Buying Guide Dishwashers

Dishwashers are some of the best-loved appliances in our homes. They save you time and hassle by cleaning all of your dirty dishes. If you’re buying one for the first time, replacing your current model or upgrading, take a look at our in-depth buying guide.

We’ve put together information on everything from the different dishwasher types to some of the higher-end features – and, what you can wash. Some of the things that can go in a dishwasher may surprise you.

If you’re not a big fan of washing up, this is one purchase that could make your life a lot easier. Choose a section below for help finding the best model for your money.


Types of Dishwasher

Before you start your search, it’s good to have an idea of the type of dishwasher you want – in terms of size, and how it’s installed. The model you choose will depend on your habits, the size of your family, your budget, and how much space is available.

Freestanding VS Integrated

Your first big decision is whether you want a freestanding or integrated (also known as built-in) appliance. Both have advantages, but it depends on how you want your kitchen to look once you have your machine installed.

+ Freestanding

Freestanding dishwashers are the most common type and can be slotted into your kitchen, either where a previous model used to be or into a space. The door is designed to remain visible and easily accessible.

Because of their popularity, there are lots of models available in this style, to suit all tastes and budgets. There are also a variety of colour options available, but the most common are white, black, grey, and silver models.

This style is fairly portable as it’s not built into your kitchen, so if you move house, you can take it with you easily. The main downside is that they don’t blend in with your kitchen units the way an integrated model would.

+ Integrated

Integrated dishwashers are a great idea if you have a fitted kitchen with a uniform look, as they are designed to be kept  out of sight. Fully integrated styles are completely hidden behind a kitchen cabinet door. Semi-integrated models are mostly concealed, except for a control panel that’s visible at the top.

Built-in models help to keep a streamlined look in your kitchen, but are more difficult to move than freestanding models, as they’re fixed in place. Also, you can’t see the control panel with fully integrated styles, so you’ll have to open the door to check the display.

Full Size, Slimline or Compact

Dishwashers come in three main sizes – full size, slimline or compact. Larger models generally have more space for dirty dishes, but also take up more space in your kitchen.

Surprisingly, the type of dishwasher doesn’t affect the price greatly. For all three size brackets, you’ll find models from under £200 up to £800 or more.  

+ Full Size

Full-size dishwashers have a large capacity and overall size. The smallest versions have room for 9-12 place settings, whereas the – enough for 160 items. This style is perfect if you have a large household or like to hold dinner parties.

Both freestanding and integrated full-size models are available, and they generally measure 60 cm in width.

The large capacity means full-size dishwashers are great for water and energy efficiency as you can wash many items at once. However, you may not benefit from this if you don’t have enough dishes to fill the machine for each wash.

If you have a small kitchen, it may be difficult to find space for a full-size model.

+ Slimline

Slimline models are ideal if you have a small or narrow kitchen. At just 45 cm wide, they are 15 cm slimmer than a full-sized version but don’t sacrifice on cleaning power. They usually have a nine or ten place setting capacity, so you can still wash about 100 items in one go. However, they may not be as energy or water efficient as larger machines.

+ Compact

Compact dishwashers are generally a bit bigger than a very large microwave and sit on top of your kitchen counter. Their small capacity of 4-6 place settings makes them perfect for a single occupancy household, if you don’t do much cooking, or don’t have the floor space for a slimline model. It also means you don’t have to bend down with heavy, dirty plates.

At roughly 55 cm wide, they don’t have a large capacity so you may struggle to fit in larger pots and pans. They’re also less energy and water efficient than slimline and full-size models.

Capacity and Place Settings

If you’re not sure what capacity dishwasher to buy, you’ve come to the right place. This section of our buying guide explains what counts as a place setting, and how much you can expect to fit into a full size, slimline or compact model. 

Getting the right capacity is important as you’ll want to fit as much in as possible to avoid the dreaded washing up. Running a large dishwasher once for every two occasions you’d run a smaller model is much more efficient. But, how much can you fit in? To get the most benefit, you’ll need to fill it.  

+ Bigger Dishwasher, More Capacity

One of the biggest factors in how much you can fit inside a dishwasher is the size of it. If you have a large household or like to store up lots of dishes to wash in one go, you’ll likely need to invest in a full-size dishwasher. However, as full-size models are physically larger, you’ll need to make sure one will fit in your home.

