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With the Coronavirus pandemic forcing people to rely on themselves to do all of their household chores, there has been a tremendous rise in the demand for dishwashers in India. “Without a maid and in a joint family of seven, we felt that a dishwasher was a must, as a sink full of utensils was what I hated most,” says Tarika Mehta, a teacher from Mumbai.
How to pick the right dishwasher?
Companies: There are various dishwasher brands available in India, like Bosch, Siemens, Faber, Kaff, Hafele, LG, Whirlpool, IFB, Voltas Beko, Godrej, Hindware, etc.
Size: Standard models are available in 24-inch width while compact models are of 18 inches.
Body: Dishwashers have plastic tubs or stainless steel tubs that do not in any way have an impact on the quality of cleanliness of the utensils. A steel tub has the capacity of resisting stains and keeping out odours. Also, heat transfer is quicker in steel tubs as compared to plastic. Stainless steel tubs that can withstand higher temperature settings are durable, energy efficient and are slightly expensive.
Types of dishwashers
To be able to pick the right dishwasher, you need to consider various aspects of this equipment. Dishwashers are broadly classified in four types:
Built-in, under-the-counter dishwashers: Built-in dishwashers are permanently fixed with plumbing in the kitchen. As they are connected directly to the water supply, the kitchen sink can be used for other purposes at the same time when the dishwasher is running. It is not recommended for people who live on rent.
Countertop dishwasher: This dishwasher is like the portable one in many ways. The only difference is that one has to place it on the counter near the sink. On connecting to the faucet, one can start using it in the normal mode.
Portable dishwasher: A portable dishwasher is a freestanding one which involves no specific plumbing work. It only needs to be adjusted to your kitchen faucet.
Drawer dishwasher: Dishwashers come in two options- double drawers or single drawer units, depending on the space one has at home. These are similar to traditional dishwashers and require the same type of permanent installation. One can use a single drawer or both drawers, as each is independent of the other. Also one has a choice of different wash cycles and it is more energy efficient.
Key features of dishwashers
Capacity: Choose the right sized dishwasher, according to the family size. Dishwashers are available in 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16-place settings, i.e., the capacity of the dishwasher. A dishwasher with a 12-place setting means that it has place for 12 dinner plates, soup plates, teacups and saucers, dessert plates, tumblers, forks, soup spoons and teaspoons.
Wash cycle: Each wash cycle ranges from 30 minutes to 120 minutes, depending on the cycle that is selected for washing and drying the dishes. Light, regular and heavy wash are the common wash cycles on most dishwashers. You can also adjust the temperature of the water and steam. However, these settings may vary from model to model. The top dishwashers come with six to eight wash cycles. Each cycle varies in speed, water temperature and pressure and the number of washes.
See also: A quick guide on using water meters
Delayed wash: One can adjust the time, ranging from zero to 24 hours, so that the wash cycle can automatically begin at the later selected time.
Quick or rapid wash: With this, one can quickly clean slightly soiled utensils.
Only rinse: As the name suggests the dishes are merely washed with plain water, to remove the food particles.
Rinse and hold wash: In this cycle the dishwasher rinses the utensils with plain water and then waits for a full load.
Sanitising rinse: Hot water rinses the utensils to kill all the germs and bacteria.
China cycle: This is meant for crystal and fragile crockery and sprays water gently.
Other factors to consider while choosing a dishwasher
The noise level in high-end models may be less than 40dB while the basic and mid-range washers rated above 50dB are slightly nosier.
Stainless steel washers increase drying performance by adding the degree of condensation to pull dampness off vessels and onto the tub’s surface. The drying method varies in machines – it can be heat, fan or condensation. The process of condensation is considered to be advanced and better.
Hard water compatibility
If the water supply in your area is hard water, it is better to choose a dishwasher that is compatible with hard water. Most machines have a water softening slot to make water soft, and stop scaling. These machines have salt dispensers to put salt into the machine, to dissolve the hardness.
