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One of the most enjoyable aspects of remodeling a kitchen can be upgrading to a better dishwasher. While the essential function of the dishwasher has not changed in many years, current models have become substantially more efficient and often do a much better job at cleaning dishes. Browse the features listed below to help select a dishwasher that will complement your needs.


Self-cleaning Filters One way to make sure you never soil a load of clean dishes by forgetting to clean the filter is to buy a model with a self-cleaning filter. These work by pulverizing food particles before rinsing them away in the same way that a garbage disposal does. It’s one less thing to think about, which is always a plus.

Stainless Steel Tubing

High-end dishwasher models may feature sectioned stainless steel hoses, which are much more durable and attractive than their traditional plastic counterparts.

Rotary Knob or Touchpad Controls

The two main styles of controls are the classic rotary knob and the current electronic touchpad technology. While rotary knobs tend to last longer, many electronic-controlled models offer more detailed control over wash times and rinse modes.

Soil Sensors

Often included in higher-end dishwashers, automatic soil sensors detect the level of wash-intensity that will be necessary to clean the dishes. These sensors can take the guesswork out of loads that include easy too clean glasses with fingerprints to plates slathered in last night’s baked-on sauce. The sensors ensure that dishes will come out clean every time, without wasting water or energy.

Self-Regulated Water Temperature

More advanced models include a heating unit that can raise the water’s temperature, while simpler models just use the water running out of your sink’s hot water tap. This feature is helpful when demand for hot water (for showers or other uses) depletes the hot water heater’s reserve. It is also more energy-efficient, because it saves the main hot-water heater from needing to be set at a high enough level to run the dishwasher properly.

Flexible Racks

These options include fold-down and removable shelves and silverware sections. The flexibility can be a lifesaver, especially for loads which are mostly the large, awkward pots or pans instead of easy-fitting flatware, plates and glasses.

Drying Cycles

Timed hot-air ventilation during the dishwasher’s regular cycle helps prevent waterspots.

Noise Reduction

Many higher-end models feature sound-insulating designs which seal the appliance tightly while it is in the noisy wash cycle, and then automatically unseal it to outside air afterward, so as to allow for speedy, effortless air-drying. Another important design element for noise reduction is the amount of insulation that surrounds the interior washing chamber. These features have become especially important in recent years because today’s more efficient dishwashers have longer run cycles.

Energy Rating

Energy ratings are available on any model you shop for. In the long run a more efficient appliance can save money and greenhouse gases, especially if the dishwasher is run everyday. One highly regarded rating is the “Energy Star” certification. Keep in mind, however, that more efficient models tend to have longer cycle-times which take more time.

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