Full-size dishwashers usually have a capacity of 12 to 16 place settings, while a slimline might only have 10. Compact dishwashers tend to have a 4 to 6 place setting capacity.

For more information and advice about the different types of dishwashers, click here.

+ Defining Place Settings

The standard measurement for the capacity of a dishwasher is the number of place settings. Most dishwashers have a 13 place setting capacity, but what exactly does this mean?

Officially, a place setting consists of a dinner plate, dessert plate, single glass, soup bowl, teacup with saucer, and an assortment of cutlery.

Of course, we don’t all have two types of plates and a cup and saucer to put into the dishwasher every time, but it helps give you an idea of what you can fit inside.

+ Extra Flexibility

Place settings are a good starting point for assessing how much you’ll be able to wash pots, pans, baking trays and other cookware? As pots and pans don’t come in a standard size, it’s hard to guarantee exactly what will fit. However, there are some options and features a dishwasher can offer to give you extra flexibility.

Folding tines are an excellent way of fitting more into the dishwasher. If you’ve just finished cooking and your kitchen is filled with saucepans, dishes and frying pans, folding down the tines lets you fit more inside. You can get models with this feature at the bottom, top or both for ultimate flexibility.

Having a cutlery tray at the top of your dishwasher, instead of a conventional basket at the bottom, also lets you arrange your awkwardly shaped dishes easily.

If possible, it’s worth going to see your prospective dishwasher so you can get a better idea of how much you can squeeze inside. For help knowing what should or shouldn’t be cleaned in the dishwasher, click here.

Dishwasher Features

Dishwasher technology is constantly improving, and modern appliances have a host of features to help make washing up a breeze. 

Find out what a spray arm does and why you should watch out for a time delay. We’ll also explain many other features, to help you pick the right model.

+ Spray Arm Technology

Spray arms dispense the water evenly in your dishwasher to cover all your dishes and cutlery, ensuring a thorough clean. Every dishwasher has them, but there are four main types:


This is the most common style and has a circular water distribution pattern, similar to a garden sprinkler system. Water is pumped into the two spray arms, located under the lower and top baskets, and is then sprayed onto the dishes. The water pressure causes the arms to spin, which circulates the water evenly.

Additional Spray Arm

Some dishwasher brands have a third spray arm attached to the roof. This is usually found in dishwashers with a dedicated cutlery tray at the top of the machine, giving a more in-depth clean.


Cleaning performance can drop if the water jets can’t get to everything – which can be an issue when trying to wash awkwardly shaped dishes. That’s where a satellite spray arm comes in handy. This is a mini spray arm located on the end of the larger bottom spray arm. The double-rotation means water can reach awkward corners and nooks that might not be cleaned properly otherwise.


This washing system uses a bar spray arm that moves back to front along the bottom of the tub. As a result, all the dishes get even coverage from a wall of water, hence the name. This is a relatively new feature that high-end brands are starting to include in their newest models.

+ Controls and Displays

Control panels are generally located on the front door of the dishwasher, but some models have them on the top edge of the door. This is primarily for stylistic reasons, so the controls are hidden when the door is closed.

Many models have LED clock timer displays to tell you how long a programme has left to run, and an alarm to signal when it’s finished. Touch screen controls are becoming more common, although most models have a mixture of dials and buttons. Indicator lights are useful too. These warn you when the salt and rinse aid levels are too low, taking the guesswork out of filling them up.

+ Interior Layout Design

Adjustable racks are a really useful feature to have, as they allow you to change the layout to fit each load. If you have larger pots and pans to wash, height-adjustable racks will let you fit them into the lower rack, even if you have a full upper rack.

Some models now have a lifting mechanism attached to the racks, so you don’t have to bend down far to load or unload the dishwasher.

Fold-down prongs are helpful if you have a large number of glasses or wide trays that need holding up. Some models have a third tray designed specifically for cutlery too – this ensures it receives a thorough clean and frees up more room in the lower trays.

Specific wash zones are designated areas for heavily soiled items that need extra attention. They don’t feature in every model but can be useful if you have extra tough stains to shift.

