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Clean Up

There are so many options and features available purchasing a dishwasher, it can be hard to tell where to begin. Though it may appear overwhelming at first, what to look for in a dishwasher can be narrowed down to a handful of the most important factors to consider.

Firstly, the size of your space and of your needs. A standard-sized machine – like this 800 Series Bar Handle Built-In from Bosch - can hold more than 8 place settings and 6 serving pieces, a great size for the family household. A compact machine, however - like this 18" Compact Built-In from Whirlpool - can hold only up to that same amount, so it’s a size better suited for a smaller household. Either way, make sure you measure your space and ensure that you know the entire size of the unit, including the leveling feet.

Secondly, the cleaning power of the model and what wash cycles are available. Helpful cycles to look for might be ones such as a light or energy-saving or eco wash, as featured on the GE Cafe Integrated model, which will use less water and operate for a shorter time. Many newer models also include advanced water filtration, which removes food particles from the water, ensuring a sparklingly clean final rinse. (The GE Profile Integrated Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Interior model features the Piranha™ Food Disposer with Removeable Filter.) The newest models include additional high-efficiency water jets that are strategically placed which boost cleaning power without increasing water usage.

Thirdly, convenience and ease of use. Some newer models - like this 24" Pocket Handle Dishwasher 800 Series from Bosch - offer things like innovative dish rack design, helping you situate the dishes for optimal cleaning, which could include features such as adjustable racks that move up and down, lots of flatware slots, less space between tines (meaning more dishes can fit in the same amount of space), third racks for large utensils or short cups, and fold-down or adjustable tines. There are additional specific features available such as bottle wash jets (which allow you to clip tall items onto them), casserole dish jets at the back of the bottom rack, a small closed basket for baby bottles and rings, and even a model that raises the entire bottom rack as you pull it out to make loading and unloading easier.

Fourthly, the latest technology options. Not only are there many innovations in the design and function of the new machines, meaning lower decibel levels and less noise in your home, but many models these days are app-enabled, meaning you can check the progress of the cycle from afar. The Whirlpool and GE smart dishwashers are even integrated with Amazon Dash, so when you’re running low on detergent, your dishwasher will automatically order more.

Lastly, the look you want in your new appliance. There are the three basic finishes: black, white, or stainless, as well as your choice of stainless or plastic inner tub and washing arms. Both choices are up to your decor and taste, as tub material doesn’t affect cleaning performance {though stainless steel won’t rust and will be slightly more durable}. Alternatively, you could choose a dishwasher front that matches the surrounding cabinetry to blend in with the rest of the kitchen, like the GE Profile Integrated Dishwasher. Once you have your finish, you can choose your handle and control panel types. Handles come in subtle scoop, squared, or rounded shapes, and the control panel can be located either on the front or top/upper lip of the machine, also known as a fully integrated control panel. In either location, the control panel can have physical buttons or digital touch controls, and helpful features like a time display to let you know how much longer the cycle has to go.

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