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Finding the Right Dishwasher for Your New Kitchen

16/09/2011 12:11:02 PM

Choosing the right dishwasher can be challenging for some people, especially with such a vast difference between price ranges and included features. The cheap models are very tempting, with low price tags under $400. Unfortunately, these aren’t always very economical to run.

Choosing the right dishwasher can be challenging for some people, especially with such a vast difference between price ranges and included features. The cheap models are very tempting, with low price tags under $400. Unfortunately, these aren’t always very economical to run.

The high-end dishwashers come with price tags of more than $1,500, but these can be very economical and include some truly innovative features. Yet, the high purchase price is often outside of the budget for some people.

Before you set out to buy a dishwasher, take some time to work out exactly what you want. This will make it easier to find the right one to suit your needs.


Place Settings

Check the number of place settings each dishwasher has and measure this against how many you think you need. Smaller or slimline models tend to have 6 place settings, while large family machines can hold as many as 12 place settings.

Most families can get by comfortably with around 8 place settings. This will hold 8 dinner plates, 8 small plates or bowls and 8 glasses on the top shelf. There should also be just enough room available for a pot and a pan in the bottom tray if you’ve loaded up everything else after dinner.


Wash Cycle Settings

Most new dishwashers feature multiple wash cycle settings. These usually include a quick wash, normal wash and heavy wash, at a minimum. The Eco-wash setting is becoming more popular with many manufacturers, as is the Intense wash setting for heavier loads, such as pots, pans, or baking dishes with baked on food.

More wash cycle settings allow you to choose the setting you want. This is more economical if you often fill the dishwasher with cups, glasses and plates rather than heavier items.


Number of Spray Locations

When you’re shopping for dishwashers, you’ll notice some of them will mention features like ‘spray locations’. A dishwasher with 12 spray locations will spray water into more areas and get your dishes much cleaner than a machine with only 4. 



Obviously, the cost will factor into your final decision. There are many budget dishwashers available, with price tags under $400. The mid-range dishwashers tend to range between $600-$800, while more expensive dishwashers can cost upwards of $1,000.

Work out how much you can afford to spend on the initial purchase and shop within your budgeted price range.


Energy Efficiency

The initial purchase price isn’t the only cost you should watch for. Running your dishwasher requires electricity and water. You should see two Star Rating stickers on all dishwashers available for sale. These will be the energy efficiency rating and the water efficiency rating.

Machines with more stars will use less power and less water to achieve the same result. Compare several models within your price range to determine which one will be more energy efficient over the long term.



Not all dishwashers are made to the same width. Always double check how wide your dishwasher provision is before you buy a dishwasher. If you buy one that is too big, you’ll need to amend your joinery to make it fit.  If you choose a dishwasher that is too small for your provision, you’ll end up with gaps on either side of the machine that collect dust and just look wrong. 



The vast majority of dishwashers are single-door machines that all look very similar. However, there are some models available as “dish drawers”. These feature two built-in drawers that allow you to wash just one drawer full of dishes on light days, or both drawers together for heavier loads. These can be quite economical to run, but they can be expensive to buy.

Dishwashers are also available in the standard white, as most appliances are. Stainless steel dishwashers are also extremely popular, but black doors are increasing in popularity slowly, too.

Choose the style that suits your kitchen and other appliances best.



Before you buy any dishwasher, take a moment to jump online and read through consumer reviews. Comments and feedback from people who have used the dishwasher model you want can be helpful for spotting problems or learning about issues that may arise.



The Australian manufacturer’s warranty offered with your dishwasher should extend for at least 12 months – preferably longer. If you compare different manufacturers, you’ll see some offer up to 3 or 4 years on their warranty. It’s also wise to check what the warranty covers.


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