Stainless steel interiors are the latest trend in dishwasher design as they’re sturdy and low maintenance. They use a lower wattage heating element for drying their loads, saving energy and money. This system is also kinder to any heat-sensitive items you may have. These models are a bit more expensive than the average plastic-lined tub, but their design means they save you money in the long run.

Stainless steel models are quieter and have more efficient drying cycles as the heat is reflected off the metal lining. They can also work at a higher water temperature, so all your dishes are sterilised and sparkly clean.

+ Button Functions

A delayed start is a really helpful feature to make sure your dishes are clean and ready to use exactly when you need them. Just load up your dirty plates, choose what time you want the programme to start, and enjoy freshly cleaned dishes ready for dinner.

A child-safety lock is useful if you have young children. This prevents curious fingers from changing the programme settings or opening the door while the dishwasher is running.

+ Sensors

Sensor washing is a feature often found on higher-end models. Detecting the soiling level of the water, it adjusts the temperature and length of the wash. Soil sensors such as Whirlpool’s AccuSense follow the same principle but base the cycle length and water use on how dirty the load is.

Some models are also fitted with a load sensor, which detects the load’s weight and only uses the required amount of water.

+ Filters

Dishwasher filters are generally tube-like sieves in the bottom of the machine. These collect the food that comes off in the wash and stops it from being redeposited back onto clean dishes. Manual filters require you to empty them by hand, whereas self-cleaning versions complete this themselves.

+ Doors

Some higher-end brands feature doors that stay at whatever angle you leave them at. So, you can say goodbye to doors suddenly dropping down when you’re loading or unloading the washer.

You’ll also start to find some high-end models with AutoOpen drying technology. This feature opens the dishwasher door at the end of the cycle, which allows fresh air to help dry your crockery.

+ Steam Cleaning

Steam dishwashers use high-pressure, high-temperature steam during the wash to loosen tough, dried, or burnt-on stains. This powerful cleaning performance means there’s no need for pre-washing.

The high temperature of steam kills bacteria, giving you hygienic dishes for your whole family to use. It doesn’t require harmful or expensive cleaning chemicals, plus you only need a small amount of water to create enough steam to clean the entire load.

+ Heat Exchange

Dishwashers with heat exchangers treat delicate glasses and porcelain with additional care, so you won’t have any accidents in the wash.

+ Energy Efficiency

Most new dishwashers now include efficient or ‘eco-technology’. This function can often be combined with the appliance’s cycles to increase the efficiency of the programme.

+ Anti-Flood Features

A really useful safety feature, anti-flood protection means you won’t come home to a flooded kitchen. It automatically turns off the water supply if it detects a burst pipe and will stop water levels from rising too high at the base of the machine.

Dishwasher Programmes 

With most modern dishwashers, there are a variety of programmes to choose from, and this is one of the things you’ll need to think about before you buy. Do you need a model with eco and intensive settings? How about glassware or half load functions?

Find out what basic cycles to expect, plus programmes for which you might have to pay a little extra. Looking for information on dishwasher features? Click here.

+ Standard Programmes

Pretty much every dishwasher comes with a standard wash programme. More often than not, this runs at a high temperature of 65°C to kill germs and guarantee your dishes come out clean.

Another programme you’ll often find is the economic cycle. This is ideal for loads that aren’t too dirty. Economy cycles usually take a bit longer to complete than a regular programme and cleans at a slightly lower temperature of 50°C.

If you often have dishes with tough, dried-on stains that need shifting, you’re likely to benefit from a model that has an intensive programme. This usually cleans dishes at 70°C.

+ Special Programmes

Some of the more expensive dishwashers have programmes specifically designed for cleaning your glassware. These programmes help glasses come out shiny and watermark-free.

A delicate cycle is another option you’ll sometimes find. The wash is completed at lower temperatures and pressure to make sure fragile items are treated with care.

Selected models have a half load option, for when you only have a few items that need cleaning and it’s not worth using a full cycle. This can help you save energy and water.

Rinse only and pre-wash settings are also useful if you want to remove food waste from plates and prevent odours until you have enough to run a full load. Remember to scrape off any food remains though, as they can get stuck in the drain at the bottom of the machine.

