Home Appliances: Dishwashers
You may think that having a dishwasher is just a lazy way out of doing the dishes, but using your dishwasher not only saves you the time and chore of dishwashing, it also uses far less water than washing your dishes by hand. Dishwashers are available for just about any kitchen. If you don’t have a dedicated space in your kitchen for a dishwasher already, you can consider a portable one. If appearance is important to you, there are integrated dishwashers on the market (as there are refrigerators) that can be faced to match your cabinetry.
If you have a large family or do a lot of entertaining, you may feel like you are always filling, running, and emptying the dishwasher. Before you purchase a new dishwasher, check out capacity on several different models. Unlike most appliances, where capacity is measured in cubic feet of space, dishwasher capacity is based on how many place settings it can hold.
As with other home appliances, dishwashers are available with many new kinds of bells and whistles using the latest technology. Dishwashers will vary in how many types of cycles they have. If you don’t do much or any prewashing, you’ll want to make sure you buy a dishwasher that has a heavy cleaning cycle and many small holes in the jets to accomplish a scrubbing action. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that food doesn’t come off one dish and then stick to another, or accumulate in the bottom of your dishwasher. Some dishwashers now come with a disposal that grinds up larger food particles so they can be rinsed away with the wash water. If you live alone or have a small family, you may want a rinse and hold feature that gives your dishes a quick rinse only. That way, you can rinse them so food will be easier to wash off later, but still wait until you have a full load to run the cleaning cycle.
If you are concerned about energy efficiency, look for dishwashers with a booster heater; most new dishwashers have them. This device will heat the water to make sure it is hot enough to sanitize dishes. Since it will heat water to higher temperatures than your home water heater, you can lower the temperature on your home water heater, saving you money, as well as decreasing the chance of accidental scalding at faucets. Also look for a soil sensor that will adjust your water usage based on how dirty your dishes are.