Buying the right appliance for your kitchen can often be a struggle. You have to consider many things when buying anything that you hope will be the right fit for your home. This is no different when buying a dishwasher, one of the most useful appliances of all. In this quick and accessible guide, we are going to dive into what features are best with a dishwasher, why you should consider buying one if you don’t have one (or need a new one), and of course, we will address some of the most frequently asked questions for good measure.
What should a dishwasher have?
Now we are not going to tell you that a dishwasher should have absolutely all of these features, but it should be noted that if even a couple of these features are present in your next dishwasher, then you will have bought well:
- A Child Lock
This one is obvious. Dishwashers are quite large, and there are quite a few risks associated if they have inadequate safety measures. One such concern would be that a child could open the dishwasher door and take out a sharp object, or worse, could climb into the dishwasher while it is on. A child lock also stops them from messing with buttons mid-cycle, giving you peace of mind.
- Sensor Wash Systems
A sensor cleaning system is likely to be found in more expensive washers. These sensors will detect the amount of dirt on your dishes/cutlery and will adjust the cycle as required. That way there is minimal energy wastage.
- Open Door Drying
As you probably are aware, fresh air dries things pretty quickly. This is why an open-door drying system is so useful, it allows your dishes to dry organically after a wash. With this system, the door of the dishwasher opens a little bit after a cycle, and as a result, moist air is released from the machine, allowing for faster drying across the board. It also reduces the amount of electricity required to dry your load, so it's very energy efficient.
- Adjustable Racks
This is a feature that most dishwashers should absolutely have. Adjustable racks allow you to alter the position of the upper rack so that you can wash larger items with ease. It gives you great versatility.
Why Buy a Dishwasher?
Dishwashers are pretty useful. There are so many reasons why you should buy one. Below we have three key reasons why a dishwasher should be your next purchase if you want to make life a little easier in your kitchen.
- Dishwashers make life easier, after all, who doesn’t love the thought of not having to wash dishes by hand. Depending on numbers, cleaning dinner dishes can take up to 20-30 mins, and considering that you have probably already spent time making the food, the last thing you need is to spend even more time cleaning up after it. So dishwashers clean your dishes for you. What more could you ask for?
- Dishwashers don’t use as much water as you might think. In fact, dishwashers use minimal water, far less than the average person would if they were cleaning their own dishes.
- Dishwashers are masters at getting rid of germs. Did you know that there are millions of germs that can latch themselves onto your dishes while they dry out in the open? A dishwasher uses hot water and detergent to get rid of all germs, and the heat within the dishwasher afterwards will also prevent a build-up of germs. You can often adjust the temperature of your dishwasher depending on the type of load you are running.
Our Collection of Dishwashers
Here at DID, we are proud of our extensive collection of dishwashers from leading brands such as Bosch, Neff, Thor, and Miele. However, we do stock a range of other styles and brands too. If that wasn’t enough, we have a dishwasher buying guide too, which will go into even more detail about what dishwasher might be best for you and your home.
Looking to buy a new dishwasher but are afraid that the cost is too high? Perhaps Humm Finance can help. That’s right, thanks to our partnership with Humm Finance, you can now buy a brand new dishwasher today and pay for it later in instalments. It is the perfect affordable solution to any price issues that you might have.
How do dishwashers work?
Dishwashers work by spraying hot water and detergent onto dishes to remove food particles and stains. The dirty water is then drained and replaced with clean water for a rinse cycle. Some dishwashers use heating elements to dry the dishes, while others use a fan to circulate air. The process is controlled by a timer and various sensors to ensure that the dishwasher operates efficiently and effectively.
How do I load a dishwasher properly?
Loading a dishwasher properly can help ensure that dishes are cleaned thoroughly and that the dishwasher operates efficiently. Here are some tips:
- Remove any large food particles from dishes before loading them.
- Load dishes with the dirty side facing the center of the dishwasher.
- Don't overcrowd the dishwasher; make sure there is space between dishes for the water to reach and clean them properly.
- Place glasses and cups on the top rack facing downwards to prevent water spots and to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned.
- Place larger items such as pots and pans on the bottom rack, facing down.
- Silverware should be loaded with the handles facing down to prevent injury when unloading and to ensure proper cleaning.
- Don't block the dishwasher's spray arms or the detergent dispenser
Be sure to consult your dishwasher's user manual for specific loading instructions and guidelines.
How do I clean and maintain my dishwasher?
Regular cleaning and maintenance can help keep your dishwasher operating effectively and extend its lifespan. Here are some tips:
- Clean the dishwasher's interior and exterior regularly with a soft, damp cloth and mild detergent.
- Remove any debris or food particles from the dishwasher's filter and rinse it under running water.