Some special programmes are only available from certain brands, so make sure you shop around to find the right dishwasher for your needs.

+ Drying Functions

Dishwashers are designed to dry dishes as well as clean them, and they do this in a variety of ways.

With many models, you can decide if you want to dry the dishes using heat or not. A heat drying method is quicker but uses more energy.

Some models also use a fan drying process to get the dishes dry without having to use heat. Stainless-steel tubs are worth looking for too, as they stay hotter for longer and dry your dishes more efficiently.

More expensive dishwashers from Siemens and Bosch use Zeolith technology for fast and energy-efficient drying. Zeolite, a natural mineral, absorbs moisture and converts it into energy, which is released as heat to dry the dishes.

Some high-end models feature AutoOpen drying technology too. This feature uses fresh air to dry your dishes by opening the dishwasher door at the end of the cycle.

Energy Efficiency 

If you’re planning to get a new dishwasher, it’s worth taking a look at the energy label. Models with high energy ratings are more efficient, save you money on your electricity bills, and are kinder to the environment. You’ll also find that some models use less water or are quieter than others.

Energy Ratings

If you’re thinking about upgrading your dishwasher to a newer model, it’s worth knowing about energy efficiency ratings. Appliances with a good energy rating can save you money on electricity and water bills, as well as help to look after the environment.

The simplest way of narrowing down products for energy efficiency is to use the energy label. Thanks to EU regulations, every washing machine must have one of these displayed, so you can quickly tell an appliance’s grade.

You’ll also find other information on energy labels, including annual water consumption (in litres), capacity (in kilogrammes), spin-drying efficiency (rated from A to G) and noise emission (in decibels). This is useful if you’re struggling to choose between two models.

In 2020, the UK introduced a new energy label. By spreading energy performance over a much wider scale, you will find it easier to compare efficiency across products. Plus, it will also set new standards for energy-saving appliances, bringing further savings to you as well as meeting environmental commitments set by manufacturers and the Government.

The key changes across all product categories are:

  • QR Code - Providing instant access to product information
  • New Energy Classes - A simple A-G energy classification system
  • Simpler Consumption Usage - An easier way to understand energy consumption measurements

If you’ve had your appliance for a while, there could be a big difference between your current model’s efficiency and newer versions.

It’s worth noting that many other factors can affect your machine’s efficiency. In some cases, a model with a higher rating may cost more to run than a lower rated model. However, the energy efficiency rating is a great starting point for you to compare different models.

Generally, the larger the dishwasher’s capacity, the more energy and water efficient the machine will be. However, this assumes that it’s full every time you use it. For a single person household or small kitchen, a slimline machine may be more practical and efficient than running a large model with a half load.

+ Are Dishwashers Better Than Hand-Washing?

A lot of people buying a dishwasher want to know whether they’re more energy and water-efficient than washing up by hand. The answer is, that it depends. There are lots of factors involved, including how often you wash up, how large your household is, whether you leave the water running, as well as the age and efficiency of your dishwasher.

However, dishwashers have some clear advantages. Loading and unloading are generally less time consuming than washing by hand. Dishwashers can also wash a large amount in one go – great if you have a dinner party planned and need lots of plates ready in time.

Dishwashers can also wash at higher temperatures than your hands can bear, which kills germs and bacteria. Thanks to new technology such as steam power, dishwashers can now sanitise your dishes and remove stuck-on stains with ease.

+ Running Costs

If used optimally, dishwashers are often much cheaper to run than people expect. Which? calculated an average running cost of between £27 and £64 a year for a family-sized dishwasher. Waiting until the dishwasher is full before use is a great  way to keep costs low, as is using economy or eco programmes. If your electricity is cheaper at night, running the cycle then can knock down the electricity bill even further.

Noise Levels

As most homes typically use their dishwasher daily, it mustn’t disturb you and your family. The noise level varies depending on the age and the brand of the model.

If you have an open plan kitchen or prefer a quieter space, you may want to look for a dishwasher with noise-reducing features. Here, we’ll show you some of the new technologies used to make dishwashers quieter.

Noise Levels

Dishwasher noise levels are measured in dB (decibels) and refer to the sound of a fully-loaded wash.

