwasher

Panel Ready Dishwasher

Similar in design and operation as a built-in dishwasher, panel ready dishwashers provides the added luxury of being able to install user preferred custom paneling to match their kitchen décor.

Portable Dishwasher

Portable Dishwasher

This freestanding style of dishwasher is designed to be used for when plumbing installations or space is not convenient. These models are typically found in small apartments where they are brought out to be connected to a sink and faucet when they need to be used and stored away when not. This dishwasher also requires enough space next to your sink when you need to use it. Usually, this type of dishwasher comes equipped with wheels, so it's easier to move around.

Note: Sink cannot be used when this dishwasher in in operation.

dBA Noise Rating

Noise Rating

Buying a new dishwasher today is better than ever because of all the new features available. One of the most important features a dishwasher should provide is sound dampening. Depending on manufacturer, this can take on a variety of names, but in the end it’s about the reduction of noise emitted from the dishwasher. The noise level is rated on a dBA (decibel audio) scale. The level of noise is important to consider because of how close and central in proximity the kitchen is located inside a home.

Full Console vs Fully Integrated vs Semi Integrated

A design aspect of dishwashers today, there are three popular control panel layouts.

Full Console

Full Console Dishwasher

A full console dishwasher has its control and panel displayed on the exterior face of the door. This is a more traditional design with all the options displayed on the top of the door for quick visual access.

Fully Integrated

Fully Integrated Dishwasher

A fully integrated dishwasher has its controls hidden on the top of the door with no other visible controls on the outside and the unit is completely blended into kitchen cabinetry.


Semi Integrated Dishwasher

A semi integrated dishwasher has its controls hidden on the top with a display or panel on the exterior of the dishwasher while the rest of the unit is blended into cabinetry.

The Best Dishwashers

The newest dishwashers today are more advanced than ever. Not only are they convenient to use, but they actually help save water and resources than washing dishes by hand.


The GE Profile PDT750SSFSS is a top rated built-in semi-integrated dishwasher with high performance and features. It earned top pick overall at toptenreviews and received a 9.3 out of 10.0 score. The best thing about this dishwasher is the versatility in wash cycles and options. With the inclusion of their Piranha™ hard food disposer, it is a very efficient dishwasher.


The Frigidaire FFBD2411NS is a budget friendly full console dishwasher with a lot of quality features. Namely, their ability to fit up to 14 place settings for one wash load and their NSF certified sanitize option. Additionally, this dishwasher runs quietly at only 55dBA.


The Bosch Benchmark SHE8PT55UC semi-integrated dishwasher earned high marks at reviewed with their tests by their experts. Scoring an over 8.7, this is one of the quietest dishwashers on the market measuring at a mere, whisper quiet 40dBA. Additionally, this dishwasher provides Bosch’s patented AquaStop technology to eliminate any leaks.

Some Practical Advice

Noise: Dishwashers are the only appliances that provide a noise rating. One of the major reasons for this is that dishwashers generate a lot of noise. The reason being that dishwashers are generally located in kitchens and they are typically centrally located in proximity to main living areas of the house. The noise from dishwashers are disturbing enough to call for a noise rating level. For those who require a lower

Conserve Water: Dishwashers are one of those appliances along with clothes washers that are commonly vilified as a using a lot of resources. However, the trend lately in Energy Star appliances are quite effective at getting the job done while conserving resources.

Dry Setting: In regards to saving resources, most dishwashers come with a heated dry setting. This requires the energy output to heat up the interior of the dishwasher with heat to dry your dishes. Opt to not use this feature and go for towel drying.

Hard Food Disposer: The dishwashers that have this feature allow you to ignore pre-rinsing and removing stuck on food debris from dirty dishes.

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