Type of filtration system
Most brands have options with both, filters and disposers, to choose from. Cleaning of the dishwasher filter is important, as food deposits can reduce the efficiency of the machine.
“When using the dishwasher, it is advisable to remove the solid food particles before placing the utensils in the machine, so that the machine does not get clogged. With advanced features, there is no need to rinse the plates before placing them in the machine. Self-cleaning filters ensure hands-free maintenance. However, one has to clean manual filters at regular intervals,” states Tanya Khanna, who has been using a dishwasher for a few months now.
Tips for selecting the right dishwasher
- Select a dishwasher that is energy and water-efficient. Always buy a dishwasher with a star-rating label certified by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
- Opt for a reputed brand that provides good after-sales service and a warranty period that spans between two to five years.
- Opt for adjustable shelves to place utensils such as pressure cookers with their handles, kadhai, etc. It is advisable to choose dishwashers with convertible racks.
- Choose a dishwasher that beeps or has an alarm when there is not enough water.
- With a 6,000-watt generator, one can connect several devices. These include dishwashers that consume 1,200 to 1,400 watts. If there is a power cut, an auto-restart option restarts the dishwasher from where it stopped.
- The dishwasher should have a child safety lock system.
- In an automatic dishwasher, the cleaning starts with a single touch of a button but in the semi-automatic and manual versions, one has to press a few more buttons.
- Dishwashers range between Rs 20,000 and Rs 60,000, depending on the size, model and features.
Top dishwashers available in the Indian market
Voltas Beko 8 Place Table-Top Dishwasher – DT8S
This fully-automatic model has an 8-place setting, with six wash programs and a water consumption capacity of eight litres. This front-loading model can be placed on a table top, for convenience.
Warranty: Two years on product, five years on motor by the manufacturer
Price: Rs 22,000.
See also: Cool gadgets to make your home smarter
Bosch SMS60L18IN Dishwasher (12-place setting)
The Bosch SMS60L18IN freestanding dishwasher comes with six wash programs. It has four moveable / foldable racks which provide space for larger pots and dishes. It uses 10 litres of water.
Warranty: Two years’ warranty on product
Price: Rs 40,000
IFB Neptune FX Free Standing 12-place settings dishwasher
This dishwasher has a device for water softening and also a program for greasy utensils. IFB’s dishwasher, which uses 12 litres of water, has a special feature for soiled and oily vessels as it gives a 50-degree pre-wash to the utensils, before washing them deeply at 70 degrees. It has a flexible upper basket that makes it convenient to use and accommodate larger utensils.
Warranty: Two years on product.
Price: Rs 28,000
LG D1452CF Free Standing 14-place settings dishwasher
The dishwasher has 14-place settings and five wash programs. It has a smart rack system to accommodate various types of utensils. A fully-loaded dishwasher consumes nearly 10 litres of water for a complete cycle. This machine is silent due to its inverter drive direct motor which is inserted with a silencer.
Warranty: Two years on product, 10 years on motor.
Price: Rs 54,000
Faber 12-place Settings Dishwasher (FFSD 6PR 12S)
This 12-place dishwasher has six wash programmes, including separate ones for delicate glassware and masala-stained utensils. It heats water to 70 degrees and takes care of tough stains. It also has a half load feature which is useful as one need not wait for the whole dish load to start cleaning. It also has height-adjustable upper racks and foldable racks.
Warranty: Two years on product.
Price: Rs 31,000
Note: Prices mentioned in the copy are approximate. Please note that prices of dishwashers may vary across cities and dealers.
What is the average life of a dishwasher?
A dishwasher should last for approximately six to 10 years.
How do you know if your dishwasher pump is bad?
Stagnant water at the bottom of the washer when it is running or unusual noise, could indicate a defective pump.
How many times a week should you run the dishwasher?
Ideally, the dishwasher should be used at least once in a week.