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, have an open plan layout, or have cheaper night-time energy rates, having a quiet machine may be important to you.

Noise levels vary depending on the brand and the age of your model. New technologies such as brushless motors and stainless steel interior tubs help to minimise the volume. Most dishwashers now create about 40-55 dB, whereas older models can reach up to 60 dB.

Older models are likely to be louder due to a few factors:

Quality of insulation – materials and overall design have improved over the years.

Built-in disposal units – this breaks up any pieces of food, but modern appliances no longer have these.

Plastic interior tubs – stainless steel tubs are much more common now and are quieter as they dampen the sound of the water sprays.

To give you an idea of noise levels, the below chart gives some equivalent sounds at a glance.

Maintenance & Cleaning

It’s important to buy a dishwasher that suits your lifestyle. This section of our buying guide explains the basics of dishwasher maintenance, so you can choose a model which is fuss-free to use and clean – with low running costs. 

+ Loading The Dishwasher

A good place to start when looking at a dishwasher is to find out how the racks and cutlery baskets are designed to be used.

By loading them correctly, with dirty items at the bottom and cleaner ones at the top, you’ll get better results and avoid breakages.

Choosing a model with a logical layout makes it easier to keep the dishwasher, and your dishes, in good condition. Avoid a dishwasher that’s too small as this will force you to overload the baskets, resulting in poor performance or damage.

+ Extras

Before you buy your new dishwasher, it’s important to think about which extras you’ll need. You might want to factor these additional purchases into your budget.

+ Detergent

Detergent is essential. It’s available in liquid, gel, tablet, and powder form, and each type has its pros and cons. Powder is powerful but can be a little harsh, so it isn’t the best choice if you want to wash delicate items. Gels aren’t as common, but as they’re water-based, they won’t be abrasive on your fragile items. Tablets are popular as they often combine salt, rinse aid and detergent into a single package.

A high-quality detergent lets you use an energy-saving eco cycle, while still cleaning thoroughly. Some dishwashers also have a handy dosage function, which saves money by preventing you from using too much. However, if you intend to use tablets, this won’t be an issue.

Manufacturers often recommend specific detergents, but most people make a choice based on personal preference.

+ Rinse Aid

Whether you need to use a rinse aid depends on your water hardness, the detergent you use, and even the items you’re cleaning.

Rinse aid helps your dishes get dryer at the end of a cycle by letting the water runoff more easily. It can also help prevent watermarks on glass. It’s not as expensive as the detergent and is optional, so it probably won’t affect your budget too much.

+ Salt

While shopping around, you may see retailers referring to a salt reservoir. Bear in mind that dishwasher salt is not table salt. Regular salt can corrode your pipes; only buy salt that is specifically labelled for dishwashers.

Putting salt in a dishwasher may sound strange at first. But it can be very helpful if you live in an area with hard water, as your dishwasher may leave streaks and marks on your crockery. Dishwasher salt counters this by softening the water. The salt reacts with minerals in the water, preventing a build-up of limescale. This leaves you with spotless items and also keeps the heating element and jets in the dishwasher working properly.

Many dishwashers come with a handy funnel to make topping up the salt easy. A salt level indicator is another handy feature to look out for, as it takes out the guesswork.

Using dishwasher salt can save you money as you won’t need to use as much detergent and rinse aid.

+ Cleaning

Whichever dishwasher you choose, you’ll have to spend a little time cleaning it now and again.

You may want to include dishwasher cleaner in your calculations of running costs and extras. This is used to remove grease and limescale build-up, keeping everything running smoothly. Some people choose to use vinegar or lemon juice instead.

Other tasks include cleaning out the filter, wiping the seals, and removing blockages from the spray arms every so often. Manufacturers include many details in the appliance’s manual which makes these processes easier. Removable filters and arms are found on nearly all modern dishwashers.

If you’re not a fan of pre-rinsing your dishes, a model with a self-cleaning filter is a good choice, as you won’t need to remove and clean it manually.

+ Warranties

Cleaning and maintenance aside, it’s useful to know your new dishwasher is built to last. A long warranty period is often a good indication of this. Look for models which come with parts and labour guarantee as standard – these range from one to five years and vary between brands.

What Can I Put In My Dishwasher?

