Important Features

* '''Wash Tiers''' ** The places that water sprays from are known as '''wash tiers''' or''' wash levels'''. ** The better dishwashers have three; discount "builder's models" may only have one. ** More tiers are always better. Unless you plan to use your dishwasher for only very light cleaning (like in a wet bar), you definitely want at least two tiers. Three or more is the standard number in most of the top-performing dishwashers. * '''Noise''' ** If your kitchen opens up to the living or dining room, choosing a low-noise dishwasher should be a high priority. ** Generally, '''noise is inversely correlated with price'''. ** A more expensive dishwasher will be quieter because it has better insulation. * '''Cycles and Speed''' ** 80 to 150 minutes total on most models, but the time-saving cycle feature cuts down cycle time. ** Many new dishwashers come with delay timers. (However, running the dishwasher while you are asleep or not home is not recommended.) ** Some special cycles, like a delicate cycle for china or wine glasses, may be a good idea if you use these items often. * '''Style''' ** Many of the more expensive models have stylish exteriors, but do you really need a $1200 Thermador dishwasher that doesn't clean any better than many less expensive models? ** Control buttons should be designed for convenience and usability. *** Some models have hidden or partially hidden controls for a sleeker appearance. ** Front panelling is available at an extra cost, or you might be able to do it yourself. ** Stainless steel is timeless, but it picks up fingerprints easily. It also adds $100-$200 to the cost of the model. * '''Rack Configuration''' ** Make sure there is enough space for the items you expect to wash. ** Some models come with '''foldable tines''', '''rearrangeable racks''' and other features that will allow you to load the dishwasher any way you like. ** Some models come with a third rack, often below the two main racks, for large flat items like serving trays. *** However, a third rack may not be as convenient as it sounds. According to ''''''ConsumerSearch'''''', many users complained that third racks just made it harder to load the dishwasher. * '''Efficiency Rating''' ** Check Energy Star ratings to save money on electricity and water. ** More efficient models may cost a little extra, but the '''savings''' on your energy bill will quickly make the additional cost worthwhile. ** Efficient models are also more environmentally friendly. * '''Heavy-duty disposal options''' ** Food-grinder/garbage disposal. ** Some dishwashers have built-in solid food disposals; other models require you to clean the filter every few weeks. * '''Warranty '''and in-area servicing. ** Dishwashers are usually pretty reliable, but a warranty is always a good thing to have.

Costs and Brands

Major Brands: Kenmore, Frigidaire, GE, Maytag and Whirlpool * '''Economy (less than $500)''' ** Roper ** Admiral ** Hotpoint * '''Mid-range ($500-$800) ''' ** Amana ** Kenmore ** Maytag ** Whirlpool ** KitchenAid ** Jenn-Air * '''High-end ($800+)''' ** Asko ** Bosch ** Miele ** Fisher & Paykel ** Thermador ! ---- ----

Portable Dishwashers

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Potential Products

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