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Choosing Your Next Dishwasher

8.22.22

You’re in the market for a new dishwasher. Maybe your current dishwasher kicked the bucket, or maybe you are just after an upgrade.

open dishwasher with white dishes

Choosing a Dishwasher

Whatever your reason for buying, our hope here is to give you the inside scoop on dishwashers which will allow you to make a more informed decision in the marketplace.

Tub Materials

Dishwashers traditionally fall into two major camps when it comes to materials: stainless and plastic. The conventional wisdom is that the stainless-steel tub is more durable, helps dampen machine noise, and is less likely to develop a mildew smell over time (as compared to plastic).


The catch here of course is that the stainless-steel tubs traditionally cost more money, but on a model per model basis, it is most definitely worth the extra expense.

Decibel Rating

Similar to the direct relationship between stainless-steel and price, we see similar patterns with noise and price. The quieter the dishwasher, the more you are likely going to pay. Most dishwashers you will find on the market today range between 45-50 decibels (or dBA).


For some points of reference, a vacuum cleaner runs somewhere around 75 dBA, a normal conversation at about 60 dBA, and a whisper usually sits at around 30 dBA. What this means is that, while still loud, 50 dBA for a dishwasher is a tolerable level of noise, but if you drop down into the 45-40 range you are getting a considerably quieter unit comparatively.


Generally speaking, a change of ~10dBA will be the most impactful change and register to the human ear as being (roughly) twice or half as loud depending on direction (+/-). What this means is that when you go from 45 to 42 dBA your ear will probably not catch the difference and can likely save some money by going with something closer to 45dBA and still get yourself a comfortably quiet dishwasher.

Energy Star Rating

More than ever, consumers are paying increased attention to their energy consumption and looking for ways to cut back, save money, and reduce their water usage. Thankfully, because of the ever-increasing demand, more manufacturers are releasing ENERGY STAR rated models that are not prohibitively expensive.


According to ENERGY STAR, in 2020, the US residential sector was able to save an estimated three-billion kilowatt-hours, $390 million in energy costs, and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions by thirty-million metric tons. Check out the energy initiatives!

Drying

In the appliance world, how a dishwasher dries is super important, and some makers are certainly better than others. Bosch’s proprietary CrystalDry system is one of the best on the market, but due to supply chain shortages, their dishwashers have been hard to come by. Brands like GE have employed fan drying systems in some of their dishwashers.


Beko uses a European style of condensation drying that, combined with a rinse aid, will get the job done quite nicely. Whirlpool relies on a heating element that works really well to get dishes dry, but with these units you have to be careful about what sort of plastics you place on the bottom rack as the heat can cause some items to warp.

Top—Picks


Beko’s DUT25401

Available, stainless-steel interior, ENERGY STAR certified, and shipped with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, it’s hard to go wrong with this exceptionally priced dishwasher.


KitchenAid’s KDFE204

ENERGY STAR certified, incredibly quiet, and equipped with a stainless-steel tub, this dishwasher is sure to be the star of post-meal clean up. (Watch out for your finishes as stainless-steel is still much easier to secure than black and white).

Conclusion

There’s a lot out there, and who would have thought that the process of washing dishes could be so nuanced? At the end of the day, we are here to help overcome any obstacles that may present themselves, and if you are interested in learning more with the help of one of our team members, please reach out and let us know how we can help.

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