Before you buy your new dishwasher, it’s a good idea to know what you can put in it. It’s not always obvious what’s safe to wash and what isn’t. Find out if your new dishwasher will be suitable for what you want to wash below.

Although bear in mind that the type of detergent you use also makes a difference, as some are more abrasive than others. These handy appliances can be used for more than you think.*

What You Might Not Want To Put In Your Dishwasher

+ Cast Iron Pans

Cast iron pans offer a unique cooking experience and work well with induction hobs as they’re magnetic. However, part of the magic of cooking with cast iron is the seasoning – the baked-on coating of oil that keeps the pan non-stick.

Putting cast iron pans and woks in the dishwasher can damage or remove the seasoning, which can cause the food to stick to the pan.

+ Crystal Glass

We all know that glass can be fragile, and crystal glass needs extra special care.

Inside a dishwasher, water is sprayed around at high pressure to remove grease and grime. Putting anything as fragile as crystal glass inside a dishwasher isn’t recommended, as the pressure can knock the glass over and cause damage.

In some circumstances, dishwashers can make glassware cloudy. As crystal glass is designed to sparkle and shine, it’s best to hand wash it instead.

+ Antiques and Heirlooms

Antiques and heirlooms are often precious and delicate. Putting them in the dishwasher comes with the risk of damaging and breaking them, either from the water pressure, or the high temperatures. This is especially true with hand-painted or gilded items, as the decoration can easily chip or flake off.

+ Kitchen Knives

Sharp kitchen knives are often different to other kitchen cutlery. Some knives have wooden or plastic handles (see below for wood) or handles that are attached with rivets. Both material types can be damaged in the hot water, and rivets can become loose, making the knife less safe to use.

Cleaning in a dishwasher can also make your knives blunt. Dishwasher detergent, especially powder, can be abrasive. This damages the edge of the knife so you’ll have to sharpen the blade more frequently.

+ Cheese Graters

Any kitchen tool with sharp edges could catch the dishwasher racks, and rust could then potentially form. The small holes are also unlikely to achieve good washing results.

+ Wooden Utensils

Wooden items such as chopping boards and spoons can be damaged in the dishwasher. Hot water can cause the wood to expand and when it cools down, this can cause cracks. Similarly, dirty water can permeate the wood and become trapped.

Spoons and boards can become warped, and if there is any finish on the wood, this can flake off. Some wooden items are dishwasher-safe, but this will usually be specified. As a general rule, avoid putting anything wooden in the dishwasher. This advice also applies to items made from bamboo.

+ Non-Stick/Teflon Pots and Pans

Some non-stick pots and pans can go in the dishwasher, but not all of them can. The non-stick coating can be damaged by the harsh environment during washing, shortening its lifespan.

+ Copper Pots and Pans

Copper pots and pans can be damaged or discoloured from dishwasher cleaning. If you cook with these, retaining the copper colour can be difficult, and dishwashing is likely to cause more oxidation. Harsh detergents can also cause scratches and pitting.

This also applies to some aluminium pans, although some are dishwasher safe.

+ Disposable Aluminium

Cleaning disposable aluminium can cause black marks to form over other items in the dishwasher.

As aluminium is quite light, it can be spread around the inside of your dishwasher. This can cause damage to glasses or anything prone to scratching (although these shouldn’t be in the dishwasher either).

+ Insulated Mugs

A lot of insulated mugs are designed to have a gap between two materials filled with air. This helps improve the insulation the mug provides. However, putting these in the dishwasher can result in water getting into this gap, and becoming trapped. A quick hand wash is a much better solution.

+ Anything with Adhesives

This one is fairly self-explanatory. Heat causes adhesives to lose their stickiness and come away from their surface. They can also end up getting stuck on other items in the dishwasher or clog up the appliance itself. Remove sticky labels and other adhesives before putting the item in a dishwasher or wash it by hand.

+ Gold - And Silver-Plated Cutlery and Crockery

Gold and silver are fairly soft metals, and so are not suitable for dishwashing. They can become damaged as the detergent wears away the metal. As these items are likely to be expensive to replace, it’s not worth the risk.

