Dishing the dirt on buying a dishwasher

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Will buying a dishwasher be the most exciting part of a kitchen revamp? We doubt it but it is still a big decision that needs a lot of thought. You don't want to simply plump for the first model you see only to discover that it is expensive to run, noisy and too big for your space, do you?

We've compiled our top six questions to think about when choosing your new dishwasher so take a look and be sure to use them to compare and contrast your front runners. Buying dishwashers isn't something you want to be doing regularly so choose the right one first time!

What can it do?

We know some of you jokers out there are saying, Wash dishes?. While it's true that all dishwashers have been designed to make light work of giving you gleaming crockery and cutlery that is ready to use straight out of the tray, most have extra features, too.

If you pride yourself on keeping a clean and tidy kitchen, such as this one from Grupo Arsciniest, you might be interested to learn that dishwashers can now sometimes have rinsing and steaming options to be sure that you will get every last crumb cleaned off your plates. If you know you will regularly be testing the capacity of your machine it's worth looking out for these extra features.

Will you have to maintain it?

Buying dishwashers seems so simple. In fact, any appliance purchasing seems easy when you think about it. You select the one you want, get it delivered, plumb or plug it in and away you go.  But is there any maintenance that you will be expected to undertake?

In the case of dishwashers you will need to keep the salt and rinse aid topped up and we recommend that you run a purely cleaning cycle at least once a month to keep your machine fresh. Don't forget that it will be easy to spill food on the front as well so give it a cursory wipe when you do the worktop.

How big is it?

modern Kitchen by Laboratorio
Laboratorio

Cucina abitazione

Laboratorio

Whatever you do, don't get carried away when buying dishwashers and simply assume they are all the same size. They most definitely aren't and you wouldn't want to take delivery of one that is far too big or even too small for your kitchen as once you've signed for it, you are basically committed.

Be sure to take accurate measurements of the recess that it will be housed in and try to find a model that will fit as perfectly as possible. Take into account any wiring or plumbing at the back too and be sure that you will be able to fully open the door.

How energy efficient will it be?

A really big concern these days is the energy efficiency of kitchen appliances and, as such, it isn't uncommon for super efficient models to really sing and dance about that fact. Don't just see this as a fad as it will mean lower operating costs for you as well as a positive impact on the environment. 

Ideally, everything in your home should already be, or  moving towards, A-rated efficiency as this means it is as cheap to run as possible and won't cause harm to the planet. You shouldn't find that these models are any more money but if they are we never think shop assistants mind a haggle.

How much is it?

The crux of the matter is often budget, isn't it? We all wish it wasn't but there's no harm in admitting that when it comes to buying dishwashers and other such appliances we want to make our money stretch a little further. It's just human nature.

You can spend as little or as much as you like these days but rather than automatically selecting the cheapest version we think you should try to ascertain which is the best value for money. Look for free warranties, free servicing and a dedicated parts website as all of these will have an impact on the total amount you spend on your dishwasher during its lifetime.

How loud is it?

It seems as though appliances are getting more fancy and eerily quiet but when it comes to dishwashers that's no bad thing. Gone are the days when a loud grumbling coming from the kitchen was considered normal and now you can expect just a gentle hum.

If the noise factor is important to you visit a showroom and ask to actually hear the appliance in action or see if you can find a video online. If you plan to take advantage of cheaper electricity tariffs by setting your dishwasher to work at night, you want to know it won't keep you awake! 

For more kitchen appliance inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Top Tips For Buying The Right Fridge. It's just never as easy as you think!

Have you ever had a bad experience when shopping for a dishwasher? What didn't you take into account? Share your experience!
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