Once a luxury of the wealthy the dishwasher has now become a staple for many households, with 78% of American households owning a dishwasher and 40% of UK residents. Gone are the days of bickering over who’s washing and who’s drying. There are plenty of items out there that will take care of that for you!
It all begs the question, what should you look for when buying a dishwasher? These days there are models available for every size of house and budget, and you can find them online as well as in stores. Beko, Hotpoint, Hoover and Bosch are all big names that you’ll find in the dishwasher market sold on online by Tesco or other retailers.
With even the most basic models hosting a range of features (anything from 3 to 7) it’s tricky knowing which one to pick. The UK consumer association Which? recommends at the very least you should look out for an adjustable rack, a safety lock and, if possible, an economy wash or a delay start (so that you can set the dishwasher to run when it will disturb people the or can benefit from off peak energy pricing.) Full-sized dishwashers, although not always suitable for smaller households, can cope with as many as 12 place settings and slimline can handle 10 or fewer.
A common misconception is that hand washing is both more environmentally and economically sound. However, studies show that a fully loaded dishwasher can actually save you time and money, with a typical dishwasher using up to 6 gallons of water per wash, whereas the average tap will use 2 gallons of water per minute when hand washing — so unless you can zip through your dishes in 3 minutes then a dishwasher is the more efficient option. Reaching temperatures of up to 140 degrees, which is much more than our hands could handle, dishwashers are also much more hygienic than hand washing.
Freestanding dishwashers are the most budget friendly options, with the added advantage of being able to take them with you if you move house. That said, integrated dishwashers are becoming increasingly popular, allowing you to fit a dishwasher into the desired aesthetic of your kitchen.
The final option you can go for is the countertop dishwasher if you’re really limited on space, or have a small family that do not produce a lot of dirty dishes (lucky you!). One of the other good things about countertop models is that you can put them away and taken them out only when needed. And since they’re smaller, they’re more energy efficient too.
Remember that buying a dishwasher is something of a long-term investment too, as it can last you several years. Choose carefully and you can enjoy years of savings and extra spare time.