We speak to Liam Gawne from leading appliance manufacturer, Miele, on his top tips on what to look for when investing in a dishwasher.
There is no denying that a dishwasher can be one of your most time-saving appliances in the kitchen – in fact, it is estimated that by using your dishwasher, you can save as much as 230 hours a yea compared to washing and drying by hand! Believe it or not, by choosing wisely, it can also save you money on your electricity and water utility bills, and it offers a place where you can neatly store dirty dishes away and out of site. It’s really a no-brainer – a dishwasher is a must-have appliance in any modern kitchen.
Says Liam Gawne, from leading kitchen appliance manufacturer, Miele: “Everyone needs a dishwasher – they really are life-changing appliances. However, shopping for a new dishwasher can be intimidating – walk into any appliance store, and you’ll see a dozen models that look exactly the same, with similar finishes. However, if you look a little closer, you will notice that not all dishwashers are made equal.” He offers the following pointers on some of the most important things to look out for when shopping for a dishwasher:
Best brand: Liam notes that one of the most important things to do when making your selection, is to choose a trusted brand of dishwasher: “Choosing a trusted brand will hold you in good stead as it gives you peace of mind that you are investing in a brand promise that has evolved over many years. It also ensures that you will have access to after sales service and spare parts, which lots of the less known, fly-by-night brands don’t offer. Miele for example, has won many awards over the last 120 years that testify to its role as an international brand that consumers trust – two of which include being awarded the coveted Best Brands Award in 2017 and in 2018, and the Superbrand Award 2016/2017.”
Baskets, racks and loading aids: When it comes to the interior baskets of a dishwasher, Liam points out that you really need to be looking for innovative design that will offer maximum loading versatility: “Ideally, you want racks, trays and baskets that are adjustable so that you can reconfigure the interior of the dishwasher to suit various items that need to be cleaned. Miele’s dishwashers for example, boast the patented 3D cutlery tray, basket handles, height adjustable upper baskets, height-adjustable glassware holders, width-adjustable jumbo cup rack, fold-away support for glasses, bottle holders, and a MultiComfort area that can hold plates of various sizes – from chopping boards, serving platters, dinner plates, bowls and tall beer glasses.”
Sensor wash and dry: Sensor wash is a technology that adjusts the cycle times and water use to accommodate the load’s soil level, thereby improving efficiency. Sensor drying is similar, but it ensures optimum drying results by the size of the load in question. Says Liam: “For maximum energy and water efficiency, Miele’s dishwashers boast SensorWash and SensorDry technology that allows for the automatic adjustment of cycles to accommodate the soil levels and the size of the load in the dishwasher.”
Efficiency: In a world where the cost of electricity and water is ever on the rise, it is imperative to choose a dishwasher that offers the best possible efficiency, says Liam: “Aside from saving you loads of money on your utility bills over the lifetime of the appliance, choosing an efficient dishwasher is also good for the environment. The majority of Miele’s dishwashers for example, offer best-in-market A+++ energy ratings, and use as little as 6,5 litres of water per cycle. Miele’s EcoFeedback function displays the estimated water and electricity consumption of a cycle, so that you can select the best option, and it will display the actual consumption values after the cycle has ended. Miele’s revolutionary SolarSave programme is designed for households with a solar heat system, a heat pump or a gas oil heating system, because it only uses the temperature of the already heated, incoming water – this allows you to achieve sensationally low electricity consumption of 0,5 kWh per wash cycle.”
Noise levels: The onset of open-plan living, where the kitchen forms part of the living space, has made the operating sound levels of dishwashers an especially important consideration, says Liam: “You really don’t want a dishwasher that sounds like a low-flying aeroplane when it is running and you are trying to watch your favourite TV series, or chat and catch up with your guests. Miele’s dishwashers operate particularly quietly at 41 dB(A), which is significantly quieter than normal conversation. Alternatively, you can select the ExtaQuiet programme that reduces sound emissions to an impressively low 38 dB(A).”
Integration: Integrated appliances are very on-trend at the moment, and it is easy to understand why – they offer a super streamlined aesthetic, and they are space-saving. Liam says that Miele has taken dishwasher integration to the next level: “Miele’s range of integrated dishwashers can either be opened via a handle, or you can opt for a handless design that features the incredible Knock2Open technology. After knocking twice on the front panel of the fully integrated Miele dishwasher, the door opens by about 10cm completely on its own!”
Opening and closing functionality: The way that the dishwasher opens and closes is an important practical aspect to consider, as it will affect the functionality and your experience with the appliance on a daily basis, says Liam: “Miele dishwashers offer three innovative technologies in this regard to ensure maximum ease of use. The AutoOpen feature automatically opens the door to leave a small gap at the end of the cycle, allowing fresh air into the tub to help thoroughly dry the crockery inside. The AutoClose function closes the dishwasher door automatically and very gently, and the ComfortClose feature ensures that the door remains in the position of your choice.”
Automatic programmes: Any dishwasher worth its salt will have a choice of automatic programmes that cater for specific needs. According to Liam, these programmes really maximises a dishwasher’s functionality: “Miele dishwashers offer a whole host of automatic programmes that take the guess work out of cleaning the dishes. These include Sensor Wash, Quick Wash 40°C, Sensor Wash Gentle (for cleaning fragile items), Normal 55°C, Intensive 75°C (for heavily soiled items), ECO (for maximum energy efficiency), Beer Glasses Warm, Pasta/Paella, Hygiene (for bacteria-free sterilisation), Solar Save, and No Upper Basket 65°C.”
Extra features: Of course, there are a plethora of various other added niceties that can be included in dishwashers. Liam lists some of the more notable features to look out for: “LED lighting to illuminate the interior of the dishwasher, in-door salt containers that makes it easy to refill the salt from a standing position while the door is half open, hidden controls, and delay start with integrated countdown indicator for example.”