DISHWASHER BUYING GUIDE

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

So it’s time to upgrade your dishwasher? The good news is, these workhorses of the kitchen have never been more energy, or water efficient, with the smarts to get pots, pans and Champagne flutes sparkling like never before. Need help finding the right Dishwasher? Follow our guide to buying the right dishwasher for your kitchen, lifestyle and budget.

What To Look For When Buying A Dishwasher

Like all home appliance investments, you’ll need to do your homework to make sure you buy the right dishwasher for your needs. With so many models to choose from, you'll be primed and ready to buy the perfect dishwasher with our handy buyer’s guide.

Types Of Dishwashers

When it comes to choosing a dishwasher, the first question is: freestanding or built-in? The right choice will suit your daily dishwashing habits, kitchen design and style preference. All going well, your days of furious pot scrubbing will be far behind you.

Freestanding Dishwashers

“For renters or frequent house flippers, freestanding dishwashers make a lot of sense because they are portable,” says Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys. “They are also easy to install and can be positioned anywhere in the kitchen as long as it’s near a water connection and drainage point.” Unlike built-in dishwashers, they are not designed to fit under a bench and come with sides and a top cover. Choose from full size, slimline and compact models.

Built-in Dishwashers

A more seamless option, built-in dishwashers are built into your kitchen cabinets – just as the name implies. They fit snug under the bench and you can choose a finish that best suits your kitchen style. “Alternatively, you can choose a model without a front cover so you can match it to your cabinetry for an integrated look. Your cabinetmaker is the person to call for that,” says Geraldine Gillespie. Choose from fully integrated, with the control panel fully concealed behind the door, or semi-integrated, with the control panel visible at the top of the door.

Dishdrawers

Easy on your back and on the eye, dishdrawers are built into the kitchen bench at waist height and slide out like a drawer. “Tall people or those with bad backs love dishdrawers, because the ergonomic design means no more bending over to stack and unload dishes,” says Geraldine Gillespie. You can opt for a single drawer unit or a full-sized double drawer. The drawers operate independently, which means no more turning on a half-empty dishwasher to do the breakfast dishes – and greater energy efficiency as a result. As a bonus, dishdrawers are also super-quiet – at or below 45dB, which equates to the hushed tones of a public library.

More Tips For Choosing A Dishwasher

The Right Size Dishwasher

Dishwasher manufacturers measure a dishwasher’s capacity in terms of the number of place settings it can hold. One place setting equates to one small and one large plate, a bowl, cup and cutlery. Dishwashers come in three sizes: full-sized (12 to 14 place settings); slimline (nine to 10 place settings); and compact (up to eight place settings). When working out how big your dishwasher should be, it’s a simple matter of averaging the number of regulars at meal times. If you are a regular entertainer, factor that in too, to ease the load after weekend gatherings. As a general rule, one to two people will need a dishwasher capacity of six to nine place settings; three to four people will need a dishwasher capacity of nine to 12 place settings; and a household of five or more people will need a dishwasher capacity of 12-plus place settings.

The Best Dishwasher Finishes

“Stainless-steel, white and black are top of the pops when it comes to dishwasher finishes,” says Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys. “That said, white works with pretty much any kitchen style, from modern to traditional. White also visually recedes – something to keep in mind if you want to make a smaller space appear bigger.” Stainless-steel is another timeless choice and will make your appliances a focal point. Love a touch of drama? Go dark with gloss black, black stainless-steel, matte black or deepest-grey anthracite finishes for your dishwasher. Or, go bespoke by integrating your dishwasher’s front panel with your chosen kitchen cabinetry.

Dishwasher Features to look for

  • Self-cleaning filter, no need to remove and clean the filter. Amen to that.
  • Fast wash for barely-dirty dishes, so you save on water and energy bills.
  • Half-load function that adjusts water and program times for smaller loads, again saving on water and energy bills.
  • Quick programs that deliver a stellar clean in under 30 minutes.
  • Intelligent sensor technology that applies the optimum amount of water and pressure to produce sparkling results, no matter what type of load.
  • Fan-assisted drying so dishes come out bone-dry and auto-opening doors that let steam escape for drier dishes post-wash.
  • Extra-hot wash cycle to bust germs and sanitise baby bottles.
  • Flexible, adjustable shelves that let you stack your dishwasher the way you like, whether you need a spot for long-stemmed wine glasses or more room for pots and baking sheets.
  • Lift-up bottom basket that literally slides out and lifts up so you can load and unload without bending your back.
  • Glass care technology that adjusts water quality to optimise the sparkle on your Champagne flutes, and eliminates cloudy or streaky glassware.
  • Pull-out cutlery tray to keep knives, forks and spoons organised.
  • Bottle-cleaning jets to wash the interior of water bottles, vases and more.
  • Built-in garbage disposal that removes food particles, preventing them from collecting in the filter and having to be manually removed.
  • Anti-flood protection to stop the flow of water from the tap if there is a leak – no-one wants the hassle of an unexpected leak in the kitchen.