Unusual Items You Can Wash In The Dishwasher

+ Cleaning Cloths, Sponges and Dusters

These items are used for some fairly dirty tasks and running them through the washing machine would likely be your first thought. But you can also give these items a good clean, and sanitise them, by popping them in a dishwasher cycle.

+ Wellies, Sandals, And Flip Flops

This comes with the assumption that there are no leather straps on these items but popping rubber or plastic footwear in the dishwasher can give them a good clean. Just don’t forget to give the inside of your wellies plenty of time to dry before wearing them.

+ Children's Toys

Children tend to put things in their mouths, so these items must be clean. Some plastic toys can be put in the top of the dishwasher to get clean and sanitised but be sure they are suitable for high temperatures.

+ Fridge and Freezer Shelves

You can easily give the shelves and drawers inside your chilling appliances a good clean in the dishwasher.

+ Vegetables

If you want to avoid scrubbing dirty potatoes in the sink, pop them in the top of your dishwasher and run a rinse cycle. You can also wash other tough fruit and vegetables like carrots, celery, and apples.

+ Sports Clothes

From shin and knee pads to teeth and gum guards, all these pieces of sports paraphernalia can be cleaned up in the dishwasher. We suggest you leave these to air dry afterwards.

+ Pet Items

While your furry friends are unlikely to care how grubby their bowls or toys get, you might. Many of these can be popped into the dishwasher for a thorough clean.

+ Vent and Grille Covers

If you’ve ever glanced at your vent and grille covers, chances are they are fairly grubby. This is especially true for extractor fans. Cleaning these can be very tricky, not to mention a time-consuming job. If you can get them off easily, you can run them through the dishwasher.

One Final Note...

So far, we’ve talked about cleaning. However, some people use their dishwasher for cooking too. 

Reaching temperatures around 75°C, you can slow cook or steam food. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll find recipes for meals like poached salmon or bagels online. Just make sure the food is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat before you tuck in.

*Euronics accepts no responsibility for items damaged or discoloured through dishwasher cleaning, or damage done to the dishwasher itself. Please ensure that items are dishwasher safe before washing them.

Buy Online or In-Store? 

Like any appliance, there are pros and cons when it comes to buying a dishwasher online vs. in-store. Most major retailers offer both options, while some specialists might sell online only, or just have a physical shop.

We’ll help you weigh up whether it’s worth a trip to the store for your new dishwasher.

+ Buying Online

There are many advantages to buying online. Browsing a website allows you to see a vast range of dishwashers that many you’re after something very specific, you can easily check to see what’s available that matches your criteria.

You’ll also find detailed product descriptions online. These highlight all the essential information about the product to help you make an informed decision.

Ordering online is quick, easy, and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Many retailers also have a range of delivery and installation options available, which means you barely need to lift a finger.

Comparison shopping online also means you can read objective reviews from other customers. When visiting an electrical website, look out for reviews from Reevoo and TrustPilot. These are administered by a third party rather than the retailer, so you can be sure the comments are genuine.

+ Buying In-Store

However, buying online means you can’t physically see the appliance. This makes it harder to gauge whether it will fit in the space you have, or if it will take all the dirty pots and pans you want to put inside.

Visiting a local store means you can thoroughly examine the dishwasher before you decide to buy. Popping into a shop also gives you access to friendly and knowledgeable staff, who can answer your questions and offer advice or insight to help you with your decision.

If you’re after a bargain, you could even ask if there’s an ex-display model available, although be aware that in some cases this may affect the warranty.

+ What We Suggest

A dishwasher is a fairly large purchase that you’ll want to get right. As such, we recommend doing as much research as you can online, using reviews and descriptions to get a shortlist of products you like the look of. Then, pop into a store to physically examine the appliances, and see which matches up with what you’re after.

When it comes to ordering, it’s entirely up to you, but be aware that delivery costs may differ between the store and website.

Dishwasher Prices

How much a dishwasher costs is a big factor when it comes to comparison shopping. So, what can you expect for your money? Higher-end models might have more features and technology to get your dishes sparkling clean.

+ Where Do I Start?

The first thing you’ll probably decide when buying a dishwasher is whether you want to go for a full size or slimline model. This does have an impact on the price, but not as much as you might expect.

