Dishwasher Buying Guide
Dishwashers are very efficient. It uses far less water than hand washing, and because most of the energy used in washing up goes towards heating that water, it can save you money as well as time.
Whether you are finally making the leap from hand washing or are just looking to upgrade, choosing the right dishwasher type, style, capacity, and more that fits your budget is a major purchasing decision.
Our dishwasher buying guide will help you pick the right one for your space.
Types of Dishwashers
A dishwasher is a kitchen essential for most kitchens, and there are many available types. They are available in three basic categories.
Built-in dishwashers are designed to go underneath a countertop, and they are the most widely used dishwasher type in homes. Built-ins are typically located near the kitchen sink due to the necessity of a plumbing connection.
Built-in models come in two sizes: standard and compact.
- Standard size measures 34 inches tall by 24 inches wide and between 24 to 28 inches deep. Accommodates 12 to 16 place settings per wash.
- Another one is compact size, which is around 18-inches wide and 22 to 26 inches deep. Height ranges between 32 and 34 inches. Allows for eight to ten place settings per wash.
Countertop dishwashers are designed to sit on a counter.These machines typically measure between 20 to 24 inches wide, 22 to 24 inches deep and 25 to 28 inches high. These machines use a water intake hose connected to the kitchen sink faucet, a drain hose that releases the dirty water into the sink and needs a nearby electrical outlet to provide power. Countertop units can accommodate between six and eight place settings per wash.
Portable dish washer are great options for renters, and people living in smaller spaces. They are slightly larger than countertop units and can accommodate eight to 12 place settings per wash—portable units are designed to be move away when not in use. However, these machines will need access to the kitchen sink for water and drainage like the countertop units.
What you should consider when buying dishwasher
There are numerous dishwasher options on the market. If you’re not sure what you need just yet, here are things to keep in mind when choosing the best dishwasher for your needs.
Dishwashers are available in white, black, slate, stainless, brushed, black stainless and even in color. Some finishes, such as brush stainless steel, are more fingerprint-resistant than other finishes. The finish should match or complement the finishes of your existing appliances in your kitchen. Although the exterior finish is purely cosmetic, it does help unify the look and feel of your kitchen decor.
Control Panel Location
Most dishwashers feature controls mounted on the front of the door. However, there are models that feature the control panels along the top edge of the door, where it will be hidden when the door is closed. This option is purely cosmetic and offers a streamlined, modern look. The main downside for a hidden control panel is that you can not see how much longer the cycle is at a glance.
Size and Capacity
The size and capacity of a dishwasher’s capacity are generally measured by the number of place settings it can hold per one load. Most homes will have a standard dishwasher. For apartments or smaller households, a compact dishwasher is a better choice due to limited space availability.
Dishwasher tubs are either stainless steel or plastic. Stainless steel tubs resist stains and odors, dry out faster and are more durable. However, they are also more expensive. Plastic tubs are just as durable but are not as stain-resistant. The exterior finish does not indicate whether the tub is stainless steel or plastic. However, the tub material does not affect cleaning performance.
Noise levels for dishwashers are indicated by their decibel level. A rating of 45 decibels or lower is a virtually silent dishwasher. Decibel levels between 45 and 50 have the equivalent sound level to steady rainfall. A 50 or higher decibel level is equivalent to the level of a normal conversation. The lower the decibel rating, the more expensive the dishwasher will be.
Fortunately, dishwashers must use no more than 5.8 gallons of water per cycle, making them far more efficient than older models.
A dishwasher will display an “Energy Guide” label that estimates the annual power consumption and estimated yearly operation cost. A dishwasher with an ENERGY STAR rating indicates it exceeds the federal minimum standards for efficiency.
Speed and Cycles
A typical dishwasher features at least three settings: normal, heavy and light. Wash cycle selections will vary from dishwasher to dishwasher, and one with programmable or built-in modes for quick wash, delicate, rinse and hold, etc., will generally cost more but may save you money on power and water in the long run.
Economical dishwashers use the residual heat in the tub to dry the dishes. In most cases, this is sufficient. However, some dishwashers come with options for extra drying and may include a heating element to dry the dishes coupled with a fan to circulate the warm air that expedites the drying process.
The filter keeps the wash water free of food, so it is not redeposited onto the clean dishes. There are two types: self-cleaning and manual.
- Self-cleaning filters feature a grinder that pulverizes the debris and flushes it down the drain.
- Manual filters need to be removed and cleaned often to keep them free of debris.
Extra features above and beyond the standard options are what sets one dishwasher apart from another. However, the more features the appliance has, the higher the price tags. Here are some common extra features available on dishwashers.
- Adjustable racks let you reconfigure the interior of the dishwasher, giving you the option to customize the configuration of your washer to suit the size of your dishes.
- A third rack is typically a narrower rack that sits above the top rack and may have a separate wash arm.
- Soil sensors automatically adjust the cycle’s time and water use to help improve water efficiency.
- Rinse/hold cycle allows you to rinse dirty dishes to help reduce odors and prevent food from setting until you have a full load.
- Wash zones designate parts of the dishwasher for heavily soiled items that need a special cycle to get them clean.
- Smart-home technology and Wi-Fi connectivity allow you to program your washing schedule via computer or smartphone.
Top Dishwasher Brands In Nigeria
There are many dishwasher brands available that will match just about any budget. These are some of the most popular brands that make quality dishwashers and are available in most retail stores: