A Helpful Guide to Buying a Dishwasher
Not everyone finds dishwashing a desirable task, especially when done manually. It's a good thing that innovation has made this task less intimidating and more manageable.
The once-luxury kitchen appliance, a dishwasher, is now engineered for more compact kitchen setups. This means you don't need a sizable industrial machine to handle your cleaning chores. Compared to manual dishwashing, it takes less effort to operate a dishwasher, especially on big occasions when you have to deal with the storm of cleaning cookware, utensils, and dirty plates after a festive meal. A dishwasher also consumes significantly less water than manual dishwashing.
Whether you need a break from your entertaining aftermath or want to upgrade your existing appliance, list down these considerations before buying a dishwasher in Singapore.
What is a Dishwasher?
A dishwasher is a kitchen appliance that cleans and sterilises dishes, making kitchen clean-up, especially after entertaining, a breeze. This efficient kitchen appliance distributes water and detergent solutions to wash the dishes loaded inside the machine. It also heats the water, which is necessary to kill germs on kitchen items. To make the most of its functions, you need to understand how a dishwasher works, know its features, and learn how to properly load and unload the appliance.
How Does a Dishwasher Work?
A dishwasher does its own job once you load the dishes and close the door. But what exactly happens inside the dishwasher? Here is a quick list to give you an overview of its general functions (Note: this depends on the dishwasher unit).
- First, water is added to the dishwasher's basin.
- The rotating spray arms will distribute water to the dishes during the pre-wash stage.
- The dishwasher will then heat the water to the appropriate temperature (this depends on your selected programme).
- The dispenser will release the detergent to clean the dishes.
- The cleaning cycle will begin by spraying water and releasing detergent, cleaning off the dishes.
- The dishwasher will expel dirty water to make way for a cleaner spray.
- The appliance will dispense clean water to rinse the dishes.
- You can dry the dishes inside the dishwasher after the last spray is drained.
A dishwasher has a timer to regulate the length of the cleaning cycle. To prevent overheating or damaging the dishes, the machine operates its sensor. At the same time, the appliance controls the amount of water inside and drains the excess to clean the plates and cookware continuously. The cleaning cycle repeats until the washer detects that your dishes are clean. Depending on your unit, the debris can be drained straight into the pipes of your sink. You have the option to dry the dishes inside the machine via a dry cycle or use the residual heat.
What are the Types of Dishwashers?
A dishwasher is not limited to the bulky industrial piece we see on cooking shows. There is an assortment of compact pieces that can fit smaller kitchens.
The most popular dishwasher type, a built-in dishwasher, is connected to your kitchen plumbing to route water straight from your source. It is typically placed near the sink for the same reason. Built-in units come in two major types: standard and compact sizes.
A standard built-in dishwasher measures 24 inches in length and 34 inches in width. Its depth usually ranges from 24 to 28 inches. An 18-inch compact unit is a good solution for smaller kitchens.
Not everyone has the luxury of including built-in appliances in their kitchens. If it's a hassle to go through the process of installing a new built-in appliance, an easier solution is to get a portable dishwasher. The main difference between a built-in and portable unit is access to kitchen fixtures. While the built-in appliance directly connects to the plumbing system, a portable dishwasher requires connecting to your sink via an adapter.
Ranging between 20-24 inches wide, a countertop dishwasher is slightly smaller than a portable unit and is designed to sit on your countertop instead of taking up a dedicated spot in your kitchen. Like a portable dishwasher, this appliance also connects to the sink to function efficiently.
A drawer dishwasher is a great addition to a custom kitchen. If you want loading and unloading dishes to be a breeze, you can opt for this appliance. A drawer dishwasher is designed to be opened by pulling the door out like a drawer instead of pulling it down, which sometimes requires you to hunch over.
What to Look for When Buying a Dishwasher
Capacity (Standard vs. Compact)
It's good to consider the capacity when buying a dishwasher since it can affect not only the price at which the appliance is bought but also its effectiveness in your household. The capacity of a dishwasher can be measured by the number of place settings it can contain during a cycle. A 24-inch dishwasher can hold up to a family-sized 14-place setting. Compact units have fewer configuration options.
Although not displayed, the tub material also matters when buying a dishwasher. Dishwasher tubs are usually made of plastic or stainless steel. Stainless steel tubs are more efficient in terms of stain and odour resistance, but are pricier than plastic material.
Generally, dishwashers have three primary cycles: light, regular, and heavy. Dishwashers with enhanced features to customise your wash cycle are more expensive, but they will help you save energy in the long run.
Water and Energy Usage
Dishwashers use less water than manual washing. Modern dishwashers are designed to use less water than older units, which is a good consideration if you are to upgrade your old dishwasher. When buying a dishwasher in Singapore, it's advisable to look for a unit with a higher NEA Tick rating to ensure water and energy efficiency.
There are two main types of dishwasher filters: manual and self-cleaning. Manual filters should be removed and cleaned to remove food debris, while a self-cleaning filter pulverises the waste and flushes it down the drain.
Dishwashers can be as loud as a conversation when operating. This appliance usually operates between 40 and 50 decibels (dB). If you prefer a quieter unit, go for a 45-decibel dishwasher. Note that a dishwasher with a lower dB is pricier.
While it's easy to get caught up in advertisements and promises, buying a dishwasher or any major kitchen appliance, in general, requires careful consideration, as purchasing one affects not only a one-time purchase but also your monthly expenses. What's important is to find the features that truly matter and will support your lifestyle and needs.
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