Full-size dishwashers range from under £200 to thousands, although you can get a great model for around £500. Slimline dishwashers have a similar range, but you can get a high-quality model from a well-known brand for around £400. Once you’ve decided on the type of dishwasher you want, you can find out what features to expect from a model within your price range.

+ What To Expect For Your Money

There are a lot of things that can affect the price of a dishwasher. Top-of-the-range, full-size models will have all or some variations of the following features:

  • A variety of programmes
  • Special cycle options including half load and express
  • Steam cleaning capabilities
  • A large capacity – up to 14 place settings
  • Load sensor technology
  • A-rated for cleaning and drying
  • High energy efficiency rating
  • Adjustable baskets
  • Self-cleaning filter
  • Salt and rinse aid indicators
  • Dosage assistant dispenser
  • Anti-leak system

More information on these features can be found elsewhere in our dishwasher buying guide. The brand and design will affect how the dishwasher is priced as well.

+ Sales and Promotions

Promotions are a great way of grabbing a top-quality appliance at a discounted price. Most retailers offer sales and promotions all year round, so you can easily pick up a dishwasher for less. Shop around so you can compare prices.

Black Friday, Christmas and New Year Sales usually have particularly high discounts. Selected retailers often have cashback and trade-in offers, which provides another opportunity for you to get the model you want while making even bigger savings. A trade-in also has the benefit that you can get your old machine taken away for free.

+ What Else To Look Out For

You need to check if the model you have your eye on comes with a long warranty, so you don’t have to worry about buying another one any time soon. Higher priced machines will often have a longer warranty, reflecting the superior build quality.

There are also running costs to consider, as a more energy-efficient model can help save money on your utility bills.

You’ll also need to take charges for delivery, installation and removing your old dishwasher into account. Delivery will often be free when ordering online and paying for installation may not be necessary if you’ve had experience fitting a dishwasher previously.

Bear in mind that price isn’t everything. Many people are willing to pay a little more for better service or faster delivery, for example.

Installation and Recycling

Once you’ve found your perfect dishwasher, you’ll need to think about getting it delivered and having it installed.

If you’re handy with DIY then feel free to install it yourself, but if you’re unsure, it may be easier to use a professional. Usually, the retailer you buy the dishwasher from will have installation and disposal options you can use.

+ Professional Installation

If you’ve decided to save the fee and install your new dishwasher yourself, the job should take a couple of hours.

Sometimes, you may not have the time or expertise to set up your new dishwasher. In this case, the shop you buy from will usually offer a professional installation service for a small fee. If you go for this option, some basic preparation will help the process go smoothly:

  • Make sure there is clear access to where you want your new appliance installed, and that it will fit into the space. If there are stairs on the route, make sure they are clear and there is enough room to manoeuvre.
  • Ensure the water, electricity and waste connections are within 1/1.5 metres of the appliance location.
  • Make sure it’s possible to turn off the water mains.

Most installers will unpack your dishwasher, connect it up, and do a test start to check there are no leaks and that it all works properly. They can also get rid of the packaging, and if you’ve booked it, will remove, and recycle your old machine.

+ Preparing Your Space

Ideally, it’s best to have your appliance against an exterior wall on a firm, level floor, and close to the connections for the water supply, waste pipe and electricity. The manual should tell you exactly how close, but 1/1.5 metres is generally cited as optimal.

Most new models only need a cold water supply, as the water can be heated up inside the machine. However, you may want to double-check the specifications before you buy. This system requires less energy than plumbing in hot water from your boiler.

Your dishwasher will need a standard 13 amp plug socket for its electricity. If the sockets are above the countertops, you’ll need to run a cable from one of these to below the counters.

Bear in mind that if you need to move electrical sockets or plumbing, you’ll need to get the relevant tradesperson in to do the work.

+ Recycling

When you order your dishwasher, there is often the option to have your old model taken away for recycling – for a small extra fee. Government legislation for recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) ensures that appliances such as dishwashers, TVs and washing machines have reusable parts separated and recycled safely.

Most companies will ask that you prepare the old appliance by emptying any water and disconnecting it from the water, waste, and electricity supply. 

Buying Guide - Dishwashers

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Euronics Limited

Euro House, Joule Road, West Portway Andover, Hampshire, SP10 3GD