“Dishwashers with silent technology cost a bit more but are worth it if you don’t want background rumbles while you watch your favourite shows on Netflix or are putting the kids to bed.” – Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys.

The Future of Dishwashers

“Smart tech is changing how we use all our major kitchen appliances, including dishwashers,” says Geraldine Gillespie. “High-end brands offer built-in internet connectivity, so you can control your dishwasher via smartphone or tablet. You’ll receive notifications once it finishes a cycle, if you are running low on detergent tablets, or if there’s a leak. Wi-Fi is definitely worth considering if you want to future-proof your kitchen.”

Hand-washing vs Dishwasher

Feeling guilty about not washing dishes the old-fashioned way? Don’t. The fact is, hand-washing uses six times as much water as a modern dishwasher and the energy it takes to heat the water in the sink uses nearly double the amount of energy that your dishwasher would use. “With a dishwasher, you also have the option of not turning it on until you have a full load, which delivers further water and energy savings,” says Geraldine Gillespie. That said, it’s also important to buy the most energy-efficient and cost-effective dishwasher you can afford.

Energy Efficiency

On the front of any new dishwasher, you’ll find a sticker displaying its Energy Rating. The more stars on the sticker – out of a possible 10 – the greater the savings you can expect in future running costs. To maximise energy efficiency, aim for a minimum 3.5 star Energy Rating. You can also use the Australian Government’s Energy Rating Calculator to help guide your choice.

Water Efficiency

Saving on water consumption starts with checking the WELS Water Rating, which is also displayed on a sticker on all new dishwashers. The water efficiency rating is from one to six stars. The more stars, the less water the dishwasher will use, and the less water you will pay for. Again, aim for a minimum rating of 3.5 stars to minimise water consumption and running costs.

Money Saving Features

Modern dishwashers have all the tricks when it comes to keeping running costs down. “Be on the lookout for models with half-wash or economy programs and a delay start function, so you can take advantage of off-peak electricity tariffs,” says Geraldine Gillespie. If you are struggling to fill your dishwasher with a full load, consider upgrading to a smaller machine that’s cheaper to run.

Silent Dishwashing

Not into noise? Then a “whisper quiet” dishwasher is for you. “Dishwashers with silent technology cost a bit more but are worth it if you don’t want background rumbles while you watch Netflix, or if your kitchen is near bedrooms,” says Geraldine Gillespie. “The quietest models have a 40-45 decibel rating.”

How Much You'll Pay For a New Dishwasher

Prices start from about $400 for an entry level freestanding dishwasher and go up to $4000 for a fully-integrated, smart appliance that matches the rest of your kitchen cabinets. Shop the biggest range of dishwashers from the best brands, including Asko, Miele, Bosch, Smeg, LG, Dishlex, Fisher & Paykel and more, in-store and online now at The Good Guys.

Installation tips

Before you hit the shops, be sure to measure the space where your new dishwasher will go. Depending on your dishwasher and the building code where you live, you might also need to allow for an air gap at the back of the machine. Your dishwasher will also need to be connected to power, water and waste water drainage, and it’s best to have a professional plumber install it. “If you are renovating or designing a new kitchen from scratch, you might want to select your dream dishwasher first – along with all your other kitchen appliances – and then incorporate its dimensions in your design,” says Geraldine Gillespie. “That way, you’ll ensure a perfect fit and avoid any nasty surprises on installation day.”

Call The Good Guys Home Services

The Good Guys Home Services take the stress out of installing a new dishwasher by organising a licensed professional to do it for you. We’ll hook up your new appliance in a flash and take away your old one, plus all the bulky packaging. All work is guaranteed and you can pay for the installation with LatitudePay in 10 weekly payments.

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