Dishwashers that were once considered a luxury appliance are now a must have kitchen appliance. Their latest models have various energy saving options and numerous features – so if you are planning to buy one, here is what you should be looking for while making a selection:
There are two sizes to chose from – standard and compact.
Compact Size: If you have a family of 2-3 people then the compact size of 18” is ideal for you. It comes with 6-8 place settings and you can clean upto 64 utensils at a time.
Standard Size: If you have a family of 4-6 people then the standard size of 24” is the one for you. It comes with 12-14 place settings and give you the luxury of cleaning upto 112 utensils at a time.
There are two types of dishwashers available in Indian market – Built-in and countertop. The right one for you depends whether you own a house or live in a rented one.
- Built-in Dishwashers:
This is one of the most common type of dishwashers available in India. They are a permanent fitting and hence they require a fixed space for installation. To install these, you will have to set an inlet pipe for water supply and an outlet duct connected to the drain. Ideal for people living in their own house.
- Countertop Dishwashers:
Countertop dishwashers are the most economical ones available in India. Their plus point is that they don’t need much installation since they are portable and compact. Tall you need to do – connect the pipe to kitchen sink faucet for water supply and a power source to operate it.
Countertop dishwashers comes with 4 place settings and is much smaller in size than built-in type. All they take is some space of the kitchen counter near sink – so be sure that your kitchen counter space near the sink is good enough or else they might not be the perfect ones for you.
Every dishwasher has 3 built-in wash programs – light, normal and heavy. The difference between these programs is time duration, water temperature and wash intensity. For example, if you have to wash a kadai’s or other cooking utensils, then heavy wash is perfect. If the utensils are like tea cups or glasses or anything does not require much water or heavy cleaning, then light is better option.
Recently, the dishwashers have also got some added features in terms of wash programs. They are:
- Energy Saving Cycle – As the name suggest, this cycle consumes less power and water than other types. However, the duration of this option is much longer. It is perfect for light to medium soiled pans.
- Smart Wash Cycle – This option is available only in high-end models. It is perfect for a load with different or mixed dirt levels. If you select this option, the sensors present in dishwasher sense and analyse the soil level. The machine then decides the intensity, heat and duration required for cleaning. It will automatically initiate process according to the analysed requirement.
- Steam Wash – This is not a complete wash program, it is a pre-wash step helpful for removing heavy grease and burnt bottoms that even a heavy wash cycle cannot remove. The steam generated in this mode will soften the grease or burnt deposits which become easier for cleaning in regular cycles.
- Glassware Wash Cycle – This option is perfect for cleaning fragile and delicate crockeries. This mode uses lower temperature and light intensity to gently clean the glassware. In case, it is not available then regular wash or light wash is sufficient enough.
Along with cleaning the utensils, dishwashers also contain drying option which provides air circulation to completely remove the wetness and moisture. This lets you prevent manually drying the utensils.
Drying mechanisms of a dishwasher differ from one model to another. Here are some common drying options present in most of the dishwashers.
- Heat – This is the most common method of drying mechanism. In this technique, a steel plate located on the top of washer exhales heated air to evaporate the moisture. If you are using the heating system at this level, then it is recommended not to load any glassware or plastic, especially on the top shelf.
- Fan – Most of the people prefer fan for drying mechanism as it is relatively better and compatible with all types of utensils. However, it takes more time to complete the process.
- Condensation – This process is more hygienic, efficient and advanced drying mechanism than others. However, it is available only in dishwashers with steel interiors. In this method, the moisture will condense on the walls and utensils, which drips and expelled through outlet pipe.
Some dishwasher may have only one of these drying mechanisms, while some can have two or three of them. Condensation mechanism is actually the best among these three. However, dishwashers with this technique can be expensive. Fan and heat are also best alternatives if you have budget constraint. But each of these techniques have their own benefits and drawbacks.
Control panel is more than aesthetics as it decides the look and feel of a dishwasher. It lets you choose the wash cycle, time left, temperature and other. Usually, control panel is present either on the front or on the upper panel of dishwasher.
Most of the dishwashers present in the Indian market have either button panel or touch panel. Touch panel dishwashers are much expensive than control panel ones. If you have a restricted budget, then button panel ones are better option. If not, then you can choose touch panel. No matter which one you choose, the controls and wash features will be same.
Just like any other household appliance, even dishwasher make noise. While some of them are a bit more to tolerate and some of them are really quiet. If noise is a big consideration for you, then check out the range before making the purchase. Quieter ones are expensive and the more noisier ones are cheaper.
Energy efficiency of a dishwasher or any other electronic product is set according to the BEE-rating (Bureau of Energy Efficiency).The better the rating the more expensive shall be the model and visa-versa.
Dishwashers come with two types of interiors – stainless steel and plastic.
- Stainless Steel – Dishwashers with stainless steel interiors cost more as they are more durable, compatible and require less maintenance. It is also understood that they kill certain kinds of bacteria.
- Plastic Interiors – Dishwashers with plastic interiors cost much less and provide decent cleaning job as well. However, they are not compatible with heat drying mechanisms. And moreover they cannot condense inner moisture as well. Most of dishwashers with plastic interiors use fan method to dry the utensils, but this process takes more time than others. As these interiors get smelly often, you can have to clean them regularly.
Aesthetics matter when you want to match the dishwashers to your kitchen interiors. Most of the dishwashers present in the market come with stainless steel material. However, there can be a change in the colours. Some come with plain stainless steel finish, while some come with black or white finish.