Choosing a dishwasher

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Dishwashers help us to do the worst of all the jobs at home – doing the dishes. A survey of people who owned dishwashers said they would rather give up their kettle than lose their dishwashers. That is an astonishing answer but shows how much people love their dishwashers. If you’ve never had one and you’re looking to buy one, or you’re looking to upgrade then this guide will help you choose the right one.

What to look out for


Capacity for a dishwasher is usually measured in place settings. Smaller machines have a capacity of 6 place settings and larger machines have a capacity of up to 12-14 place settings. Compact dishwashers tend to be 45cm wide and have a capacity of 6 place settings so are perfect for when space is at a premium. Full-size dishwashers are 60cm wide and have a capacity of 12-14 place settings.


Flexible racking

Flexible racking is a feature that allows you to reconfigure how the racking inside the machine. This is handy for when you want to wash large items like casserole pots and woks. Some models are large enough to house oven shelves. Other racking options to look out for are small racks for knives and glassware.


Intensive Wash

The rule of thumb for dishwashers is that you should pre-rinse pots and other items before you put them in the dishwasher. If you can’t bear this extra step then a machine with a pre-rinse function or an intensive wash cycle will be high on your list of features when buying a dishwasher. Some machines have intensive wash zones specifically designed for your pots while the rest of the machine gets the standard wash cycle.



As with all machines, dishwashers will make some noise. If your kitchen is located far away from your living area this won’t be a problem, but if you live in an open plan house your machine might become an annoyance after a while. Models have various levels of noise ranging from a whisper quiet 36dB up to 60dB. If you think this will be an issue, go for a quiet model.


Energy Rating

Energy ratings are expressed in letters ranging from A+++ for the most energy efficient down to G for the least energy efficient. Energy efficiency tells you how much energy is wasted in a system with A+++ being the best with G as the worst. If you have an efficient machine you will save more money and help save the environment.

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