26th Feb 2008
Dishwashers come with a huge variety of programs and you’ll find that many will at least include normal and quick wash cycles. More expensive machines offer specific glass, soak and economy programs. Top of the range dishwashers feature computer fully automatic programs which sense the size of the load and use only the necessary amount of water and energy to properly wash the load.
Some other useful features include digital displays (LED or LCD) which let you know the time remaining in a wash cycle, delay timers, built in water softeners and child safety locks. There are even models which have a sensor that checks the cleanliness of the water used for a pre-rinse cycle and re-uses the same water if it’s clean enough!
Adjustable dishwasher racks and baskets are a very useful feature as they allow you to wash larger dishes or pots and pans. Some dishwasher models also feature fold down bottom shelves for this purpose and even ‘hangers’ for delicate stemmed glasses.
Self Balancing Doors
Self balancing doors (also known as counterbalanced doors) are a great safety feature. They won’t drop down on their own while you’re unloading the machine, saving you from potential shin scraping incidents! They are also prevented from slamming shut which protects against potential breakages (if the door were to slam against a dishwasher rack loaded with glassware, for example.)
Dishwasher filters trap scraps of food so that your drains don’t become blocked. They should ideally be cleaned after every use of the machine, so check that the filter is easy to remove.
Concealed Heating Elements
Most of the newer models of dishwasher feature concealed heating elements. The advantages over exposed elements are safety (there’s less chance of burning yourself when removing items from the machine) and efficiency (concealed elements free up space in the machine’s interior giving you more room to fit in a bigger load).
Many dishwashers (though not all) feature indicator lights which let you know when the dishwasher salt needs topping up. Some models also have indicator lights letting you know when the rinsing agent is running low.
This feature guards against flooding by activating a pump if the amount of water in the machine rises above a pre-set level.
Low Noise Models
There are many dishwasher models available which are not only efficient but also quiet, with noise levels under 50 dB (decibels).