Dishwasher buying guide

Dishwashers save you time and effort, but they can also save you money on your energy bills.

They use very little electricity and can use as little as 9 litres of water per cycle as opposed to the 50 litres (or more) for washing by hand. It’s little wonder that they’re in so many homes! All of our online product listings contain plenty of information but we know that sometimes you really need to get more details and that’s where our buying guide comes in.

  • Intergrated - These are built-in and help you retain a sleek, minimalist look in your kitchen by housing appliances behind cupboard doors.

  • Freestanding - As the name suggests, these are designed to fit under a standard height worktop.
  • Slimline - a great option for kitchens which are short on space. Slimline dishwashers offer all of the functionality of a regular model but are smaller, with a narrower dimension of 450mm (45cm) width.

  • Standard - can give up to a 15-place-setting load and typically measures at 600mm (60cm) width.

    Whatever type of dishwasher you choose, it’s important to leave adequate space to attach dishwasher waste and water pipes. Generally speaking, the waste connection and water inlet pipe should be up to 50cm from either side of where the dishwasher will be positioned.

The number of place settings gives you an idea of how much you can fit in your dishwasher. The higher the place setting = the more items you can fit in.

If there are lots of you at home, or if you do lots of home cooking, then it’s definitely worth buying a larger dishwasher with a bigger place setting to prevent you from doing multiple loads.

  • Small – up to 10 place settings

  • Medium – 10 to 14 place setting

  • Large – 14 or more place settings

As time’s gone on, technology has evolved to become more energy efficient. This makes it not only kinder on the planet but kinder on your wallet too. Sensors take the guess work out of the wash cycle by choosing the most cost-effective programme and adjusting it accordingly. In 2021, energy labels were updated to a simpler scale of A to G. This change was made to help them adapt to the industry standards that are now much more environmentally friendly than in previous years. For a more energy efficient dishwasher, look for machines that use less energy by running for longer with specialist eco-cycles and check the average water consumption per wash cycle to help keep costs down for water and electricity use.

Compared to washing up by hand, dishwashers often use less water! Although there are many variables, like the size of your household, how often you need to wash up and the age of your dishwasher, recent research has found that the households which have a dishwasher use 50% less water and 28% less energy on average than the households that don’t.

No one likes a noisy machine and that’s why comparing the noise output, or decibels (dB), of appliances definitely pays off. The higher the dB, the louder the operating noise. For reference, a noise level below 50 dB is very quiet and manufacturers continue to make huge advances in technology to minimise this issue.

Dishwashers usually have a number of programmes, with different temperatures and cycle times to tailor it to your wash load. The "normal" wash setting usually involves a temperature of around 65 degrees Celsius and is suitable for most everyday items although you may want to use an “intensive” wash for heavily soiled pots and pans. A shorter "quick" wash programme is useful for dishes that require only light cleansing. A "half load" programme is ideal if you haven’t fully filled the dishwasher and will typically use less water. Similarly, an "economy" programme operates at a lower temperature and uses the minimum amount of water, but this can make the wash cycle much longer.

You can prolong the life of your dishwasher by giving it a little TLC. This is quick and easy to do: make sure to scrape food off, avoid overfilling the machine and try to always choose the correct cycle. It’s tempting to choose a shorter cycle to save time, but this can result in dishes not being properly cleaned. You can get the most out of your new appliance by always cleaning the dishwasher trap and keeping both the salt and rinse aid topped up to avoid limescale build up. It couldn’t be easier!

Did you know that many of our products are also available for rental? Enjoy the latest tech with low, monthly payments and regular opportunities to upgrade, find out more about Hughes Rental here.