Buying a dishwasher is often postponed “for later”, but in vain. It, firstly, saves water, and secondly, relieves housewives of an unpleasant duty. This is a really necessary household appliance. Therefore, let’s consider how to choose a dishwasher for the home so that all household members are satisfied.
Types of dishwashers by size
Household dishwashers are divided by size. They are:
- Full size. Their parameters are: height 82-87 cm, width 55-60 cm, depth 55-60 cm. You can load 12-14 sets of tableware into them (one set is two plates and cutlery).
- Narrow They differ only in width – 45-54 cm. They contain 8-10 sets of dishes. The narrowest dishwashers are 44.5 cm. You won’t be able to find even narrower ones (at least, we couldn’t, even though we tried very hard).
- Small (mini, compact). Usually these are tabletop models, but there are also floor models. Their height is 44-65 cm, depth 50-55 cm, width 50-60 cm. Up to 7 sets can be washed in them at the same time.
Choosing a dishwasher by size is easy. First of all, the choice is determined by the availability of free space in the kitchen. Please note that the dimensions of the selected model should be slightly smaller than the available space. Otherwise, you simply will not insert the device in the right place. If the dishwasher will stand directly on the floor, do not forget that the wall has a plinth. Choose the depth of the machine so that the body of the unit does not protrude beyond the furniture.
Secondly, it makes sense to pay attention to the number of dishes loaded at the same time. A bachelor, for example, simply does not need a full-size car. It is hardly worth waiting until 12 sets of dishes are collected, because the dirt will dry so much that it will be problematic to wash it off. Starting an almost empty car is a waste of water, electricity and not cheap detergents. So for one or two people, the best choice is a mini-dishwasher. You can also consider installing a thin model. For families of 3-4 people, the optimal choice is just the full-size one. Here, they focus more on which model can be placed in the kitchen. If a dishwasher with a width of 60 cm does not fit, then take a thin one. In general, full-sized ones are more convenient for the family.
According to the method of installation, dishwashers are:
- Built-in The body is completely located in a special cabinet, the doors are made with the same facade as the adjacent furniture. Not even the control panel is visible. It is located on the edge of the open door.
- Semi-built-in. In this version, the entire body of the unit is also located in the cabinet. The door can be partially decorated with a facade, except for the control panel, which is located in the upper part. Also, the door can be made of metal and painted in one of the colors (usually white, there are black, “wooden”, but you can find other options).
- Freestanding or not built-in. A completely autonomous device that can be installed anywhere.
It is also not too difficult to choose a dishwasher according to the installation method. In the process of renovation, while the furniture for the kitchen has not yet been ordered, you can consider a built-in or semi-built-in model. But then you need to immediately decide on the model, since the cabinet will be made directly to the dimensions of the machine, taking into account the requirements of the manufacturer.
If the furniture is already there, it is not always easy to choose a dishwasher according to the available dimensions. Then you can search among individual models. They are good for those who move frequently or like change. Such models move without problems, unlike built-in models, which must “move” only together with the cabinet.
Dishwashers use water and electricity. To choose a dishwasher that will save you resources, you need to pay attention to parameters such as water consumption per cycle and energy consumption.
Energy efficiency is indicated by Latin letters from A to G. The most economical are class A, the most inefficient – class G. There are also more economical ones in class A – with pluses: A+, A++, A+++, A++++. The more advantages, the more economical the model. But it is worth remembering that new developments are used to save electricity, and they are not cheap. And it does not always make sense to chase after this indicator: the overpayment is too large and it does not pay off at all or it pays off for too long.
Also note that most dishwashers are connected to cold water and then heated to the required temperature by heaters. It is this procedure that “pulls” the most electricity. But there are models that connect to hot water. At first glance, the idea seems good. But only at first glance. First, they should not be given too hot water (usually the threshold is 60 °C). Most likely, you will have to make a mixing level with water temperature control, which will cost a penny. Secondly, the quality of hot water is even lower than the quality of cold water. That is why such machines often break down. However, they are very economical: no or minimal electricity is used for heating.
It is easier with water consumption. It is necessary to see that the consumption is not too large. But, of course, the consumption depends on the “capacity”:
- Full-size dishwashers use more water because they are designed for a larger number of dishes. Their average figure is 15-17 liters, good figures are 9-14 liters per cycle.
- Narrow ones have an average consumption. They have an average of 11-13 liters per cycle, a good one – 8-10 liters.
- Small (tabletop). Despite the small “pot capacity”, water consumption is approximately the same as for narrow ones: a good figure of 7-9 liters.
How to choose a dishwasher based on these characteristics, we hope, is clear. Pay attention, but do not put it in the basis.
Method of drying
When choosing a dishwasher, pay attention to the type of drying. The quality of the unit largely depends on this function. Drying in dishwashers can use electricity or work through natural processes.
How well the machine washes and dries dishes also depends on how you have arranged the plates/pans.
With the use of electricity for drying
Heat and convection are used to dry dishes in the dishwasher faster. Both of these processes can be organized with the help of electricity. There are two types of drying:
- Active. A dry heater that heats the air is built into the bottom. As the temperature rises, the moisture evaporates and is removed through the ventilation hole. This drying method is typical for American dishwashers. Although the method is simple and effective, it “draws” too much electricity, which is why it is not found in European models.
