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10 Dishwasher Features to Look Out For in 2021

by Pam Silvia

You may think your oven and refrigerator are the reigning MVPs of the kitchen, but we beg to differ. Our nomination goes to the dishwasher. Think about it. Upon its very conception, dishwashers are meant to save you both time and labor, meaning you can load in your dirty dinnerware while you figuratively take a load off elsewhere.

In addition, you may be surprised to know that dishwashers save you money on your water and energy bill. When in use, a dishwasher uses four to six gallons of water per load, which is minimal compared to the 27 gallons it can take for you to scrub them in the sink.

But if the title of this blog is any indication, dishwashers do more than just clean your dishes. Let our guide help you determine what to look for in a dishwasher! Our experts at Aztec Appliance have rounded up our top 10 dishwasher features that are available across mass and luxury appliance brands alike.

Check them out!

1. Flexible Rack Options

It wasn’t until recently that many mid-end dishwashers are now stocked with a height-adjustable third rack—so you can get more done in fewer loads. Yes, what was once a premium feature in high-end dishwashers can grant you the luxury of space to fit everything from tall wine glasses to tiny espresso cups.

Thanks to this dishwasher feature, you can accommodate long items, like soup ladles and grill tongs, with ease. Not only that, but a flexible third rack also gives you the option to forgo bulky silverware baskets.

The most prominent appliance brands to offer this useful feature are Bosch, Samsung, LG, and KitchenAid.

2. Odor Control

If running your dishwasher results in a stench, then you might need to clean the filter, the interior of the appliance (including the walls, gaskets, and racks), and check your water softener.

If those solutions don’t fit the bill, then you might need to invest in a new dishwasher with a durable stainless-steel tub. In addition to retaining heat to improve drying results, this dishwasher feature helps resist odors, streaks, and stains.

3. Specialized Jets

If you’ve ever agonized over needing to handwash items after the drying cycle, then GE dishwashers have the feature for you. Bottle jets clean hard-to-reach areas inside tall items with up to four dedicated jets integrated into the upper rack that each target pressurized water deeply for the ultimate clean.

4. Sanitize Option

What good is leaving the job to your dishwasher if it doesn’t even eradicate germs? Dishwasher sanitize cycles use higher-temperature water (at least 150 degrees) and longer wash times to eliminate food-soil bacteria. Typically, this option increases the heat during the main wash cycle and finishes with an even hotter rinse.

Be warned: Industry experts recommend reserving this setting for tough loads or using it at least once a month for an occasional deep cleaning. That said, don’t forget to read the manufacturer care instructions for the items you’d like to run under higher-temperature water.

5. Durability

For a dishwasher that stands the test of time, we turn to Bosch. Bosch dishwashers are built to last, thanks to stainless-steel tubs and a patented leak-protection system.

The AquaStop system contains leaks through a precisely engineered system. If a leak occurs, Bosch dishwashers contain it by shutting down operation and pumping out water, so you have the ultimate peace of mind whether you are away or at home.

6. Unit Capacity

Less time in the kitchen means more time for you, so you might as well invest in a large-capacity dishwasher that is at least 24 inches wide or that can accommodate 15 or 16 place settings. In addition, the existence of this feature in a dishwasher usually implies a third rack, adjustable tines, quieter operation, and better drying results.

7. Energy Efficiency

Engineered to be as energy-efficient as possible, many of today’s dishwashers come with soil sensors to detect how messy your dishes are and automatically adjust water levels and settings, saving you water and energy consumption (as well as utility costs) in the process. To reap these eco-friendly benefits, simply look out for the Energy Star logo!

To make your dishwasher even more efficient, we recommend only running full loads, skipping the pre-rinse, and air drying.

8. Hard Food Disposer

One of the questions you might be confronted with as you’re shopping for a new dishwasher is whether you’re looking for a filtration system or hard food disposer. Whereas the former works quietly to trap the food particles in a filter at the bottom of the appliance, the latter uses a chopper to disintegrate food particles so that they don’t end up recirculating onto your dishes.

That’s not to say that dishwashers with hard food disposers inevitably cause a racket, though. Quiet models are still available—and best of all, these dishwashers are relatively maintenance-free, as filtration-systems require manual cleaning every month or so.

9. Cutlery Trays

Maximizing space to strategically fit more items, many Bosch, KitchenAid, and Whirlpool dishwashers come with a cutlery tray. That’s right—you no longer have to succumb to washing certain utensils by hand. In these models, this third rack has a deep, angled design that can also fit 6-inch glasses, mugs, and bowls.

10. Noise Insulation

We’ve all been there. You’re on the phone with your mom or are just watching TV, and then suddenly, the noise from your dishwasher abruptly throws you off your groove. Luckily, there are low-noise dishwashers that operate between 38 and 44 decibels. (For reference, a whisper is around 15 decibels and a typical conversation is estimated to be about 50 decibels.)

Marketed as the Quietest Dishwasher Brand in the U.S., Bosch knows a thing or two about keeping it down while holding down the fort—the kitchen, that is. You wouldn’t know your dishwasher is hard at work when the operating sound is so gentle. By design, these dishwashers are built with multiple insulation layers, grind-less food filtration, a brushless EcoSilence motor system, and a sound-absorbing base—all aimed at reducing noise so that you never have to compete with its volume or reach for your TV remote.

Let Us Help You

Aztec Appliance can help you in your dishwasher shopping journey. Whether you’re wondering what features to look for in a dishwasher or you just want to browse our inventory, our doors and phone lines are open. More accessible than ever, our experts are also available via chat!