99.9 percent of people hate cleaning the dishes. My WiFi password is literally a reminder to my household to clean the dishes. The only time we agree to do the dishes is if there is a verbal contract that the other MUST make the food. I will gladly make that agreement and do the dishes if someone promises to put food in my belly …but this was before I had a reliable dishwasher that took away that trade. Yeah, I guess now I have to help with the food process, but not having to do the dishes by hand is just so much more convenient!

Obviously, you can just throw your money at the most expensive dishwasher out there and it will be amazing, but there are many variations based on necessity that I will be taking a closer look at. I am here to clear things up a bit so anyone reading will want to help cook dinner while the dishwasher suffers through cleaning all that gunk on your plates.


Soil Sensor

Having a sensor do all the work for you is a cherry on top that reduces manual labor to pushing a couple of buttons. A soil sensor automatically gauges the dirt level in the water that is released from your dishes and adjusts the water levels, as well as the energy needed to do a certain job.  This can result in reduced energy and water bills with one function. A soil sensor will limit the possibility of error by automatically adjusting during the cycle instead of relying on luck and praying that when the timer goes off all the dishes will all be clean.


The filter might be the most overlooked elements of a dishwasher, but one of the most important. Many people do not even know that dishwashers have filters and that it might require regular manual maintenance! People will think their dishwasher is broken since it is not working properly, and in many cases, all they have to do is clean out the filter, then all their problems go away. The filter’s main function is to catch all that garbage that is left behind from the dishes so that it does not clog up the pipes or redistribute throughout the tub.

Image of dishwasher filter on the bottom of the dishwasher


There are several types of filters including some that are self-cleaning and some that require manual cleaning every few months. Dishwashers mostly came with self-cleaning filters that have hard food disposal (like the disposal under your sink) to really grind up the food and make sure that nothing large would get by. Now, many low-mid priced dishwashers have scrapped that in exchange for a manual-clean filter primarily because the noise of a self-cleaning filter (especially if it has a food disposal) is so much louder. Only higher priced models, generally $900+, will have the higher quality self-cleaning filters with disposals that will be much quieter than a low-grade equivalent.

Never undervalue the importance of the filter because it can affect your dishwasher performance in more than just one way.

Wash Cycles

The variety of items that your dishwasher can handle is dependent on its integrated cycles. Most of the basic dishwashers have 3 standard cycles: light, normal, and heavy. Mid to high priced dishwashers ($600+) tend to have more cycle options. Other cycles include delicate (China), quick wash, rinse (taking off some gunk if you do not have a full load yet), and sanitize. These all come with increased costs and if these are not necessities for you, you can always save a few bucks.


After you determine what features you want in the interior of you dishwasher, you can now focus on the exterior of the dishwasher. First, you can decide if you want a fully integrated dishwasher console, which has hidden controls on the top of the dishwasher.  You can also opt for the full console dishwasher where all the controls are displayed on the front of the dishwasher for easy access and visibility.

Of course, color is an important factor as well. Most dishwasher models have various colors that allow flexibility to match your other appliances.  You can even get a panel ready dishwasher, which allows you to match the cabinetry of your kitchen.

Wrapping Things Up

The number one thing to consider with all of these feature options is your budget, how much money are you willing to spend on your dishwasher? While increasing your budget will give you access to more  options and customized features, today’s $500 and under dishwasher market provides most customers with basic needs and solid performance. The second question you need to ask yourself when evaluating your dishwasher options… will you actually use it ? Speaking for myself as I gobble my bi-weekly In-N-Out Burger using the bag as a plate (double-double with onions, add chilies, pickles, ketchup & mustard as well as spread with a side of light-well fries), I can say that for convenience alone, chances are high that it will be used a fair amount.


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