- Convection or turbo. In addition to the heater, a fan is installed that drives the heated air, accelerating the drying process. This technology has a whole sequence of processes. Before drying, dishes are rinsed with hot water, then heating and blowing are turned on, hot air removes excess moisture. After cooling and releasing the water, the air returns back. Dishwashers with convection drying are more expensive than those with active drying, because the equipment is more complex. They consume more electricity, but the dishes dry faster.
If you need to choose a dishwasher with a minimum cycle time, models with convection drying are suitable for you. But they are not the cheapest, but they are the most common.
On natural processes
You can dry dishes without electricity. There are natural processes that allow this to happen. These are convection and condensation. The operation of some models of dishwashers is based on their application.
- Condensation. It is based on the fact that moisture evaporates from warmer surfaces and settles, condensing, on colder ones. Before drying, dishes are poured with hot water. There is a temperature difference between the hot dishes and the cold walls of the case, due to which moisture is transferred to the walls, condenses and flows into a special receiver. There are no costs for condensation drying, everything happens due to natural processes, but it takes more time.
- Intensive with a heat exchanger. A reservoir is added to the machine design, which is also a heat exchanger. Otherwise, drying takes place in the same way as in the previous version. But due to the pressure difference in the heat exchanger and the dishwasher chamber, the process is more active. Units with this type of drying cost a little more and have a smaller chamber volume.
- Zeolitic. A natural mineral zeolite is placed under the loading platform, which heats up when water hits it, raising the temperature in the chamber and accelerating drying. Thus, electricity is not consumed for drying dishes. But models with such drying cannot be called cheap. The mineral is durable, but expensive.
If you need to choose a dishwasher with the lowest price, pay attention to models with condensation drying. But you should be prepared for the fact that drying will take several hours and that as a result, salt solutions may remain (with hard water). If this is not a problem for you, you have found your option.
The noise level during the operation of the dishwasher is important, because few people can boast of a large area or a special technical floor where all household appliances are collected.
- The permissible noise level during the operation of household appliances is 60 dB. But already at 55 dB you will have to shout during a conversation. Therefore, it is better to look for a model that produces noises at the level of 45-50 dB or less.
- The quietest dishwashers produce noise at the level of 40-45 dB.
To reduce the noise level, you can try putting rubber pads under the legs. They reduce vibration, noise becomes less noticeable.
Programs and operating modes
Most modern models of dishwashers have five or more modes of operation. Usually present:
- Program for everyday washing.
- Quick cycle (express program).
The operating modes of each company have their own names, duration, and temperature. Read their description carefully beforehand
- Intensive washing for heavily soiled dishes.
- Mode with pre-soaking.
- Economical (for lightly soiled dishes).
- Half load (if there are not enough dishes).
These are the most common programs. Actually, all of them are useful. It is worth saying a few words separately about the half-load mode. The machine can be started if there are not many dishes (half or a little more). In this mode, water and electricity are saved, but not 2 times, as can be assumed, but only by 20-30%. Therefore, economically, such a regime is not very profitable.
The comfort of working with home appliances often depends on the set of additional functions. To choose a dishwasher, pay attention to its options. They can be as follows:
- Start delay timer. A useful option that allows you to postpone the operation of the machine for a certain period of time. This is relevant if there is a multi-tariff electricity meter.
- Leak protection. Electromagnetic valves are built into the water supply hose, which shut off the supply when the water level in the dishwasher chamber rises above a certain value.
- Automatic setting of water hardness. In some models of premium dishwashers, water is first fed to an ion exchange filter, which reduces its hardness. This increases the service life of the equipment, improves the quality of washing dishes, but increases the cost. In addition, resins must be renewed periodically.
- Use of a 3-in-1 product. During the washing process, it is necessary to add various products. There must be a special salt for softening the water and a detergent. These components must be loaded before starting the machine. After the end of the main washing program, rinse aid should be loaded. And the 3 in 1 tool allows you not to control the process. It is added at the beginning of washing and nothing else is thought about.
- Indication of operation. Maybe in two versions. Laser beam on the floor. While the machine is working – washing or drying – there is a beam. Once the process is complete, the beam disappears. Numbers can also be projected on the floor – this is the number of minutes remaining until the end of the cycle. Or there may be a sound signal after the work is finished. It can be single, it can be repeated several times. The number of beeps is usually programmable.
- Protection from children. There are two types. Electronic protection. After turning on, when pressing the buttons, the operating mode does not go astray. But the door can be opened with effort. When the doors are opened, the processes in the machine stop. Mechanical protection. After starting the washing process, the door is blocked from opening.
If there are small children in the family, it is better to look for a dishwasher with full protection against children, which includes electronic and mechanical locking.
Even in dishwashers there may be an indication of the presence of salt. It allows you to monitor the condition of consumables and replenish salt stocks in time.
Dishwasher chamber and its device
If you need to choose a dishwasher that will work for a long time, look for one in which the chamber is made of stainless steel. Such equipment is more expensive, but it will serve longer.
The following options are also convenient:
- Height-adjustable basket. In such models, you can wash large pots, grates from the stove, etc. To do this, you need to move the basket so that the object enters the camera.
- Cutlery tray. It is problematic to place forks, spoons, knives in a standard holder.
- Holder for glasses and wine glasses.
In general and in general, you can adapt to any dishwasher, but when there is a height-adjustable basket, it greatly increases the comfort of use.