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Washing dishes has to be the cause of pretty much most dinner time fights. Nobody likes to do it and everybody claims to have done it the day before. Well, a dishwashers is the answer. But which one to get can cause just as much of a headache as who's turn is it to do the dishes. Sure, you still need to pack and unpack, but it beats having to hunch over a sink full of dirty water. A modern dishwasher is also very efficient and uses far less water and energy than hand washing, so it can it save you money as well as time.
With the amount of choice there is now when it comes to getting a dishwasher we decided to give you a quick run down of all the different options and that way you can decide for yourself which ones are right for you and which ones are best left saving your money on.
Dishwasher Sizes Most of us have the standard size space for a dishwasher under our kitchen countertop, which means we're looking for a full sized dishwasher, these are 60cm wide, 82–85cm tall and 60cm deep. If you have less space than that, you might want to think about using a drawer, compact or slimline dishwasher that can fit neatly under a countertop or in a smaller space, like a draw for example.
So make sure you have the space for a dishwasher and you know how big of a cheap free standing dishwasher will fit there. You may also want to check how easy it is to reach and use the dishwasher in the location you've chosen for it.
Dishwasher Types There are several different dishwasher types or configurations available depending on your needs. Many dishwasher models also come in a variety of colours, finishes and configurations in order to match your kitchen decor.
The cheapest dishwasher are freestanding dishwasher of a standard size. This is because these are the most common type of dishwasher. These are the ones that are designed to fit under your kitchen counter top. The generally price range for a mid range free standing dishwasher is £200 - £300.
The other types of dishwasher you can buy are semi-integrated dishwashers, these are open at the front, but have a panel underneath that matches the kick boards of the rest of the kitchen.These give a good fish to a modern kitchen.
A fully integrated dishwashers is completely built-in, with the whole front panel matching your kitchen and controls concealed inside the door. These look very nice and well hidden, but it pays to do this with all your large appliances for a more finished look.
You can get small dishwasher that are designed for apartments with really small kitchens. These are drawer or compact dishwashers. These dishwashers are built in to a drawer or microwave-sized space and take up less kitchen space, but also fits less in each load. Good for singles, or a couple that doesn't do much cooking.
You can also get cheap dishwashers that are not as wide, but still the same height. These are similar size to a wine cooler and can be fairly expensive.
Lastly, there are ones that can sit on top of your counter top. Again, good for singles or couples that don't cook, other than that, it's always best to try and squeeze in a cheap free standing dishwashers.
Saving Money on Energy Bills with a Dishwasher All dishwashers are labelled with water and energy ratings. The star ratings will give you a general idea of how well your dishwasher performs, but the labels will also include raw figures on the kilowatt hours per year and water usage per wash. You can use these figures to get an estimate of your running costs.
While electricity to run your dishwasher costs money and hand washing is free, hand washing uses around six times as much water as a typical modern dishwasher to wash up a typical pile of dirty dishes, and getting the water in your sink hot enough to do the dishes takes nearly twice as much energy as you'd use running your dishwasher. So dishwasher are usually cheaper to run than hand washing. Exceptions to this are a single person, running a full size dishwasher to wash dinner for one will obviously cost more than washing the few pots used by hand. This is why smaller dishwashers are better for single and small kitchens.
Another advantage of dishwashers over hand washing is that you may be able to wait several days for it to be full before running it, further compounding your energy and water savings. Often not an option when hand washing because of the growing and unsightly pile of dirty plates next to the sink.
Other things to look out for in a cheap dishwasher, other than the size are mainly based around the brand and the different rack options.
So keep an eye out for adjustable plate racks. Some models come with fold-down trays, these are a real advantage if you wash pots and pans.
So are height adjustable top baskets. These offer more versatility when loading. Getting one with an easy to lift top basket means you can adjust the height without needing to completely remove it. Some models can even be adjusted when fully loaded. This can be a handy feature to make loading the dishwasher a lot easier.
You'll also defiantly want to make sure that you get a cutlery tray or basket. A tray lets you sort when you stack, a basket lets you sort at the cutlery drawer. Trays are also safer because you won't accidentally stab yourself with a knife or fork while reaching into the dishwasher. Look for optional grids on the cutlery baskets or cutlery trays that separate each utensil.
Saving Money with a Dishwasher
Getting the best one for your needs isn't the only way you can save money on a dishwasher. By getting one that has different running options, you'll always be getting the best value for money by running the cycles that best suit how dirty the pots are.
The most common options you'll find on most dishwashers, even the cheaper dishwashers are, eco, economy or bio wash. This is a more economical wash with less water, or at a lower temperature. You may need to get special detergent for this wash.
A fast or quick wash, washes lightly soiled or rinsed dishes more economically in a faster cycle.
Then there's the half load option or in some of the higher brands you can find an option called load sensing. That measures the amount of pots and pans and washer accordingly. This is a fancy setting, but good to have.
These are the main cycles that you'll find, but each brand and model are different and the more cycles your dishwasher has, the more money it can save by only using the best one for you.
Other things that may come in handy are a anti-flood feature, a concealed heating element that protects food from dropping on the element and causing smells. Getting a fault display is always handy if you can get it at a decent low price too. As are accessible filters.
You may always want to see if you live in a hard or soft water area. Hard water can cause serious limescale build in and if untreated can cause the dishwasher to be really inefficient and even brake down well before it should do.
These are just the basics of getting a new low priced dishwasher and what to look out for. Make sure you do your cheap freestanding dishwasher shopping at Currys, AO.com, Argos or Appliances Direct. These trusted UK retailers offer excellent value for money and some really amazing sales on dishwashers too.