How does your dishwasher stack up? What to know before buying
The sun is shining, and people are outdoors making the most out of their summer - but you’re not. Why? You’re stuck inside handwashing the dishes from tonight’s dinner.
If you want to save 230 hours per year and over $400, you might want to consider purchasing a dishwasher. The best ones can save you time, money and energy in the long run. So if you’re considering purchasing a new dishwasher for your home, there are a few things you should know first before you head to the store.
Just ask Andrew Santeramo, who after 30 years is renovating his kitchen and adding a dishwasher.
“After doing it 30 years by hand, the dishwasher’s great. It’s just perfect,” he said. “Who wants to do dishes by hand?”
Consumer Reports tested 130 models of dishwashers spanning 20 different brands to see how they stack up.
“We combine lab test results with predicted reliability and owner satisfaction into one overall score,” said Perry Santanachote, Consumer Reports home editor.
Out of the top 30 dishwasher models, 16 of them were Bosch, who repeatedly received an overall score of excellent.
Bosch consistently receives top marks for reliability and satisfaction, and Consumer Reports recommends the Bosch Ascenta for your kitchen. It offers one of the shorter cycle times, 95 minutes, and earns excellent ratings for reliability, owner satisfaction and washing performance. It costs about $800.
If a quiet dishwasher is important to you, then you’ll probably have to shell out big bucks. But consider the Bosch 100 Series for $700. It earned a very good rating for noise and washing performance, and an excellent for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.
KitchenAid dishwashers typically rank above average in Consumer Reports testing, and five of its models also scored excellent.
Thermador is Bosch’s high-end sister brand, and while on the more expensive end of the scale, four of its models scored in the top 30 as well, and it frequently receives some of the best ratings for reliability and owner satisfaction.
Rounding out the top 30 is two models from Whirlpool and Miele, and one from Ikea.
It’s important to note that in Consumer Reports testing, the dishwashers that cost under $660 were relatively noisy.
Now that you know the best models, you should first measure your space before going to the store. While some dishwashers have height adjustability, they’re usually designed for spaces 24 inches wide by 24 inches deep.
“If you’ve changed your flooring after you’ve installed your cabinets that could affect the space that your dishwasher could fit into. New countertops can also affect that space,” said Santanachote.
You should also consider cycle times.
“Dishwashers can run from 90 minutes up to 200 minutes. That’s like three hours long to finish a cycle,” said Santanachote.
When it comes to appliances, prices can vary widely. The dishwashers in Consumer Reports tests cost between $500 all the way up to more than $2,600.
Don’t forget about the filter. Most dishwashers come with one, but depending on how much food debris there is, you’ll eventually need to remove and clean it manually. You should visually check it about every week, but the need for cleaning will depend on how much food debris accumulates. While it may seem like a nuisance, models with a manual clean filter are generally quieter than models which use a food grinder.
A few important features to consider when buying a new dishwasher include: adjustable (and extra) dishwashing racks, a soil sensor, dishwasher filter, special wash cycles, a stainless steel tub, heated drying cycles, and noise levels.