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Toby Welch7/21/14 12:00 AM2 min read

Buyers’ Guide for dishwashers — How to find the best energy-efficient dishwasher

Summer is here and that means BBQ-time — but who wants to end a fun BBQ night with doing dishes? Right, nobody! Time to get a new dishwasher for your kitchen that does the dishes for you. We want to help you find the right energy-efficient dishwasher for your home that does everything you need!

Size and Type

Dishwashers come in different types and sizes and it’s important to pick the right one — you don’t want to end up with a dishwasher that is too small to fit your dishes from a family meal, but a too big one is wasting water, energy, and takes forever to fill up. What are the option?

  • Built-in standard size dishwashers: This very common type of dishwashers has two racks and is very spacious with a width of 24in. Standard dishwashers fit up to 12 place settings.
  • Compact dishwashers: Compact dishwashers are 18in wide and are perfect for smaller households or homes with limited kitchen space. Most manufacturers have compact versions of their standard dishwashers. Compact dishwashers fit up to 8 place settings.
  • Countertop dishwashers: Countertop dishwashers are fairly small and can even fit in very small kitchens. They plug into a normal power outlet and drain into the sink. Portable dishwashers are similar, but they usually have wheels and can easily be moved.


Dishwashers are becoming more high-tech and you can choose from a wide variety of features and settings:

  • Wash and rinse cycles: In addition to light, normal and heavy wash cycles, modern dishwashers also come with quick/express cycles that take only about 20 min and are perfect for dishes that didn’t get too dirty. For pots/pans and especially dirty dishes, cycles that soak the dishes are helpful. Steam cycles sanitize dishes with very high temperatures. Soil sensors can detect how dirty the dishes are and automatically choose the best cycle.
  • Drying options: There are different options for drying dishes and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. If the dishwasher uses heat to dry, the drying is much faster, but also uses more energy. Some newer models use a fan for drying, which speeds up the process without consuming extra energy.

Noise level

Dishwasher can be pretty noisy, and depending on your living situation, you might want to look for a model with good noise insulation. Modern dishwashers can run almost silently which is perfect if you want to wash your dishes at night.

Other useful features

Other features that you might want to look at is delayed start time, adjustable racks and food disposals. Dishwashers are now also available with touch screens which are not only a nice design feature, but also easy to use.

Smart Features Like all other appliances, dishwashers can now communicate with your smartphone. That lets you start the wash cycle remotely, check on the status of the cycle and helps troubleshoot when technical problems occur.