- Check and clean the dishwasher's spray arms and nozzles to ensure that water can flow freely through them.
- Run the dishwasher on the hottest and longest cycle with a dishwasher cleaner or vinegar to remove any buildup or odors.
- Check the dishwasher's gasket (the rubber seal around the door) for any signs of damage or mold and clean it as needed.
- Check the dishwasher's hoses and connections for any leaks or damage.
- Use a rinse aid to help prevent spots and film on dishes.
Consult your dishwasher's user manual for specific cleaning and maintenance instructions, and consider scheduling regular professional maintenance to ensure that the dishwasher is operating effectively and efficiently.
Why is my dishwasher not cleaning my dishes properly?
There are several reasons why a dishwasher may not be cleaning dishes properly. Some common causes include:
- Overloading the dishwasher: If the dishwasher is too full, water and detergent may not be able to reach all of the dishes, resulting in poor cleaning performance.
- Clogged spray arms: The spray arms distribute water and detergent throughout the dishwasher. If they become clogged with debris, they may not be able to clean effectively.
- Dirty filters: The dishwasher's filter is designed to capture food particles and debris, but if it becomes clogged or dirty, water may not be able to circulate properly, leading to poor cleaning.
- Hard water: If the water in your area is hard, it can leave mineral deposits on dishes and make it difficult for the detergent to work effectively.
- Using too little or too much detergent: Not using enough detergent can result in poor cleaning performance, while using too much can lead to suds and residue buildup.
- Malfunctioning parts: If the dishwasher's motor, pump, or other components are not functioning properly, the dishwasher may not be able to clean effectively.
If you are experiencing poor cleaning performance, try cleaning the dishwasher's spray arms and filters and adjusting the amount of detergent you are using. If the problem persists, consider contacting a professional for further diagnosis and repair.
How long does a dishwasher cycle take?
The length of a dishwasher cycle can vary depending on the type of cycle and the specific dishwasher model. However, most standard dishwasher cycles take between 1.5 to 2.5 hours to complete. Some models have shorter or longer cycles, such as express or eco modes, which may take around 30 minutes to an hour.
Additionally, some dishwashers may have features like delay start, which allows you to schedule the start time of a cycle for a later time. It's important to consult your dishwasher's user manual for specific cycle times and to select the appropriate cycle for the load you are washing, as different cycles have different cleaning and drying capabilities.
Can I put certain types of dishes in the dishwasher?
While dishwashers are a convenient way to clean dishes, not all types of dishes and cookware are dishwasher safe. Here are some general guidelines on what can and cannot be safely washed in a dishwasher:
Safe to wash in a dishwasher:
- Glassware and cups
- Ceramic dishes and bowls
- Stainless steel flatware and utensils
- Plastic dishes and containers marked "dishwasher safe"
- Non-stick coated cookware
Not safe to wash in a dishwasher:
- Wooden items, such as cutting boards and utensils
- Cast iron cookware
- Crystal or delicate glassware
- Some types of plastic dishes and containers that are not labeled "dishwasher safe"
- Copper or aluminium cookware
It's important to check the manufacturer's recommendations for any specific dishes or cookware you plan to wash in the dishwasher, as some items may require hand washing or other specific care. Additionally, be sure to load items into the dishwasher according to the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage or poor cleaning performance.
Should I rinse my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher?
While it is not strictly necessary to rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, it can help improve the dishwasher's cleaning performance and prevent the buildup of food particles and debris.
However, it is important not to over-rinse the dishes, as this can waste water and also make it more difficult for the detergent to work effectively. Generally, a quick rinse to remove any large food particles or debris is sufficient, and you can leave smaller particles on the dishes to be washed by the dishwasher.
If you are using a newer dishwasher model, it may have sensors or soil sensors that detect the amount of debris on the dishes and adjust the cycle accordingly, making pre-rinsing less necessary. However, it's still a good idea to scrape any large pieces of food off the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
Consult your dishwasher's user manual for specific recommendations on whether or not to pre-rinse dishes, as well as for loading and care instructions.
How energy-efficient are dishwashers?
The energy efficiency of dishwashers in Ireland is regulated by the European Union's energy efficiency standards, which are similar to the Energy Star program in the United States. Under these standards, dishwashers are given an energy efficiency rating on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), based on their energy consumption per cycle.
Newer dishwasher models tend to be more energy efficient than older ones, and many newer models feature energy-saving options, such as eco-cycles or half-load cycles, which use less water and energy. Choosing a dishwasher with a higher energy rating and using energy-saving features can help reduce your energy usage and lower your utility bills.
If you're shopping for a dishwasher in Ireland compare their energy consumption ratings to choose the most efficient option for your needs. Additionally, running the dishwasher with a full load and turning off the heated dry feature can help reduce energy usage even further.